Student Led Area Measurement Assessments Using Virtual Globes and Pictometry Web-based Interface within an Undergraduate Spatial Science Curriculum

David Kulhavy, I-Kuai Hung, Daniel Unger, Yanli Zhang

Abstract


The use of Virtual Globes and Pictometry continues to expand and develop in undergraduate spatial science education. Spatial science undergraduates measured the area of 30 rectangles on the earth’s surface and compared them to Pictometry hyperspectral imagery measurements within a web-based interface and the Google Earth interface compared to ArcGIS Explorer, Map Developers and ArcMap using the ArcMap 10.5.2 interface. An analysis of variance of the absolute mean area errors (p-value of 0.009271) concluded the accuracy of the five area measurements were statistically different at the 95% confidence interval. A Tukey pair-wise test found that the Pictometry and Google Earth methods were more accurate than the ArcGIS Explorer, Map Developers and ArcMap methods. The lowest standard deviation of errors (72.6 sq. ft.) for Pictometry was the most accurate and precise method for on-screen area measurement, followed by Google Earth (SD = 205.0 sq. ft.). The high variation of area measurement error from ArcMap, Map Developers, and ArcGIS Explorer made them less reliable as an alternative to field measurements with ArcMap the worst (SD = 915.1 sq. ft.). The results indicate that Pictometry and Google Earth could both be used to accurately estimate area using on-screen measurements compared to in situ area measurement assessments.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22158/jecs.v3n1p53

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