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High Resolution Satellite Imagery for finding


Greenness Index and Locations for Planting
Avenue Trees
A.Anusha & A.Narmatha
Institute of Remote Sensing,
College of Engineering,
Anna University,
Chennai-600025.

Abstract:
This paper presents the use of GIS as a ‘Decision Support System’ for planting avenue trees. Chennai is taken as the study
area. Quick Bird imagery having a resolution of 0.61 m (panchromatic) and 2.4 m (multispectral) and LISS-III imagery
having a resolution of 23.5 m (multispectral) and 5 m (panchromatic) are used for our study. The green cover of Chennai is
found using the ERDAS software. From this, the Greenness Index is computed.

Locations for planting avenue trees are identified based upon the Greenness Index. Further, ground survey is done for those
areas to find out the local topography and soil conditions. The ground water potential and water quality for those areas are
analyzed. Depending on these factors the type of tree suitable for a particular area is identified.

1. Introduction:
An important step to preserve our ecological environment is to maintain the green cover of the cities. In addition they also
provide wildlife habitat enhancement. Trees can play an important role in reducing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere
by absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen. They also help us to combat with the problem of global warming.
Indiscriminate felling of trees in the past years for urbanization has resulted in decrease of vegetation in many city regions.
The distribution of greenery in the cities can be studied and analyzed using high resolution satellite imagery. Our work deals
with determination of the present area covered by greenery, the use of high resolution satellite imagery for finding out
suitable locations for placing avenue trees and the use of GIS based ‘Decision Support System’ to find suitable type of
avenue tree saplings which can be planted in those areas.

2. Study Area:
Our study area is Chennai, which is situated on the north-east end of Tamil Nadu on the coast of Bay of Bengal. It lies
between 12° 9' and 13° 9' of the northern latitude and 80° 12' and 80° 19’ of the southern longitude.

It covers an area of about 176 sq km. Chennai's green canopy is largely rain fed, and the rains have been known to be
capricious. Chennai's soil is mostly clay, shale and sandstone.

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Figure.1 A Satellite Image of Chennai

3. Methodology:

3.1 Data Collection:


The required data were collected from,

Data bank of Institute of Remote Sensing, Anna University.


Forestry Department, Tamil Nadu.
Department of Environment, Tamil Nadu.

3.2 Formula:
We define the formula of Greenness Index as follows:

Greenness Index of an area = Total Vegetated Area


–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Geographical boundary defining the area

3.3 Procedure:
The imagery along with the soil map, road network map and ground water potential map are obtained. The Chennai area is
first extracted from the imagery by overlaying the Chennai map on it and cropping the study area. The projection system
used in the map as well as the imagery should be the same. Otherwise the map projection is changed in accordance with
the imagery using the ENVI software. The extracted image is then rectified.

3.4 Greenness Index:


The Greenness Index is defined as the ratio between the total vegetated area and the total geographical area covered. Low
Greenness Index values indicate poor green cover that could be the result of climatic changes. Events that can cause low
values include moisture shortages and extreme temperatures and biotic interference. High Greenness Index values might
reflect ideal growing conditions.

3.5 Determination of Greenness Index:


To determine the Greenness Index, LISS-III (pan-sharpened) imagery of resolution 5 m is used. We have used ERDAS
software to find the Greenness Index. The extracted image is first classified. Classification is the process of sorting pixels
into a finite number of individual classes, or categories of data, based on their data file values. If a pixel satisfies a certain
set of criteria, then the pixel is assigned to the class that corresponds to that criterion. There are two ways to classify pixels
into different categories:

Supervised classification.
Unsupervised classification.

We have done unsupervised classification with ten iterations. Image interpretation is used to find the green covered area of
the extracted image. This image is compared with the classified image and in turn the vegetated area in the classified image

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is found.

The area covered by vegetation is found to be 3369.056 hectares.

The total area under study = 17761.456 hectares.

Thus the Greenness Index of Chennai = 0.1897

3.6 Planting Avenue Trees:


QuickBird imagery having the resolution of 0.61 m in the panchromatic image and 2.4 m in the multispectral image is used to
establish the locations for planting avenue trees. The imagery is first imported in ArcMap. The space available on either side
of the roads is found out for the study area. The following table is created in ArcGIS. It helps us to identify the species of
tree suitable for the particular space available.

