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CIFOR's Deforestation Mapping Inter-comparison

A 2012 study conducted by CIFOR and the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation compared the work input and output performance of three different deforestation mapping approaches for the Juma Sustainable Development REDD project area in Brazil. Output from CLASlite version 2.3 was compared to the PRODES deforestation product that is published each year by the Brazilian Institute for Space Research (INPE) and results from a software package called ImageSVM. Basic differences in the three approaches include: (a) CLASlite is operated by the user for any region of the world and requires no ground calibration, (b) PRODES is a map product provided once per year by the Brazilian government covering the the Brazilian Legal Amazon, and (c) ImageSVM is a general mapping software requiring extensive ground-based training data.


The results showed that CLASlite and ImageSVM performed the best in terms of precision and accuracy. CLASlite provided results closest to known levels of forest cover and loss. In terms of user effort, CLASlite required less than half the time needed for mapping as compared to ImageSVM.  Much of this time difference was related to the fact that CLASlite needs no ground calibration, whereas ImageSVM requires extensive calibration in the field.


The results were published in a CIFOR-Amazonas Sustainable Foundation report in June 2012 authored by Floria Reimer, Jan Börner, and Sven Wunder, and was disseminated at the international Rio+20 conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


CIFOR's CLASlite Results


Image: A portion of the CLASlite mapping results carried out on the Juma REDD project region in Brazil using Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper satellite imagery. Each color represents a different year of forest cover loss. Adapted from Reimer et al. (2012).