Skip Top Navigation

Research Reports

Remote Sensing Applications for Environmental Analysis in Transportation Planning: Application to the Washington State I-405 Corridor

Description: The project's major objective is to demonstrate and assess the applicability of commercial remote sensing products and spatial information technologies to environmental analysis in transportation planning, using the I-405 corridor in Washington State as a test case. The project consisted of six major tasks: 1) Undertake field study in two stages, first to collect ground-truth data prior to image analysis, and then to evaluate the image-analysis results against the "real-world." 2) Compile and evaluate available image data and fuse these data to create the best possible resource for image data analysis. 3) Characterize land use and land cover in the region by using ERDAS’s IMAGINE imaging processing software and customized software procedures for land cover classification on the image data. 4) Integrate the land use and land cover characterization from the previous task with geographic information systems (GIS) and other data to provide land use/land cover and transportation images, and related analysis, to support the NEPA process. 5) Develop estimates and compare the cost, value, and usefulness of information developed using conventional NEPA-study methods with those developed in this project. 6) Document the procedures, analysis, and findings to institute technology transfer steps for future NEPA analyses. The major products of this project include: a) A spatial database of image data from a variety of remote sensing sources, and derived and interpreted information in GIS format, including land use and land cover information; b) Software procedures that access multiple remote sensing and GIS (RS/GIS) data sources to derive land use and land cover information, and identify and delineate areas where proposed transportation development might cause adverse environmental impacts; c) Results of a case study of the costs, value, and usefulness of products derived from conventional data-gathering practices, compared to those developed in this study, based on the assessments of professionals who participated in the actual I-405 corridor Environmental Impact Statement process; and d) This report, which documents the methods and results of the research, and a companion guidebook on procedures for developing remote sensing - geographic information system (RS/GIS) products.

  • Date Published: August, 2004
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 593.1
  • Last Modified: April 20, 2007
  • Authors: Demin Xiong, Russell Lee, J. Bo Saulsbury, Elizabeth L. Lanzer and Albert Perez.
  • Originator: Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
  • # of Pages: 104 p., 4,956 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Costs, Environmental impact analysis, Field studies, Geographic information systems, Highway corridors, Image analysis, Land use, Mapping, Remote sensing, Transportation planning.
  • Keywords: Transportation, remote sensing, NEPA, land use, land cover mapping, environmental asssessment, I-405 corridor.
  • Related Publications: Guidance on Using Remote Sensing Applications for Environmental Analysis in Transportation Planning, (WA-RD 593.2).


This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008