An experimental assessment of minimum mapping unit size

Joseph F. Knight, Ross S. Lunetta

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

34 Scopus citations


Land-cover (LC) maps derived from remotely sensed data are often presented using a minimum mapping unit (MMU) to characterize a particular landscape theme of interest. The choice of an MMU that is appropriate for the projected use of a classification is an important consideration. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effect of MMU on a LC classification of the Neuse River Basin (NRB) in North Carolina. The results of this work indicate that MMU size had a significant effect on accuracy estimates only when the MMU was changed by relatively large amounts. Typically, an MMU is selected as close as possible to the original data resolution so as to reduce the loss of specificity introduced in the resampling process. Since only large MMU changes resulted in significant differences in the accuracy estimates, an analyst may have the flexibility to select from a range of MMUs that are appropriate for a given application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2132-2134
Number of pages3
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
Issue number9 PART II
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003


  • Accuracy assessment
  • Landscape characterization
  • Remote sensing
  • Vegetation mapping

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