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Using the Relative Operating Characteristic to Quantify Certainty in Prediction of Location of Land Cover Change in India

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This paper describes a methodology by which modelers, ecologists and planners can quantify the certainty in predicting the location of change for a given quantity of change. The specification of the quantity of a land cover category and the specification of the location of a land cover category are two distinct fundamental concepts in geographical analysis. It is crucial that scientists have appropriate quantitative tools to analyze each of these two concepts independently of one another. This paper gives methods whereby a scientist can convert a map of relative propensity for disturbance to a map of probability of future disturbance, based on a quantifiable validation of a map's predictive ability. The required inputs are: (1) maps that show a Boolean categorical variable at times 0, 1 and 2, (2) a technique to create a map that shows the relative propensity for membership in the Boolean category, and (3) a predicted proportion of the category at time 3.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Graduate School of Geography Clark University

Publication date: March 1, 2003


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