Remote sensing change detection tools for natural resource managers: Understanding concepts and tradeoffs in the design of landscape monitoring projects

Robert E. Kennedy, Philip A. Townsend, John E. Gross, Warren B. Cohen, Paul Bolstad, Y. Q. Wang, Phyllis Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations

Abstract

Remote sensing provides a broad view of landscapes and can be consistent through time, making it an important tool for monitoring and managing protected areas. An impediment to broader use of remote sensing science for monitoring has been the need for resource managers to understand the specialized capabilities of an ever-expanding array of image sources and analysis techniques. Here, we provide guidelines that will enable land managers to more effectively collaborate with remote sensing scientists to develop and apply remote sensing science to achieve monitoring objectives. We first describe fundamental characteristics of remotely sensed data and change detection analysis that affect the types and range of phenomena that can be tracked. Using that background, we describe four general steps in natural resource remote sensing projects: image and reference data acquisition, pre-processing, analysis, and evaluation. We emphasize the practical considerations that arise in each of these steps. We articulate a four-phase process that guides natural resource and remote sensing specialists through a collaborative process to articulate goals, evaluate data and options for image processing, refine or eliminate unrealistic paths, and assess the cost and utility of different options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1382-1396
Number of pages15
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Volume113
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2009

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Change detection
  • Landscape ecology
  • Monitoring
  • Natural resource management
  • Protected areas

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