Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub

    Description

    The widespread availability of satellite imagery and image processing software has made it relatively easy for ecologists to use satellite imagery to address questions at the landscape and regional scales. However, as often happens with complex tools that are rendered easy to use by computer software, technology may be misused or used without an understanding of some of the limitations or caveats associated with a particular application. The results can be disappointment when maps are less accurate than expected or incorrect decisions when they are treated as truth. In this paper, we discuss several key issues which are critical to ensuring the effectiveness and value of remote sensing products, but which are also sometimes sources of confusion: (1) direct versus indirect models of land surface properties and processes, (2) differences between class-based and continuous mapping models, (3) scale, and (4) accuracy assessment. We illustrate our points with examples from the application of satellite imagery to forest management issues in the Pacific Northwest, USA. While our examples focus largely on Landsat image data, the issues we discuss have broad relevance across sensor data types, land cover properties, and geographic locations.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Fassnacht, Karin S.; Cohen, Warren B.; Spies, Thomas A. 2006. Key issues in making and using satellite-based maps in ecology: a primer. Forest Ecology and Management. 222: 167-181

    Keywords

    classification, scale, accuracy assessment, remote sensing, satellite

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/27206