Updating the Phase 1 habitat map of Wales, UK, using satellite sensor data

Richard M. Lucas, Katie Medcalf, Alan Brown, Peter J. Bunting, Johanna Breyer, Dan Clewley, Steve Keyworth, Philippa Blackmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Phase 1 Survey is the most comprehensive and widely used national level map of semi-natural habitats in Wales. However, the survey was based largely on field survey and was conducted over several decades, before being completed in 1997. Given that resources for a repeat survey were limited, this study has used an object-orientated rule-based classification implemented within eCognition of multi-temporal satellite sensor data acquired between 2003 and 2006 to map semi-natural habitats and agricultural land across Wales, thereby allowing a progressive update of the Phase 1 Survey. The classification of objects to Phase 1 habitat classes was undertaken in two steps; firstly the landscape of Wales was divided into objects using orthorectified SPOT-5 High Resolution Geometric (HRG) reflectance data (10 m spatial resolution) and Land Parcel Information System (LPIS) boundaries. A rule-base was then developed to progressively discriminate and map the distribution of 105 sub-habitats across Wales based on time-series of SPOT HRG, Terra-1 Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRS) LISS-3 data, derived datasets (e.g., vegetation indices, fractional images) and ancillary information (e.g., topography). The rules coupled knowledge of ecology and the information content of these remote sensing data using a combination of thresholds, Boolean operations and fuzzy membership functions. A second rule-base was then developed to translate the more detailed sub-habitat classification to Phase 1 habitat classes. Indicative accuracies of the revised Phase 1 mapping, based on comparisons with the later Phase 2 survey (for selected habitats), were >80% overall and typically between 70% and 90% for many classes. Through this exercise, Wales has become the first country in Europe to produce a national map of habitats (as opposed to land cover) through object-orientated classification of satellite sensor data. Furthermore, the approach can be adapted to allow continual monitoring of the extent and condition of habitats and agricultural land.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-102
Number of pages22
JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Land cover
  • Habitat classification
  • Satellite
  • Wales
  • Object-oriented eCognition

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Updating the Phase 1 habitat map of Wales, UK, using satellite sensor data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this