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Spatial variation in land cover and choice of spatial resolution for remote sensing

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Prior to acquiring remotely sensed imagery with which to map land cover investigators may wish to select an appropriate spatial resolution. Previously, statistics such as the local variance and scale variance have been used to facilitate this goal. However, where such statistics vary locally over the region of interest, their use in selecting a single spatial resolution may be undermined. The variogram and scale variance (plotted as a function of spatial resolution) were predicted for airborne multispectral imagery with a spatial resolution of 4 m of St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK and of Arundel, Sussex, UK. The remotely sensed response in the red and near-infrared wavelengths was found to vary appreciably both within and between broad land categories (such as urban, agricultural and semi-natural areas). These differences mean that where the subject of interest is a general region rather than a specific feature or object the mean local variance or scale variance over that region may be unhelpful in selecting a single spatial resolution. Further, differences observed between the red and near-infrared wavelengths have implications for users who wish to select a single spatial resolution for multispectral imagery.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Geography University of Southampton Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ UK 2: School of Geography University of Nottingham Nottingham NG7 2RD UK

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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