Geocoded digital videography for validation of land cover mapping in the Amazon basin

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Four Validation Overflights for Amazon Mosaics (VOAM) aerial video surveys have been carried out in the Brazilian Amazon to provide ground verification for mapping of wetland cover with the Global Rain Forest Mapping (GRFM) Project JERS-1 (Japanese Earth Remote Sensing Satellite) mosaics of the Amazon basin. Surveys in 1995 and 1996, acquired with handheld analog camcorders from small aircraft, were timed to imaging of the GRFM low- and high-water mosaics, and limited to within 600 km of Manaus. For the 1997 and 1999 flights, digital camcorder systems were installed in the Bandeirante survey plane operated by Brazil's National Institute for Space Research. The VOAM97 and VOAM99 surveys circumscribed the Brazilian Amazon, documenting ground conditions at resolutions on the order of 1 m (wide-angle format) and 10 cm (zoom format) for wetlands, forests, savannas, and human-impacted areas. Global Positioning System (GPS) information encoded on the video audio track was extracted by mosaicking software that automatically generates geocoded digital mosaics from video clips. On the 1999 survey, a laser altimeter recorded profiles of terrain and vegetation canopy heights. A validation dataset was compiled from the videography for a portion of the GRFM mosaics extending 6° by 4° in longitude and latitude, using randomly selected points along flight lines. Other applications of the VOAM videography include acquisition of ground control points for image geolocation, creation of a high-resolution geocoded mosaic of a forest study area, forest biomass estimation, and rapid assessment of fire damage. Geocoded digital videography provides a cost-effective means of compiling high-resolution validation datasets for land cover mapping in remote, cloud-covered regions.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 10, 2002

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