Fusion of high resolution aerial multispectral and lidar data: Land cover in the context of urban mosquito habitat

Kyle A. Hartfield, Katheryn I. Landau, Willem J.D. van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Remotely sensed multi-spectral and -spatial data facilitates the study of mosquito-borne disease vectors and their response to land use and cover composition in the urban environment. In this study we assess the feasibility of integrating remotely sensed multispectral reflectance data and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)-derived height information to improve land use and land cover classification. Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analyses were used to compare and contrast the enhancements and accuracy of the multi-sensor urban land cover classifications. Eight urban land-cover classes were developed for the city of Tucson, Arizona, USA. These land cover classes focus on pervious and impervious surfaces and microclimate landscape attributes that impact mosquito habitat such as water ponds, residential structures, irrigated lawns, shrubs and trees, shade, and humidity. Results show that synergistic use of LiDAR, multispectral and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index data produced the most accurate urban land cover classification with a Kappa value of 0.88. Fusion of multi-sensor data leads to a better land cover product that is suitable for a variety of urban applications such as exploring the relationship between neighborhood composition and adult mosquito abundance data to inform public health issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2364-2383
Number of pages20
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Arizona
  • Data fusion
  • Land cover classification
  • LiDAR
  • Mosquito
  • Multispectral
  • Public health
  • Tucson
  • Urban
  • West nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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