Transitioning from change detection to monitoring with remote sensing: A paradigm shift

Woodcock, Curtis E.; Loveland, Thomas R.; Herold, Martin; Bauer, Marvin E.


The use of time series analysis with moderate resolution satellite imagery is increasingly common, particularly since the advent of freely available Landsat data. Dense time series analysis is providing new information on the timing of landscape changes, as well as improving the quality and accuracy of information being derived from remote sensing. Perhaps most importantly, time series analysis is expanding the kinds of land surface change that can be monitored using remote sensing. In particular, more subtle changes in ecosystem health and condition and related to land use dynamics are being monitored. The result is a paradigm shift away from change detection, typically using two points in time, to monitoring, or an attempt to track change continuously in time. This trend holds many benefits, including the promise of near real-time monitoring. Anticipated future trends include more use of multiple sensors in monitoring activities, increased focus on the temporal accuracy of results, applications over larger areas and operational usage of time series analysis.