Multi-temporal satellite imagery can be used to map species level vegetation across large areas. This is due to the fact that plants have unique spectral signatures in the electromagnetic spectrum and satellite imagery collects data from specific areas of the electromagnetic spectrum in different wavelengths (or bands) and over different time periods. However, in order to use satellite imagery to map vegetation using spectral signatures, vegetation information from the ground is needed to “train and validate” the satellite imagery. One of the ways of collecting vegetation information is using signature plots. Signature plots are high resolution local images collected with a digital camera of ground vegetation in a specific environment. These signature plots can then be analyzed using a computer software called SamplePoint in order to produce a percent vegetation cover for different vegetation species for the area which the camera covers. The percent vegetation cover information can then be used to train and validate the satellite imagery. SamplePoint offers a unique way to expand small physical observations to large landscapes.
Perritte, Silvia; Carter-Cram, Kate; Von Lintig, Matt; Spaete, Luke; and Enterkine, Josh, "Using SamplePoint to Determine Vegetation Percent Cover in a Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystem" (2017). 2017 Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Conference.