|Low-cost very high resolution intertidal vegetation monitoring enabled by near-infrared kite aerial photography|
Pauly, K.; De Clerck, O. (2011). Low-cost very high resolution intertidal vegetation monitoring enabled by near-infrared kite aerial photography, in: Pauly, K. GIS-based environmental analysis, remote sensing and niche modeling of seaweed communities. pp. 169-186
In: Pauly, K. (2011). GIS-based environmental analysis, remote sensing and niche modeling of seaweed communities. PhD Thesis. Ghent University. Department of Biology, Phycology Research Group : Gent. 222 pp.
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With ecosystem services of intertidal habitats under rising pressure of human disturbance and climate change, monitoring habitat diversity is increasingly required. However, field-based surveys are time and resourceintensive and often do not provide spatially explicit information. While airborne (multi-spectral) photography and LIDA (Laser Imaging Detecting And Ranging) offer an efficient, very high resolution and high-quality solution, the costs for skilled crew and equipment often preclude their use in remote areas, for small reserves and in developing countries. We present a simple yet robust, low-cost, low-altitude aerial photography solution using a kite and off-the shelf camera equipment, resulting in photos covering the near-infrared part of the spectrum for vegetation monitoring. Photos can be mosaiced to generate 3D models, orthophotomosaics, vegetation indices and supervised classifications using low-cost computer vision and remote sensing software. We demonstrate the utility of kite aerial photography for intertidal monitoring in a case study in Northern France and discuss strengths and weaknesses of kite aerial photography.