n Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie - Visuele interpretasie van ASTER-satellietdata Deel II : grondgebruikkartering in Mpumalanga, Suid-Afrika

Volume 26, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0254-3486
  • E-ISSN: 2222-4173


Since the initiation in 1960 of the era of satellite remote sensing to detect the different characteristics of the earth, a powerful tool was created to aid researchers. Many land-use studies were undertaken using Landsat MSS, Landsat TM and ETM, as well as SPOT satellite data. The application of these data to the mapping of land use and land cover at smaller scales was constrained by the limited spectral and/or spatial resolution of the data provided by these satellite sensors. In view of the relatively high cost of SPOT data, and uncertainty regarding the future continuation of the Landsat series, alternative data sources need to be investigated. In the absence of published previous research on this issue in South Africa, the purpose of this article is to investigate the value of visual interpretation of ASTER satellite images for the identification and mapping of land-use in an area in South Africa. The study area is situated in Mpumalanga, in the area of Witbank, around the Witbank and Doorndraai dams. This area is characterised by a variety of urban, rural and industrial land uses. Digital image processing of one Landsat 5 TM, one Landsat 7 ETM and one ASTER satellite image was undertaken, including atmospheric correction and georeferencing, natural colour composites, photo infrared colour composites (or false colour satellite images), band ratios, Normalised Difference Indices, as well as the Brightness, Greenness and Wetness Indices. The efficacy with which land use could be identified through the visual interpretation of the processed Landsat 5 TM, Landsat 7 TM and ASTER satellite images was compared. The published 1:50 000 topographical maps of the area were used for the purpose of initial verification. Findings of the visual interpretation process were verified by field visits to the study area. The study found that the ASTER satellite data produced clearer results and therefore have a higher mapping ability and capacity than the Landsat satellite data. Hence, it is anticipated that the use of the full range of the spectral resolution of the ASTER satellite data - which were not available for this study - in statistical pattern recognition and classification methods will enhance the value of the process. Statistical methods are often used to produce visual information which could be applied to prepare land-use change inventories. This should be addressed in future research projects. Should the Landsat programme be terminated, ASTER satellite data might provide the best alternative for a variety of research projects, but if the Landsat project is continued, the ASTER satellite data could be used very effectively in conjunction with the Landsat satellite data. Since it is foreseen that the ASTER satellite data will be available for at least the next 12 to 15 years, it will continue to provide exciting possibilities for the development of programmes to monitor land-use and land-use change. This could then be used by all three levels of government to reach their goals in terms of agricultural planning, town and regional planning and environmental management. These requirements are described in the Integrated Development Programmes (IDP) of the different local governments.

Die waarde van visuele interpretasie van ASTER-satellietbeelde vir die herkenning en kartering van grondgebruik word ondersoek in 'n studiegebied geleë in die omgewing van Witbank in Mpumalanga. Die gebied word gekenmerk deur 'n verskeidenheid landelike en industriële grondgebruike. Die effektiwiteit waarmee grondgebruik deur middel van visuele interpretasie van Landsat 5 TM, Landsat 7 ETM en ASTER-satellietbeelde herken en gekarteer kon word, is vergelyk. Topografiese kaarte van die gebied is as grondkontrole gebruik. Bevindinge van die visuele interpretasie is met veldbesoeke gekontroleer. Daar is bevind dat ASTER-data duideliker resultate lewer en dus beter karteringsvermoë en karteringskapasiteit as Landsat-data lewer. Daar word in die vooruitsig gestel dat, indien die volle spektrale resolusie van die ASTER-data met behulp van syferkundige patroonherkenning en - klassifikasiemetodes aangewend word om grondgebruiksinventarisse op te stel, aansienlike waarde tot die proses toegevoeg kan word. Die volle spektrale resolusie van die ASTER-data was nie vir die studie waarop hierdie artikel gebaseer is, beskikbaar nie. Die vooruitsig dat ASTER-satellietdata vir die volgende 12 tot 15 jaar beskikbaar sal wees, bied opwindende moontlikhede vir die ontwikkeling van moniteringsprogramme met betrekking tot grondgebruiksverandering wat op al drie owerheidsvlakke (nasionaal, provinsiaal en munisipaal) aangewend kan word. ASTER data kan veral gebruik word ter bereiking van die owerhede se verantwoordelikhede ten opsigte van landboukundige beplanning, stads- en streeksbeplanning en omgewingsbestuur, soos uiteengesit in die vereistes van die Geïntegreerde Ontwikkelingsprogramme ('Integrated Development Programmes' (IDP)) van die onderskeie plaaslike owerhede.

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