A variance and covariance equation for area estimates with a Geographic Information System

P.A.J. van Oort, A. Stein, A.K. Bregt, S. de Bruin, J. Kuipers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Geographic Information Systems automatically calculate the area of a polygon from the coordinate values of the vertices that describe its boundary. Uncertainty in these coordinate values results in uncertainty in area estimates. Earlier articles showed how area uncertainty of individual polygons could be calculated. In this article we propose a covariance equation to quantify the impact of uncertainty in the position of a vertex on uncertainty in the area of all polygons sharing this vertex. The approach is based on the assumption of absence of spatial correlation in positional errors, but includes variation in the positional accuracy. The equations were implemented and applied to a case study area, described by a set of 97 adjacent polygons with different per unit area utility values (/ha). We were then able to calculate how uncertainty in the coordinate values propagated into uncertainty in the utility value of the complete set of polygons
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-356
JournalForest Science
Volume51
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • errors
  • map

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