The significance of spatial resolution: Identifying forest cover from satellite data

  • Authors: Salajanu, Dumitru; Olson, Charles E. Jr.
  • Publication Year: 2001
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Journal of Forestry. 99(6): 32-38.


Twenty-five years ago, a National Academy of Sciences report identified species identification as a requirement if satellite data are to reach their full potential in forest inventory and monitoring; the report suggested that improving spatial resolution to 10 meters would probably be required (Committee on Remote Sensing Programs for Earth Resource Surveys [CORSPERS] 1976). Conversations with federal, state, and private forest managers confirm that this species identification requirement persists, and that an accuracy of 90 percent is required when separating broadleaved from conifer stands. This article describes a study to determine the effect of spatial resolution (pixel size) on the accuracy with which forest tree species can be identified from digital satellite data on a stand basis.

  • Citation: Salajanu, Dumitru; Olson, Charles E., Jr. 2001. The significance of spatial resolution: Identifying forest cover from satellite data. Journal of Forestry. 99(6): 32-38.
  • Posted Date: February 15, 2006
  • Modified Date: February 1, 2019
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