Roundtable: Jared Kibele

April 25, 2018 @ 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Zoom Lounge

MORE-MAPS: A Suite of Methods and Open Source Software to Facilitate
Mapping of Submerged Habitats Via Multispectral Satellite Imagery
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Talk abstract:
Thematic maps of shallow submerged habitats are vitally, and
increasingly, important to ecological studies and resource management
efforts worldwide. Classification of high resolution multispectral
satellite imagery can be an efficient and cost effective means of
generating these maps. However, the classification process generally
requires collection and processing of complex geospatial ground-truth
data and the application of complex water column correction (WCC)
methods. Consequently, satellite based habitat mapping methods are not
accessible to the ecologists and resource managers who need to produce
and use these maps. Marine Optical Remote sEnsing Map and Assessment
Production System (MORE-MAPS) is a suite of methods and open source
software created to address this situation. MORE-MAPS includes Benthic
Photo Survey: a software tool for efficiently processing benthic
photos into ground truth shapefiles, and OpticalRS: a Python library
featuring depth estimation, WCC, and accuracy assessment methods. When
used in conjunction with existing open source GIS and image
classification software, MORE-MAPS provides an entirely free and open
source pathway for map users to start with input comprising
multispectral satellite imagery and relatively inexpensive field data
and produce a thematic habitat map accompanied by an accuracy
assessment error matrix. A detailed overview of MORE-MAPS will be
presented along with 2 case studies. MORE-MAPS was used to map
temperate rocky-reef habitats in and around 2 marine reserves in
northeastern New Zealand. In both cases, marked differences in kelp
cover were apparent between reefs within the reserve and those
outside. These case studies will demonstrate the broad applicability
of MORE-MAPS as tool for cost-effective habitat mapping, and will
specifically highlight its potential for the monitoring of marine
reserves. Current limitations and future research opportunities will
also be discussed.