Coastal wetlands are notoriously devilish to survey, both from the ground and from the air. Louisiana environmental authorities have routinely used 1-meter aerial imagery and ground surveys to map and monitor their coastal marshland. But that traditional approach is time consuming and vulnerable to inaccuracies. One scientist at a Louisiana environmental and geotechnical services company set out to improve traditional survey methodologies by combining unmanned aerial system (UAS) data with eCognition object-based imagery analysis (OBIA) technology. The integrated approach has not only proven its viability for vegetation mapping, it has yielded new business revenue streams for the company.

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