If you are experiencing problems downloading PDF or HTML fulltext, our helpdesk recommend clearing your browser cache and trying again. If you need help in clearing your cache, please click here . Still need help? Email help@ingentaconnect.com

Neighborhood size and spatial scale in raster-based slope calculations

$61.74 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Buy Article:


Raster-based slope estimation is routine in GIS. Like many other terrain attributes, the slope at a location is determined from elevations of surrounding cells. This spatial extent – ‘neighborhood size’ – is often treated as the ‘spatial scale’ of the calculation. In fact, neighborhood size and spatial scale are two connected yet different concepts, but few studies have investigated the relationship between them. The distinction is important because neighborhood size is under user control whereas spatial scale is merely implicit in the computational method. This article attempts to clarify and provide a more precise meaning of the two terms by considering slope operators from the standpoint of the frequency (or wavenumber) domain. This article derives analytical expressions for the amplitude response functions of four popular slope estimators. These are used to characterize the individual methods and also to show that the neighborhood size and spatial scale of a slope calculation are not numerically the same. In fact, because there is no single spatial scale that can be unambiguously associated with a given neighborhood size, neighborhood size cannot be an adequate indicator of spatial scale. Furthermore, this article shows that different indices of ‘scale’ yield different impressions about the action of a slope estimator and its response to changing neighborhood size. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the amplitude response function when investigating the spatial scale. The article also provides guidance for GIS practitioners when selecting a slope estimation method.

Keywords: neighborhood size; slope; spatial scale; terrain analysis; window size

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2012.657201

Affiliations: Department of Geography,University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison,WI, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2012

More about this publication?
Related content

Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more