What is the Direction of Land Change? A New Approach to Land-Change Analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 by the authors. Accurate characterization of the direction of land change is a neglected aspect of land dynamics. Knowledge on direction of historical land change can be useful information when understanding relative influence of different land-change drivers is of interest. In this study, we present a novel perspective on land-change analysis by focusing on directionality of change. To this end, we employed Maximum Cross-Correlation (MCC) approach to estimate the directional change in land cover in a dynamic river floodplain environment using Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) images. This approach has previously been used for detecting and measuring fluid and ice motions but not to study directional changes in land cover. We applied the MCC approach on land-cover class membership layers derived from fuzzy remote-sensing image classification. We tested the sensitivity of the resulting displacement vectors to three user-defined parameters-template size, search window size, and a threshold parameter to determine valid (non-noisy) displacement vectors-that directly affect the generation of change, or displacement, vectors; this has not previously been thoroughly investigated in any application domain. The results demonstrate that it is possible to quantitatively measure the rate of directional change in land cover in this floodplain environment using this particular approach. Sensitivity analyses indicate that template size and MCC threshold parameter are more influential on the displacement vectors than search window size. The results vary by land-cover class, suggesting that spatial configuration of land-cover classes should be taken into consideration in the implementation of the method.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • You, M., Filippi, A. M., Guneralp, I., & Guneralp, B.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • You, Mingde||Filippi, Anthony M||Guneralp, Inci||Guneralp, Burak

publication date

  • January 2017