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


    The increasing availability of satellite imagery has spurred the production of thematic land cover maps based on satellite data. These maps are more valuable to the scientific community and land managers when the accuracy of their classifications has been assessed. Here, we assessed the accuracy of a map of forest disturbance in the watersheds of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan based on an improved version of the Vegetation Change Tracker algorithm (VCTw). We constructed a probability-based sampling design using two stages of sampling with stratification at each stage. Results are presented for the portion of the map within the U.S. as well as separately for the U.S. portion of Lake Superior's watershed and for Lake Michigan's watershed. We also present estimates and standard errors of the percent cover for each land cover class that incorporate both the map's data and our sample data. The overall accuracy for the U.S. portion of the map is estimated to be 91% with a standard error of 0.8%. We discuss the relative strengths of the VCTw algorithm as well as the dependence of such an algorithm's success on the characteristics of the landscape being mapped.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • 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.


    Zimmerman, P.L.; Housman, I.W.; Perry, C.H.; Chastain, R.A.; Webb, J.B.; Finco, M.V. 2013. An accuracy assessment of forest disturbance mapping in the western Great Lakes. Remote Sensing of Environment. 128: 176-185.


    Google Scholar


    accuracy assessment, land cover map, forest, land cover change, Landsat time series stacks

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page