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    Author(s): Wayne S. Walker; Josef M. Kellndorfer; Elizabeth LaPoint; Michael Hoppus; James Westfall
    Date: 2007
    Source: Remote Sensing of Environment 109:482-499
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.62 MB)


    Exploiting synergies afforded by a host of recently available national-scale data sets derived from interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) and passive optical remote sensing, this paper describes the development of a novel empirical approach for the provision of regional- to continental-scale estimates of vegetation canopy height. Supported by data from the 2000 Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), the National Elevation Dataset (NED), the LANDFIRE project, and the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2001, this paper describes a data fusion and modeling strategy for developing the first-ever high-resolution map of canopy height for the conterminous U.S. The approach was tested as part of a prototype study spanning some 62,000 km² in central Utah (NLCD mapping zone 16). A mapping strategy based on object-oriented image analysis and tree-based regression techniques is employed. Empirical model development is driven by a database of height metrics obtained from an extensive field plot network administered by the USDA Forest Service-Forest Inventory and Analysis (FL4) program. Based on data from 508 FIA field plots, an average absolute height error of 2.1 m (r=0.88) was achieved for the prototype mapping zone.

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    Walker, Wayne S.; Kellndorfer, Josef M.; LaPoint, Elizabeth; Hoppus, Michael; Westfall, James. 2007. An empirical InSAR-optical fusion approach to mapping vegetation canopy height. Remote Sensing of Environment 109:482-499

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