Using multi-temporal imagery to improve mapping of forested roads in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Document Type

Conference Paper/Presentation

Publication Date



While roads provide transportation for people and goods, there are a greater number of negative ecological impacts that stem from road network. A significant impact of concern for more rural roads is an increase in the number of road-stream crossings which can cause fish passage issues, impact in-stream habitat, and affect stream sedimentation. While multiple studies have examined and quantified the effects roads have on landscape structures, many may have been based on incomplete data sets. An updated and improved road data set is necessary to draw inferences that quantify the total impact that a road network has on a landscape. The purpose of this project was to develop an updated and improved regional roads data layer through interpretation of existing imagery, with the resulting GIS layer being applied in ecological analysis and planning. Preliminary investigations of forested watersheds in Michigan's Upper Peninsula by the project team had shown that as few as 1/7 of the roads in these watersheds are captured by existing GIS layers. The resulting updated road dataset was used to calculate the total mileage added and was further analyzed to indicate any location where a road and stream intersect and compared to the results using existing roads layer.

Publisher's Statement

© 2015 The authors.

Publication Title

IAGLR 58th Annual Conference on Great Lakes Research