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The empirical line method is an atmospheric correction technique that provides an alternative to radiative transfer modelling approaches. It offers a relatively simple means of surface reflectance calibration, providing that a series of invariant-in-time calibration target measurements are available. This technique has been applied with variable success to both airborne data and coarser spatial resolution satellite sensor data. However, with the advent of higher spatial resolution space-borne sensors there is a need to re-evaluate its potential. The empirical line method was tested for correcting multispectral IKONOS imagery acquired over the tropical island of San Andres, Colombia. The high spatial resolution (4 m) of the data made it possible to identify a number of homogeneous targets with a range of reflectances that were used for the calibration. Coefficients of determination of the prediction equations observed were large, ranging from 0.96-0.99 for each of the four wavebands. An accuracy assessment was performed using a set of independent targets. It demonstrated that the empirical line method can be applied to correct such imagery with accurate results.