How valuable is remotely sensed information? The case of tropical deforestation modelling

Publication Type  Journal Article
Authors  Bounfour, A.; Lambin, E. F.
Year  1999
Name of Journal  Space Policy
Volume  15
Number  3
Pages  149-158
Abstract  An economic approach to remote-sensing applications needs to be developed to demonstrate the cost-advantage ratio of earth observation for decision makers. This article aims to conduct such an analysis of the information derived by remote sensing for a specific operational project, following some general chemical consideration about the economic value the economic value of information highlight that: of information. In our study of tropical deforestation modelling the main advantages of the remote-sensing-based information system came from: (i) an improvement of decision making as decisions could be made with a higher degree of confidence, leading to a shorter and less expensive decision cycle, and to earlier implementation of decisions; and (ii) avoidance of bad decisions, as the rate of project failure, and the associated resource wastes, was expected to decrease as a result of the availability of more accurate information. The costs of the model development and calibration and model implementation are also discussed. The economic approach is then generalised to three generic categories of remote-sensing projects (private, public with short-term implications and public with long-term implications).
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