This paper documents the procedures, results, and final products of a digital analysis of Landsat data used to produce a vegetation and landcover map of the Blackfoot River watershed in southeastern Idaho. Resource classes were identified at two levels of detail: generalized Level I classes (for example, forest land and wetland) and detailed Levels II and III classes (for example, conifer forest, aspen, wet meadow, and riparian hardwoods). Training set statistics were derived using a modified clustering approach. Environmental stratification that separated uplands from lowlands improved discrimination between resource classes having similar spectral signatures. Digital classification was performed using a maximum likelihood algorithm.
Classification accuracy was determined on a single-pixel basis from a random sample of 25-pixel blocks. These blocks were transferred to small-scale color-infrared aerial photographs, and the image area corresponding to each pixel was interpreted. Classification accuracy, expressed as percent agreement of digital classification and photo-interpretation results, was 83.0:t 2.1 percent (0.95 probability level) for generalized (Level I) classes and 52.2:t 2.8 percent (0.95 probability level) for detailed (Levels II and III) classes.
After the classified images were geometrically corrected, two types of maps were produced of Level I and Levels II and III resource classes: color-coded maps at a 1:250,000 scale, and flatbed-plotter overlays at a 1:24,000 scale. The overlays are more useful because of their larger scale, familiar format to users, and compatibility with other types of topographic and thematic maps of the same scale.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Digital classification of Landsat data for vegetation and land-cover mapping in the Blackfoot River watershed, southeastern Idaho
U.S. Geological Survey
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center