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Characterization of vegetation in the south of México by means of a canonical expansion

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In this work, a method to characterize vegetation cover types is presented. The state of vegetation is represented by means of canonical variables derived from the bands of a multi-spectral image. The canonical variables handled in this work are the following: albedo of vegetation, strength of the greenness of vegetation, and humidity content of vegetation. These variables are uncorrelated, as is demonstrated in this research. The ensemble of these variables establishes a canonical expansion of the multi-spectral image. This is a canonical representation of vegetation. The canonical variables mentioned above form a multi-band image. This image is input into an unsupervised spectral classifier to generate a thematic map of vegetation cover types. Based on ground data, these vegetation classes are identified. In addition to this map, the following information layers are incorporated into the characterization process: lithological units, digital terrain model, hydrography, geomorphological units and climate. The whole of this information is integrated into a geospatial database to provide a description of the vegetation classes.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Instituto de Geofísica-UNAM, Cd. Universitaria, 04510 México DF, México; e-mail:

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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