Forest Mapping using Remote Sensing and GIS – A Case Study in Luang Phabang Province

Year: 2004-2005
Country: Lao PDR
Location within country: Luang Phabang province

The project aimed at monitoring and mapping the forest area covered in Luangphabang, Northern Lao PDR, by using various remote sensing data such as ASTER VNIR, JERS OPS and Landsat7 ETM+ satellite imageries.


The study area, Luang Phabang province is located in the north of Lao PDR. Visual interpretation was performed in this project to delineate landuse classes using false color composites of each remote sensing data available with the aid of ground truth survey and crop calendar. Training sites were selected based on the visual interpretation and the calculated NDVI image to perform supervised classification with the Maximum Likelihood method. The non-vegetation elements such as water and shade, concrete building and agricultural land were separately classified. The accuracy of the classification results has been evaluated using ground truth survey and existing forest map of 2000 from the Forestry Department. JERS OPS captured in almost the end of wet season gave the highest value of forest area approximately 1,339.55 km2, while Landsat7 ETM+ and ASTER VNIR captured in dry to very dry season gave an approximately of 1,125.01 km2 and 938.44 km2 of forest area, respectively.