Defining agricultural land use in Rondonia, Brazil by examination of spot multispectral data

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Virginia Tech


A number of tests were conducted to determine the realizable accuracies of the Global Positioning System for natural resource conditions. The effects of terrain, forest canopy, number of consecutive position fixes, and PDOP on accuracy were evaluated. Position accuracies were determined for a total of 27 sites: three replicate sites selected for each of nine distinct conditions: three canopy (deciduous, coniferous, open) and three terrain (ridge, slope, valley) in all possible combinations. Each site was visited ten times over a span of eight months to collect position data, for ten replicates of 60, 100, 200, 300, and 500 position fixes.

The mean differentially corrected positional accuracy for all sites was 4.35 meters with 95 percent of the positions estimated within 10.2 meters of the true value. The least accurate differential position data were observed at coniferous sites. Positional accuracy was higher for deciduous sites and the most accurate differential position data was collected at open sites.

Accuracy increased with increasing number of position fixes. When the number of position fixes increased from 60 to 500, mean accuracy increased 46.7% at deciduous sites, 32.8% at coniferous sites, and 44.5% at open sites.

The average time required by the GPS receiver to lock onto four satellites and begin collecting positions varied from one to two minutes. The most time was spent collecting position fixes at coniferous sites.

No correlation was found between accuracy and the receiver's distance from the base-station. Nine replicates of 300 position fixes were averaged for six sites, which ranged from 43 kilometers to 247 kilometers from a Virginia Tech base-station. Mean accuracy ranged from 1.48 meters to 2.43 meters.

GPS position data were evaluated for ease of conversion to GIS formats. Conversion was accomplished without problems.



Multispectral photography