Increasing Spatial Detail of Burned Scar Maps Using IRS‑AWiFS Data for Mediterranean Europe

Remote Sensing, 2012, 4(3), 726-744

Fernando Sedano, Pieter Kempeneers, Peter Strobl, Daniel McInerney and Jesús San Miguel

“A two stage burned scar detection approach is applied to produce a burned scar map for Mediterranean Europe using IRS-AWiFS imagery acquired at the end of the 2009 fire season. The first stage identified burned scar seeds based on a learning algorithm (Artificial Neural Network) coupled with a bootstrap aggregation process. The second stage implemented a region growing process to extend the area of the burned scars. Several ancillary datasets were used for the accuracy assessment and a final visual check was performed to refine the burned scar product. Training data for the learning algorithm were obtained from MODIS-based polygons, which were generated by the Rapid Damage Assessment module of the European Forest Fire Information System. The map produced from this research is the first attempt to increase the spatial detail of current burned scar maps for the Mediterranean region. The map has been analyzed and compared to existing burned area polygons from the European Forest Fire Information System. The comparison showed that the IRS-AWiFS-based burned scar map improved the delineation of burn scars; in addition the process identified a number of small burned scars that were not detected on lower resolution sensor data. Nonetheless, the results do not clearly support the improved capability for the detection of smaller burned scars.

Snapshots in North-west Spain (ETRS89/LAEA projection) corresponding to: (A) Near infrared IRS-AWiFS; (B) EFFIS-RDA burned scar; (C) IRS-AWiFS-based burned scars.

Snapshots in North-west Spain (ETRS89/LAEA projection) corresponding to:
(A) Near infrared IRS-AWiFS; (B) EFFIS-RDA burned scar; (C) IRS-AWiFS-based
burned scars.

“A number of reasons can be provided for the under-detection of burned scars, these include: the lack of a full coverage and cloud free imagery, the time lag between forest fires and image acquisition date and the occurrence of fires after the image acquisition dates. On the other hand, the limited spectral information combined with the presence of undetected cloud shadows and shaded slopes are reasons for the over-estimation of small burned scars.”

A Spatial Analysis of Individual- and Neighborhood-Level Determinants of Malaria Incidence in Adults, Ontario, Canada

Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, Volume 18, Number 5—May 2012

Rose Eckhardt, Lea Berrang-Ford, Nancy A. Ross, Dylan R. Pillai, and David L. Buckeridge

“Malaria, once endemic in Canada, is now restricted to imported cases. Imported malaria in Canada has not been examined recently in the context of increased international mobility, which may influence incidence of imported and autochthonous cases. Surveillance of imported cases can highlight high-risk populations and help target prevention and control measures. To identify geographic and individual determinants of malaria incidence in Ontario, Canada, we conducted a descriptive spatial analysis. We then compared characteristics of case-patients and controls.

Percentage of residents in a neighborhood reporting immigration from malaria-endemic areas, greater Toronto area, Ontario, Canada, 2008–2009.

Percentage of residents in a neighborhood reporting immigration from malaria-endemic areas, greater Toronto area, Ontario, Canada, 2008–2009. Red dots, malaria case-patients (positive test results); blue circles, controls (negative test results).

“Case-patients were significantly more likely to be male and live in low-income neighborhoods that had a higher proportion of residents who had emigrated from malaria-endemic regions. This method’s usefulness in clarifying the local patterns of imported malaria in Ontario shows its potential to help identify areas and populations at highest risk for imported and emerging infectious disease.”