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Using satellite imagery as ancillary data for increasing the precision of estimates for the Forest Inventory and Analysis program of the USDA Forest Service

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Forest inventory programs report estimates of forest variables for areas of interest ranging in size from municipalities, to counties, to states or provinces. Because of numerous factors, sample sizes are often insufficient to estimate attributes as precisely as is desired, unless the estimation process is enhanced using ancillary data. Classified satellite imagery has been shown to be an effective source of ancillary data that, when used with stratified estimation techniques, contributes to increased precision with little corresponding increase in cost. Stratification investigations conducted by the Forest Inventory and Analysis program of the USDA Forest Service are reviewed, and a new approach to stratification using satellite imagery is proposed. The results indicate that precision may be substantially increased for estimates of both forest area and volume per unit area.

Les programmes d'inventaire forestier produisent des estimations des variables forestières pour des zones d'intérêt dont la dimension varie, allant des municipalités, aux comtés, aux états ou aux provinces. À cause de nombreux facteurs, l'intensité d'échantillonnage est souvent insuffisant pour estimer les attributs aussi précisément qu'on le voudrait, à moins que le processus d'estimation soit amélioré par l'utilisation de données ancillaires. Utilisée avec les techniques d'estimation stratifiée, l'imagerie satellitaire classifiée s'est avérée une source efficace de données ancillaires qui contribue à accroître la précision avec une augmentation minime des coûts. Les enquêtes de stratification effectuées par le programme Forest Inventory and Analysis du USDA Forest Service sont revues, et une nouvelle approche de stratification qui utilise l'imagerie satellitaire est proposée. Les résultats indiquent que la précision peut être augmentée substantiellement pour l'estimation de la superficie des forêts et du volume par unité de surface.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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