A systematized workflow for assessing land resources using readily available spatial datasets
Land degradation as well as land conservation maps at a (sub-) national scale are critical for project planning for sustainable land management. It has long been recognized that online accessible and low-cost raster data sets (e.g. Landsat imagery, SRTM-DEM's) provide a readily available basis for land resource assessments for developing countries. However, choice of spatial, temporal and spectral resolution of such data is often limited. Furthermore, while local expert knowledge on land
... tion processes is abundant, difficulties are often encountered when linking existing knowledge with modern approaches including GIS and RS. The aim of this study was to develop an easily applicable, standardized workflow for preliminary spatial assessments of land degradation and conservation, which also allows the integration of existing expert knowledge. The core of the developed method consists of a workflow for rule-based land resource assessment. In a systematic way, this workflow leads from predefined land degradation and conservation classes to field indicators, to suitable spatial proxy data, and finally to a set of rules for classification of spatial datasets. Pre-conditions are used to narrow the area of interest. Decision tree models are used for integrating the different rules. It can be concluded that the workflow presented assists experts from different disciplines in collaboration GIS/RS specialists in establishing a preliminary model for assessing land degradation and conservation in a spatially explicit manner. The workflow provides support when linking field indicators and spatial datasets, and when determining field indicators for groundtruthing.