We evaluated the use of aerial videography for classifying wetland habitats along the upper Mississippi River and found the prompt availability of habitat feature maps to be the major advantage of the video imagery technique. We successfully produced feature maps from digitized video images that generally agreed with the known distribution and areal coverages of the major habitat types independently identified and quantified with photointerpretation techniques. However, video images were not sufficiently detailed to allow us to consistently discriminate among the classes of aquatic macrophytes present or to quantify their areal coverage. Our inability to consistently distinguish among emergent, floating, and submergent macrophytes from the feature maps may have been related to the structural complexity of the site, to our limited vegetation sampling, and to limitations in video imagery. We expect that careful site selection (i.e., the desired level of resolution is available from video imagery) and additional vegetation samples (e.g., along a transect) will allow improved assignment of spectral values to specific plant types and enhance plant classification from feature maps produced from video imagery.
Additional publication details
Classification of a wetland area along the upper Mississippi River with aerial videography