Synergism between human interpretation and digital pattern recognition in preparation of thematic maps

Wayne L. Myers, Barry M. Evans, George M. Baumer, Douglas Heivly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Recent history of thematic mapping from remotely sensed data has been characterized by a dichotomy between human photointerpretation methods and digital pattern recognition methods. Despite a decade of effort to achieve completely automated delineation of thematic classes, photointerpretive techniques remain the standard of comparison for detailed thematic mapping. Computerized pattern recognition techniques handle certain thematic categories reasonably well, but fail to produce satisfactory results for categories having substantial elements of spatial context inherent in their definitions. An integrated manual/digital approach to thematic mapping has been developed that permits utilization of computers and pattern recognition in conjunction with human contextual analysis capabilities. The human analyst remains in control throughout the mapping process, being able to interact with and override algorithmic designations at any stage. Interactive workstations and integration of digital image analysis systems with advanced geographic information systems permit compositing of data sources while promoting partnership between man and machine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-96
Number of pages12
JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Science Applications


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