Daniel Unger, Stephen F. Austin State University Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, unger@sfasu.edu (Presenter)
I-Kuai Hung, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, hungi@sfasu.edu
Yanli Zhang, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, zhangy2@sfasu.edu


Accurate knowledge of land cover and land cover change is essential for a wide range of objectives. Since the 1970’s, remotely sensed data have been used increasingly as a means to classify and characterize the earth’s land use and land cover. This projects compares the accuracy of results of classifying data from mid-level to very high spatial resolutions (Landsat ETM, SPOT 4, ASTER, SPOT 5, QuickBird). Data from all of these sensors was classified for both urban and rural settings. The project also examines accuracy levels between spectral and radiometric resolutions. Finally it investigates the role that shadow plays in affecting accuracy levels from higher spatial resolution satellites. Results indicate that QuickBird, with the highest spatial resolution performed significantly poorer, in terms of providing accurate classification, than any other sensor with respect to the rural environment. It also was significantly worse than Landsat ETM+ in providing accurate classification in the urban environment. When QuickBird data was resampled to 8 bit data to control radiometric differences the resulting classification accuracy percentages were no better than that of random chance. In terms of spectral resolution, the results when testing for accuracy in classification using only the three bands common to all sensors there was essentially no difference between any of the sensors. This outcome supports the hypothesis that spectral resolution plays an important role in land use, land cover accuracy. There is a moderate relationship between the spatial resolution of sensors and the percentages of pixels, where sensors with higher spatial resolution have a significantly higher percentage of shadow pixels. This relationship is of moderate strength. These results agreed with literature from other studies in similar environments.