Mapping northern wetlands with high resolution satellite images and LiDAR

  • Maxa M
  • Bolstad P
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Most wetland maps must be updated for much of North America. High-resolution satellite images and {LiDAR-based} elevation data have been developed in recent years, and these may prove useful in wetland mapping. We compared the accuracy of the Wisconsin Wetland Inventory maps ({WWI)} to maps derived from {IKONOS} high resolution satellite data and {LiDAR} data for a 63.4 km2 study area in north-central Wisconsin. One-meter, resolution merged multispectral and panchromatic {IKONOS} data were used with a 1-m resolution {LiDAR-based} digital elevation model in a manual interpretation of wetland types. {IKONOS/LiDAR} data were significantly more accurate (74.5% classification accuracy) than {WWI} data (56%) when wetlands were categorized into {WWI} classes. Improved accuracies were largely due to less confusion between upland and wetland classes, and generally better distinction among the various wetland classes. {LiDAR} data improved upland/wetland distinction, based on relative terrain heights and derived terrain-shape indices. Confusion in all classifications was particularly common among lowland coniferous species, and among evergreen shrub and moss classes.

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  • Melissa Maxa

  • Paul Bolstad

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