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Strategies for monitoring tropical deforestation using satellite data

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Measuring the aerial extent of tropical deforestation for other than localized areas requires the use of satellite data. We present evidence to show that an accurate determination of tropical deforestation is very difficult to achieve by a 'random sampling' analysis of Landsat or similar high spatial resolution data unless a very high percentage of the area to be studied is sampled. In order to achieve a Landsat-derived deforestation estimate within 20% of the actual deforestation amount 90% of the time, 37 of 40 scenes, 55 of 61 scenes and 37 of 45 scenes were required for Bolivia, Colombia and Peru respectively.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 15, 2000

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