IGARSS 2010 - 2010 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium - July 25 - 30, 2010 - Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Community Remote Sensing: Coral Reef Habitat Mapping: Enabling Community Mapping and Monitoring


Geo-referenced photo transects of coral reefs by individual Fijian and Cook Islanders to augment satellite imagery. This project provides local communities and their management agencies with a means to collect field and satellite spatial information for baseline assessment and monitoring their coral reefs. By training a local community and the management agencies and NGOs that work there in techniques to collect and record relevant spatial information using commonly available tools, it promotes understanding of spatial information, ownership of the approach and leads to understanding and use of more complex spatial data sources, such as high spatial resolution satellite images.


University of Queensland, Australia, School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management; supported by Wildlife Conservation Society – Fiji Branch (WCS-Fiji), South Pacific Applied Geosciences Commission (SOPAC), and University of South Pacific (USP), all located in Suva, Fiji.


The project has developed and applied methods to map coral reef habitats at various spatial scales using field survey data in combination with Object Based Analysis and/or Supervised Classification of high spatial resolution satellite imagery. The field data are used for calibration and validation. A field approach was developed that can be used by anybody with access to GPS and underwater camera, to deliver georeferenced photo transects. As a result of our field and image approach we are involved in three separate projects that require coral reef habitat maps in Fiji and Cook Islands for NGO’s (Wildlife Conservation Society or South Pacific Applied Geosciences Commission) or University of South Pacific.


To be posted when available.


U Queensland Project Lead Dr. Chris Roelfsema (c.roelfsema@uq.edu.au)
U Queensland Project Academic AdvisorProfessor Stuart Phinn (s.phinn@uq.edu.au)
Wildlife Conservation Society – Fiji Branch (WCS-Fiji) LeadDr. Stacy Jupiter (sjupiter@wcs.org)
South Pacific Applied Geosciences Commission (SOPAC) LeadJens Kruger (jkruger@sopac.org)
University of South Pacific (USP) LeadJames Comley (comley_j@usp.ac.fj)
U Queensland Centre for Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Science Websitehttp://www.gpem.uq.edu.au/crssis
Wildlife Conservation Society – Fiji Branch (WCS-Fiji) Websitehttp://www.wcs.org/saving-wild-places/ocean/kubulau-seascape-fiji.aspx
South Pacific Applied Geosciences Commission (SOPAC) Websitehttp://ww.sopac.org/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=146
University of South Pacific (USP) Websitehttp://ias.fste.usp.ac.fj/index.php?id=2784


Example of georeferenced photo transects distributed over a coral reef environment, colour represent benthic composition derived from each photo (e.g. example photo of the branching coral) collected and analysed by Fiij islanders.

Capacity building for Fiji and Cook Islanders in coral reef habitat mapping.

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