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Mapping Residential Growth Using Landsat Thematic Mapper Data in Conjunction with Ancillary Data

Curtis V. Price

U.S. Geological Survey, 1608 Mt. View Road, Rapid City SD 57702, USA
Phone (605) 355-4560 ext. 242, Telecopier (605) 355-4523,

Residential growth was mapped by combining 1993 Landsat Thematic Mapper data, 1973 U.S. Geological Survey 1:250,000-scale land-use and land-cover data, and 1990 U.S. Bureau of the Census block-group-level housing data. The new method was tested for an area near Tacoma, Washington.

Spectral classes were developed from the 1993 Landsat data using clustering techniques. Each of 238 spectral classes was assigned a residential land-use probability based on its co-occurrence with 1973 residential land use. The amount of residential growth area in each block group was estimated using 1990 Census housing-age data. A threshold probability was chosen for each block group to select the estimated amount of residential growth within areas of 1973 undeveloped land use.

A reference data set of new residential land use was created from the 1973 USGS data and similar 1989 data. The reference data were compared with residential growth areas that were identified using the new method and with those identified from a similar method that does not incorporate Landsat data. The new method identified residential growth areas with an accuracy of 41 percent, compared with 25 percent using the older method. Further improvement may be possible using context-based algorithms to improve the spectral class probability estimates.

Presented and published:

1997, American Congress of Surveying and Mapping, American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Seattle, Wash., p. 726.

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