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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 34, Issue 6 — November 2008

Assessing Urban Forest Canopy Cover Using Airborne or Satellite Imagery    (View PDF)

Jeffrey T. Walton, David J. Nowak, and Eric J. Greenfield

Abstract: With the availability of many sources of imagery and various digital classification techniques, assessing urban forest canopy cover is readily accessible to most urban forest managers. Understanding the capability and limitations of various types of imagery and classification methods is essential to interpreting canopy cover values. An overview of several remote sensing techniques used to assess urban forest canopy cover is presented. A case study comparing canopy cover percentages for Syracuse, New York, U.S. interprets the multiple values developed using different methods. Most methods produce relatively similar results, but the estimate based on the National Land Cover Database is much lower.

Keywords: Remote sensing; urban tree canopy.

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