Thesis Title

Urban Change Detection of Springfield Missouri Using Remote Sensing Data


John Gibson

Date of Graduation

Summer 2001


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Kevin Mickus

Subject Categories

Remote Sensing | Transportation | Urban Studies and Planning


Methods to determine changes in the urban environment in Springfield, Missouri between 1984 and 1990 are discussed in this work. Using 1984 Landsat TM, 1989 Landsat TM and 1990 SPOT panchromatic data, changes in the urban environment are observed using fusion, differencing, band ratioing, principle component analysis, Brovey transformation and classification methods. These methods are discussed, and images that were created using these methods are analyzed. The best overall technique was fusion coupled with a 5/7 band ratio. These procedures allow the viewer to see the entire image with the desired changes separated by colors from existing sections of the city. Differencing isolated the changes better and separated urban highway construction phases. This technique, however, made existing sections of the city fuzzy, for comparison with older established areas in the same image. Transverse graphs using the digital numbers (DN's) of Landsat TM data were used to observe and determine construction stages of the James River Freeway. These transverses were used to determine reflectance values across the freeway. The reflectance values across these roadways indicated to some extent the materials that were used to construct the road. In the case of the James River Freeway, the phases of construction in certain sections of the freeway were apparent at the time the 1989 image was taken. Interviews with city officials were made to determine the cost of udating the present change detection system of using aerial photography to a method based on satellite imagery. Changes in the present system will probably not be implemented until after the year 2005. To convert to satellite technology the cost is estimated to be $650,000. Despite its initial costs, this technology is perpetual; it takes photographs of the earth's surface contnually. Although a conversion is eventually inevitable, at the moment the price of the conversion versus the usefulness of the results is presently not cost effective. Small areas such as Springfield may have difficulty justifying the cost of a conversion because the benefits versus the costs may not be realized until technological advances are made.


© John Gibson