Current issue: 53(3)
Under compilation: 53(4)
Two operative forest site class estimation methods utilizing satellite images have been developed for forest income taxation purposes. For this, two pixelwise classification methods and two post-processing methods for estimating forest site fertility are compared using different input data. The pixelwise methods are discriminant analysis, based on generalized squared distances, and logistic regression analysis. The results of pixelwise classifications are improved either with mode filtering within forest stands or assuming a Markov random field type dependence between pixels. The stand delineation is obtained by using ordinary segmentation techniques. Optionally, known stand boundaries given by the interpreter can be applied. The spectral values of images are corrected using a digital elevation model of the terrain. Some textural features are preliminary tested in classification. All methods are justified by using independent test data.
A test of the practical methods was carried out and a cost-benefit analysis computed. The estimated cost saving in site quality classification varies from 14% to 35% depending on the distribution of the site classes of the area. This means a saving of about 2.0–4.5 million FMK per year in site fertility classification for income taxation purposes. The cost savings would rise even to 60% if that version of the method were chosen where field checking is totally omitted. The classification accuracy at the forest holding level would still be similar to that of traditional method.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.