Land cover change analysis in Mexico using 30m Landsat and 250m MODIS data
- CONABIO, Geomatics, Mexico City, Mexico
Keywords: Land cover time series, Change detection, Spatial-temporal analysis, MODIS, Mexico
Abstract. Change detection is one of the most important and widely requested applications of terrestrial remote sensing. Despite a wealth of techniques and successful studies, there is still a need for research in remote sensing science. This paper addresses two important issues: the temporal and spatial scales of change maps. Temporal scales relate to the time interval between observations for successful change detection. We compare annual change detection maps accumulated over five years against direct change detection over that period. Spatial scales relate to the spatial resolution of remote sensing products. We compare fractions from 30m Landsat change maps to 250m grid cells that match MODIS change products. Results suggest that change detection at annual scales better detect abrupt changes, in particular those that do not persist over a longer period. The analysis across spatial scales strongly recommends the use of an appropriate analysis technique, such as change fractions from fine spatial resolution data for comparison with coarse spatial resolution maps. Plotting those results in bi-dimensional error space and analyzing various criteria, the “lowest cost”, according to a user defined (here hyperbolic) cost function, was found most useful. In general, we found a poor match between Landsat and MODIS-based change maps which, besides obvious differences in the capabilities to detect change, is likely related to change detection errors in both data sets.