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NDVI is found out using the division of subtraction and addition of bands. Is there a simpler index for finding out vegetation(or other physical characteristic)? For example, DVI=NearInfraRed-Red is a simple linear operation for finding vegetation. There might be other such simple operations on bands for finding different physical characteristics of a region.

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    Try a few combinations and see what you get, there is a finite number of ways you can combine 7 bands... I don't think you can get much simpler without giving false positives/negatives.. not all vegetation has the same IR spectrum and climatic conditions radically effect the signatures. Using NDVI is at least a recognized (some would say standard) method and isn't that hard to do. – Michael Stimson Aug 8 '16 at 23:28
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NDVI= (NIR-RED) / (NIR+RED)

Found this which may help - http://www.harrisgeospatial.com/docs/broadbandgreenness.html

Other resources which may be useful -

  1. https://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2013/07/24/band-combinations-for-landsat-8/

Band Combinations for Landsat 8 by kevin_butler on July 24, 2013 1763 208 50K Landsat 8 has been online for a couple of months now, and the images look incredible. While all of the bands from previous Landsat missions are still incorporated, there are a couple of new ones, such as the coastal blue band water penetration/aerosol detection and the cirrus cloud band for cloud masking and other applications. Here’s a rundown of some common band combinations applied to Landsat 8, displayed as a red, green, blue (RGB):

Natural Color 4 3 2 False Color (urban) 7 6 4 Color Infrared (vegetation) 5 4 3 Agriculture 6 5 2 Atmospheric Penetration 7 6 5 Healthy Vegetation 5 6 2 Land/Water 5 6 4 Natural With Atmospheric Removal 7 5 3 Shortwave Infrared 7 5 4 Vegetation Analysis 6 5 4

  1. http://landsat.usgs.gov/best_spectral_bands_to_use.php Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS)

Band Wavelength Useful for mapping Band 1 – coastal aerosol 0.43 - 0.45 coastal and aerosol studies Band 2 – blue 0.45 - 0.51 Bathymetric mapping, distinguishing soil from vegetation and deciduous from coniferous vegetation Band 3 - green 0.53 - 0.59 Emphasizes peak vegetation, which is useful for assessing plant vigor Band 4 - red 0.64 - 0.67 Discriminates vegetation slopes Band 5 - Near Infrared (NIR) 0.85-0.88 Emphasizes biomass content and shorelines Band 6 - Short-wave Infrared (SWIR) 1 1.57 - 1.65 Discriminates moisture content of soil and vegetation; penetrates thin clouds Band 7 - Short-wave Infrared (SWIR) 2 2.11 - 2.29 Improved moisture content of soil and vegetation and thin cloud penetration Band 8 - Panchromatic 0.50 - 0.68 15 meter resolution, sharper image definition Band 9 – Cirrus 1.36 - 1.38 Improved detection of cirrus cloud contamination Band 10 – TIRS 1 10.60 – 11.19 100 meter resolution, thermal mapping and estimated soil moisture Band 11 – TIRS 2 11.5 - 12.51 100 meter resolution, Improved thermal mapping and estimated soil moisture

  1. http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/?page_id=5377

  2. http://www.harrisgeospatial.com/Home/NewsUpdates/TabId/170/ArtMID/735/ArticleID/14305/The-Many-Band-Combinations-of-Landsat-8.aspx

All the best !

  • The first resource lists a whole bunch of vegetation indexes, both simple and complex. You might find something in there which fits your requirements. – SMAPS Aug 8 '16 at 23:36

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