The U.S. Geological Survey, in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is conducting a study focused on developing methods for estimating changes in land-cover and landscape pattern for the conterminous United States from 1973 to 2000. Eleven land-cover and land-use classes are interpreted from Landsat imagery for five sampling dates. Because of the high cost and potential effect of classification error associated with developing change estimates from wall-to-wall land-cover maps, a probability sampling approach is employed. The basic sampling unit is a 20 x 20 km area, and land cover is obtained for each 60 x 60 m pixel within the sampling unit. The sampling design is stratified based on ecoregions, and land-cover change estimates are constructed for each stratum. The sampling design and analyses are documented, and estimates of change accompanied by standard errors are presented to demonstrate the methodology. Analyses of the completed strata suggest that the sampling unit should be reduced to a 10 x 10 km block, and poststratified estimation and regression estimation are viable options to improve precision of estimated change. ?? 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Statistical sampling to characterize recent United States land-cover change