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Title: A geostatistical approach for mapping thematic classification accuracy and evaluating the impact of inaccurate spatial data on ecological model predictions
Authors: Kyriakidis, Phaedon 
Dungan, Jennifer L. 
Keywords: Biogeochemical cycles;Classification uncertainty;Geographic information systems;Indicator kriging;Land cover map quality;Net primary production;Remote sensing;Stochastic simulation
Category: Civil Engineering
Field: Engineering and Technology
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2001
Source: Environmental and Ecological Statistics, Volume 8, Issue 4, 2001, Pages 311-330
Journal: Environmental and Ecological Statistics 
Abstract: Spatial information in the form of geographical information system coverages and remotely sensed imagery is increasingly used in ecological modeling. Examples include maps of land cover type from which ecologically relevant properties, such as biomass or leaf area index, are derived. Spatial information, however, is not error-free: acquisition and processing errors, as well as the complexity of the physical processes involved, make remotely sensed data imperfect measurements of ecological attributes. It is therefore important to first assess the accuracy of the spatial information being used and then evaluate the impact of such inaccurate information on ecological model predictions. In this paper, the role of geostatistics for mapping thematic classification accuracy through integration of abundant image-derived (soft) and sparse higher accuracy (hard) class labels is presented. Such assessment leads to local indices of map quality, which can be used for guiding additional ground surveys. Stochastic simulation is proposed for generating multiple alternative realizations (maps) of the spatial distribution of the higher accuracy class labels over the study area. All simulated realizations are consistent with the available pieces of information (hard and soft labels) up to their validated level of accuracy. The simulated alternative class label representations can be used for assessing joint spatial accuracy, i.e., classification accuracy regarding entire spatial features read from the thematic map. Such realizations can also serve as input parameters to spatially explicit ecological models; the resulting distribution of ecological responses provides a model of uncertainty regarding the ecological model prediction. A case study illustrates the generation of alternative land cover maps for a Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) subscene, and the subsequent construction of local map quality indices. Simulated land cover maps are then input into a biogeochemical model for assessing uncertainty regarding net primary production (NPP).
ISSN: 2-s2.0-0035677673
DOI: 10.1023/A:1012778302005
Type: Article
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