Visualizing uncertainty in multi-spectral remotely sensed imagery

Lucy Bastin, Peter F. Fisher, Jo Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Error and uncertainty in remotely sensed data come from several sources, and can be increased or mitigated by the processing to which that data is subjected (e.g. resampling, atmospheric correction). Historically the effects of such uncertainty have only been considered overall and evaluated in a confusion matrix which becomes high-level meta-data, and so is commonly ignored. However, some of the sources of uncertainty can be explicity identified and modelled, and their effects (which often vary across space and time) visualized. Others can be considered overall, but their spatial effects can still be visualized. This process of visualization is of particular value for users who need to assess the importance of data uncertainty for their own practical applications. This paper describes a Java-based toolkit, which uses interactive and linked views to enable visualization of data uncertainty by a variety of means. This allows users to consider error and uncertainty as integral elements of image data, to be viewed and explored, rather than as labels or indices attached to the data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-350
Number of pages14
JournalComputers and Geosciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2002


  • uncertainty
  • sub-pixel phenomena
  • visualization
  • exploratory analysis


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