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Posted on May 5th, 2020

In Focus – Apollo Mapping Imagery & Academia: Estimating Impervious Surface Cover

Over the many years, Apollo Mapping has helped a countless number of academics and professors source the proper imagery for their grant-funded research budgets. Whether it is 8-band multispectral and short-wave infrared (SWIR) WorldView-3 satellite imagery for land-use land-cover mapping; 50-cm digital elevation models (DEMs) for archaeological research; or synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for monitoring weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in remote regions, we have decades of expertise finding the correct geospatial data source for your next project.

Impervious surface percent as predicted by Skeen’s neural network model using a July 2015 Landsat 8 image.

In this regular series, In Focus, we scour the Internet to find former Apollo Mapping clients who used our satellite imagery and/or DEMs in their academic research. So without further ado, here is this month’s featured academic article.

Article Title, Author & Academic Institution: Estimating Impervious Surface Cover in Flathead County, Montana, James Andrew Skeen, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Key Scientific Discipline(s): geography, neural networks and remote sensing

Executive Summary: Impervious surfaces were extracted from a collection of four Landsat 8 images using a neural network model. The extracted impervious surfaces were then compared to ground truth data, including NAIP and 80-cm IKONOS satellite imagery, and found to be moderately predictive even in areas of rapid land-use change and urban growth.

Commercial Satellite Imagery Datasets Used: 80-cm 4-band IKONOS

Are you a former Apollo Mapping academic client who would like to feature your research in a future edition of In Focus? If so, send us an email at, we would be happy to hear from you again!

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