Pixel-Based Image Compositing for Large-Area Dense Time Series Applications and Science


AbstractFree and open access to the more than 40 years of data captured in the Landsat archive, combined with improvements in standardized image products and increasing computer processing and storage capabilities, have enabled the production of large-area, cloud-free, surface reflectance pixel-based image composites. Best-available-pixel (BAP) composites represent a new paradigm in remote sensing that is no longer reliant on scene-based analysis. A time series of these BAP image composites affords novel opportunities to generate information products characterizing land cover, land cover change, and forest structural attributes in a manner that is dynamic, transparent, systematic, repeatable, and spatially exhaustive. Herein, we articulate the information needs associated with forest ecosystem science and monitoring in a Canadian context, and indicate how these new image compositing approaches and subsequent derived products can enable us to address these needs. We highlight some of the issues and opportunities associated with an image compositing approach and demonstrate annual composite products at a national-scale for a single year, with more detailed analyses for two prototype areas using 15 years of Landsat data. Recommendations concerning how to best link compositing decisions to the desired use of the composite (and the information need) are presented, along with future research directions.

Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing
Patrick Hostert
Patrick Hostert
Principal Investigator