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Change Detection

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Encyclopedia of GIS


Detection of changes; Digital change detection methods; Land cover change detection


Change Detection can be defined as the process of identifying differences in the state of an object or phenomenon by observing it at different times [1]. This process is usually applied to earth surface changes at two or more times. The primary source of data is geographic and is usually in digital format (e. g., satellite imagery), analog format (e. g., aerial photos), or vector format (e. g., feature maps). Ancillary data (e. g., historical, economic, etc.) can also be used.

Historical Background

Change detection history starts with the history of remote sensing and especially the first aerial photography taken in 1859 by Gaspard Felix Tournachon, also known as Nadar. Thereafter, the development of change detection is closely associated with military technology during world wars I and II and the strategic advantage provided by temporal information acquired by remote sensing....

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Recommended Reading

  1. Singh, A.: Digital change detection techniques using remotely‐sensed data. Int. J. Remote Sens. 10(6), 989–1003 (1989)

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© 2008 Springer-Verlag

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Théau, J. (2008). Change Detection. In: Shekhar, S., Xiong, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of GIS. Springer, Boston, MA.

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