Table 1

MAJOR TREES:

Scientific Name Common Name Height Width

Betula nigra River Birch (single stem) 40’-50’ 40’-50’


Carpinus betulus European Hornbeam 40’-60’ 30’-40’
Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigiata' European Hornbeam (upright 35’-40’ 20’-30’
form)
Celtis occidentalis Hackberry 40’-50’ 40’-50’
Cladasris lutea* Yellowwood 30’-50’ 40’-50’
Fagus grandifolia American Beech 50'-90' 50'-75'
Fagus sylvatica European Beech 50’-75’ 40’-60’
Ginko biloba Ginko (male, fruitless) 50’-80’ 40’-80’
Gleditsia tricanthos ‘inermis’ Honeylocust, thornless 50’-70’ 35’-50’
Kentucky Coffeetree (male,
Gymnocladus dioicus 60'-75' 40'-50'
seedless)
Liqudambar styrciflua Sweetgum (fruitless) 65’-75’ 40’-50’
‘Rotundiloba'
Nyssa sylvatica Blackgum 40’-70’ 35’-45’
Platanus x acerifolia London Planetree 70’-80’ 55’-65’
Quercus alba White Oak 60'-80' 60'-80'
Quercus lyrata Overcup Oak 45'-55' 45'-55'
Quercus bicolor Swamp White Oak 60’-80’ 50’-80’
Quercus macrocarpa Bur Oak 70'-80' 70'-85'
Quercus robur English Oak 70'-80' 75'-85'
Quercus rubra Northern Red Oak 60’-80’ 45’-60’
Quercus phellos Willow Oak 60’-75’ 40’-60’
Sophora japonica Japanese Pagoda Tree 40’-70’ 30’-40’
Taxodium distichum Bald Cypress 50'-70' 30'-35'
Tilia tomentosa Silver Linden 50’-60’ 50’-60’
Ulmus americana "Valley Forge" American Elm 60'-80' 30'-50'
Ulmus parvifolia Lacebark Elm 40’-45’ 45’-50’

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Zelkova serrata ‘Village Green' Village Green Zelkova 50’-60’ 50’-60’

Table 2

MAJOR TREES:
Scientific Name Common Name Height Width

Acer campestre Hedge Maple 30’-35’ 30’-35’


Acer ginnala Amur Maple 15’-20’ 15’-25
Acer griseum Paperbark Maple 20’-30’ 15’-25’
Amelanchier laevis* Allegheny Serviceberry 30’-40’ 15’-20’
Carpinus caroliniana American Hornbeam 20’-40’ 20’-30’
Cercis canadensis* “Redbud Texas White” 20’-30’ 15’-30’
Cercis Canadensis* Eastern Redbud 20’-30’ 15’-30’
Chinoanthus virginicus* Fringetree (tree form) 12’-20’ 12’-20’
Cornus florida * White Flowering Dogwood 20’-30’ 20’-30’
Cornus florida ‘rubra’* Pink Flowering Dogwood 20’-30’ 20’-30’
Cornus kousa* Kousa Dogwood 15’-20’ 15’-20’
Crataegus crusgalli ‘inermis'* Cockspur Hawthorn, thornless 25’-30’ 25’-35
Craetaegus virdis Green Hawthorn 20’-35’ 20’-35’
Koelruteria paniculata* Goldenraintree 30’-40’ 30’-40’
Malus x* Flowering Crabapple 20’-25’ 15’-20’
Ostria virginiana Ironwood 25'-40' 20'-30'
Parriotia persica Persian Parrotia 20'-40' 15'-30'
Prunus x incamp 'Okame'* Okame Cherry 15-‘25’ 15-‘20’
Quercus myrsinifolia Chinese Evergreen Oak 30’-35’ 30’-35’
Styax japonicus* Japanese Snowbell 20’-30’ 15’-25’
Syringia reticulate* Japanese lilac 20’-25’ 15’-20’

* denotes a flowering tree

3.7 Overlay Analysis and Decision Support System:


Superimposing two or more maps registered to a common coordinate system, either digitally or on a transparent material,
for the purpose of showing the relationships between features that occupy the same geographic space is referred to as
overlay analysis. If along with the road network map, soil map water quality map and ground water potential map are
overlaid then the suitable tree for that particular space, water quality and soil conditions can be identified. For this, overlay
analysis is done using ArcMap software. Thus overlay analysis acts as a ‘Decision Support System’ and it helps the user to
find out the particular type of tree which satisfies the local conditions.

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Figure.2 Overlay Analysis Using ArcMap

4. Results and Discussion:

The Greenness Index for Chennai is found to be 0.1897.


It is established that only 18.97% of Chennai is covered by greenery as against the ideal 33%.
The greenness index can be improved by planting avenue trees.
ARCGIS is used to create a ‘Decision Support System’ that helps the user to take decisions about suitable locations
for planting avenue trees.
By comparing the Greenness Index for various years the depletion of avenue trees for different areas can be
determined.
The Greenness Index can be monitored every year to out the efficiency of the planting project.
Calculation of Greenness Index for different zones of the city will show the distribution of greenery which will help the
administrator to take corrective actions.

5. Conclusion:

From the results mentioned above it is clearly seen that Remote Sensing serves as an important tool in monitoring
the green cover of city areas due to temporal data provided by the satellite imagery.
The digital classification methods are based on spectral signature and its accuracy depends upon the quality and
quantity of the sample area.
This method saves time and effort for data collection
Ground visits are necessary for verification of data interpreted from satellite imagery.

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