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Mapping Phragmites australis: An Analysis of UAV Acquired Imagery and its Spatial Resolution

Authors: Robert Dingwell*, Department of Geography, Saginaw Valley State University, Rhett Mohler, Department of Geography, Saginaw Valley State University
Topics: Remote Sensing
Keywords: Invasive Species, UAV, Drone, Remote Sensing, Phragmites, Spatial Resolution
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


With the increased popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), remote sensing has gained a valuable new tool in collecting data. The challenge we face is how to optimally collect imagery with a UAV, given that we have to sacrifice time to get better resolution. By flying the UAV from heights of 200 feet, 300 feet, etc, different resolutions of imagery can be obtained at the cost of the flights taking more time for a better resolution. The heights we flew provided us with approximately 1 in/px, 1.5 in/px, and 2 in/px resolution. After we mosaicked all the imagery together using the program Pix4D, we ran classifications on each resolution of imagery to locate Phragmites australis, an invasive plant species. We ran a kappa analysis on each classification to give us an idea of the accuracy each resolution can provide. The results showed us that although the resolution might be higher, the accuracy of the classification is not necessarily higher. This study helps optimize future projects in their collection of data by showing more optimal heights to fly UAVs to save time. By searching for P. australis, and looking for invasive species, we were able to apply drone imagery to a real problem.

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