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An Evaluation of Fractal Surface Measurement Methods for Characterizing Landscape Complexity from Remote-Sensing ImageryThe rapid increase in digital data volumes from new and existing sensors necessitates the need for efficient analytical tools for extracting information. We developed an integrated software package called ICAMS (Image Characterization and Modeling System) to provide specialized spatial analytical functions for interpreting remote sensing data. This paper evaluates the three fractal dimension measurement methods: isarithm, variogram, and triangular prism, along with the spatial autocorrelation measurement methods Moran's I and Geary's C, that have been implemented in ICAMS. A modified triangular prism method was proposed and implemented. Results from analyzing 25 simulated surfaces having known fractal dimensions show that both the isarithm and triangular prism methods can accurately measure a range of fractal surfaces. The triangular prism method is most accurate at estimating the fractal dimension of higher spatial complexity, but it is sensitive to contrast stretching. The variogram method is a comparatively poor estimator for all of the surfaces, particularly those with higher fractal dimensions. Similar to the fractal techniques, the spatial autocorrelation techniques are found to be useful to measure complex images but not images with low dimensionality. These fractal measurement methods can be applied directly to unclassified images and could serve as a tool for change detection and data mining.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Lam, Nina Siu-Ngan (Louisiana State Univ. Baton Rouge, LA United States)
Qiu, Hong-Lie (California State Univ. Los Angeles, CA United States)
Quattrochi, Dale A. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Emerson, Charles W. (University of Western Michigan Kalamazoo, MI United States)
Arnold, James E.
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2001
Subject Category
Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.