An experimental assessment of minimum mapping unit size

Joseph F. Knight, Ross S. Lunetta

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

46 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 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received February 6, 2003; revised May 8, 2003. This work was supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, which conducted the research described in this letter. It has been subject to the Agency’s programmatic review and has been approved for publication. Mention of any trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.


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


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