Users' assessment of orthoimage photometric quality for visual interpretation of agricultural fields

Agnieszka Tarko*, Sytze de Bruin, Dominique Fasbender, Wim Devos, Arnold K. Bregt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Land cover identification and area quantification are key aspects of implementing the European Common Agriculture Policy. Legitimacy of support provided to farmers is monitored using the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS), with land cover identification performed by visual image interpretation. While the geometric orthoimage quality required for correct interpretation is well understood, little is known about the photometric quality needed for LPIS applications. This paper analyzes the orthoimage quality characteristics chosen by authors as being most suitable for visual identification of agricultural fields. We designed a survey to assess users' preferred brightness and contrast ranges for orthoimages used for LPIS purposes. Survey questions also tested the influence of a background color on the preferred orthoimage brightness and contrast, the preferred orthoimage format and color composite, assessments of orthoimages with shadowed areas, appreciation of image enhancements and, finally, consistency of individuals' preferred brightness and contrast settings across multiple sample images. We find that image appreciation is stable at the individual level, but preferences vary across respondents. We therefore recommend that LPIS operators be enabled to personalize photometric settings, such as brightness and contrast values, and to choose the displayed band combination from at least four spectral bands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4919-4936
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS)
  • Orthoimage quality assessment
  • Photometric quality
  • Quality assurance
  • Visual image interpretation


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