Environmental Skeptics and Critics, 2013, 2(3): 97-107
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Forest and land use mapping using Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System: A case study on model system

Prabhat Kumar Rai
Department of Environmental Science, School of Earth Science and Natural Resource Management, Mizoram University Tanhril, Aizawl-796004, Mizoram, India

Received 28 February 2013;Accepted 3 April 2013;Published online 1 September 2013

Remote sensing and geospatial technologies find tremendous application in rapid spatial and temporal monitoring as well as assessment of tropical forest resources and hence in formulation of concrete policy frameworks for their sustainable management. Present paper provides an overview on application of remote sensing in forestry and ecology with a case study which may be further extrapolated in other Indian Himalayan regions of North-East India. The case study used an IKONOS (2001) image, Arc View ver. 3.2, and ERDAS IMAGINE ver. 9.1 in order to investigate the forest/vegetation types/land cover mapping of Forest Research Institute campus (FRI), Dehradun, India (as model system) through visual image interpretation. In the present case study, Chir pine was the dominant vegetation type covering major area of plantation inside FRI campus followed by Sal, Teak, Cassia, Cupressus and mixed vegetation with intermittent built up areas. Since FRI consists of huge plantations, separated in a segmented way, the site was feasible for learners of vegetation or forest mapping in an effective and systematic way. In nutshell, vegetation type/land use mapping through visual interpretation may be a valuable tool in monitoring, assessment and conservation planning of forests.

Keywords remote sensing;biodiversity;sustainable development;vegetation mapping;visual image interpretation;land use.

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