Inexpensive Method to Assess Mangroves Forest through the Use of Open Source Software and Data Available Freely in Public Domain


Mapping and assessment of mangrove environment are crucial since the mangrove has an important role in the process of human-environment interaction. In Indonesia alone, 25% of South East Asia's mangroves available are under threat. Recognizing the availability and the ability of new sensor of Landsat data, this study investigates the use of Landsat ETM + 7 and Landsat 8, acquired in 2002 and 2013 respectively, for assessing the extent of mangroves along the South Sulawesi’s coastline. For each year, a supervised classification of the mangrove was performed using open source GRASS GIS software. The resulting maps were then compared to quantify the change. Field work activities were conducted and confirmed with the changes that occurred in the study area.  Considering the accuracy assessment, our study shows that the RGB composite color-supervised classification is better than band ratio-supervised classification methods. By linking the open source software with the Landsat data and Google Earth satellite imagery that is available in public domain, mangroves forest conversion and changes can be observed remotely. Ground truth surveys confirmed that, decreases of mangroves forest is due to the expansion of fishpond activity. This technique could potentially allow rapid, inexpensive remote monitoring of cascading, indirect effects of human activities to mangroves forest.

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Ramdani, F. , Rahman, S. and Setiani, P. (2015) Inexpensive Method to Assess Mangroves Forest through the Use of Open Source Software and Data Available Freely in Public Domain. Journal of Geographic Information System, 7, 43-57. doi: 10.4236/jgis.2015.71004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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