Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An Automated Feature Extraction Procedure to Monitor Urban Encroachment Impacting Military Installations.

Sam Jackson, US Army ERDC, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Environmental Lab (CEERD-EE-C), Vicksburg, MS 39180

There are growing concerns about the effects of urban encroachment occurring near military installations. Urban growth and development infringing upon a military installation, in this case Fort Benning, GA, negatively influences the installation's ability to conduct training and maintain combat readiness. These negative factors greatly hinder the viability of the installation. The primary objective of this study was to monitor urban encroachment affecting Fort Benning. A secondary objective was to utilize an efficient, more automated approach to extract urban features from low cost, readily available satellite imagery. Assisted feature extraction software (Feature Analyst, version 4.0) was used to derive urban area estimates, which can be used to monitor the extent and location of urban expansion occurring near the installation. Landsat data were acquired during leaf-off conditions for the following dates: Dec 1999, Jan 2001, Jan 2003, and Dec 2003. To assess urban growth over time, a trend analysis was performed based on urban delineations from these periodic time intervals beginning in Dec 1999 and continuing to Dec 2003. Urban growth has steadily increased by a rate of about three percent per time interval. This paper describes the procedures used to extract characteristic urban features from the available satellite imagery and evaluates relative change and urban growth over time.