High Resolution Aerial Imagery Change Detection

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In 2006, the first set of statewide 1-m, aerial imagery was made available by the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP). In 2009 a second set was acquired, providing the potential to analyze land-cover change at high resolutions statewide. However, statewide 1-m imagery is very large and difficult to work with over big areas. With this possibility in mind, the Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) provided an initial grant to scientists in the Habitat Program at WDFW to assess the feasibility of using high resolution aerial imagery for land-cover change mapping. Due to the many difficulties inherent in working with high-resolution data (discussed in detail in the methods and techniques), WDFW researchers focused their analysis on change related to mapping urbanization and forestry events. Funding from the SRFB was predicated on the idea of tracking riparian and shoreline conditions, to whatever extent feasible. Many issues with riparian corridors and shoreline vegetation have location specific boundaries on the order of 50-200 ft from a stream or waterbody. In order to accurately map conditions in these areas, spatial accuracy was considered the highest priority when compared with metrics such as species composition or stand characteristics.

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