In our era of data deluge, many folks, including myself, quest for ill-defined "high-resolution" datasets. I suspect that colloquial description of spatial resolution as "high" or "low" is and will continue to be a set of terms relative to the what was available in the recent past. However, I'm wondering: are there peer-reviewed conventions for subjective description of spatial resolution? Perhaps some sort of Beaufort scale for spatial resolution?


There is a scale for what you can extract from an image. At least, there is a US government definition: National Imagery Interpretability Rating Scale (NIIRS). There are documents referenced off that page, but it is a small group of authors and those papers are from a single conference in 1996, so perhaps "peer-reviewed" but probably not widely reviewed.

It also doesn't appear to exist as a public specification (as in, from a standards body). One of the GeoPackage spec versions included NIIRS (which would have been nice, since that would have provided a better spec definition to use) but it didn't survive the purges.

There is also a full motion video version of NIIRS called Video-NIIRS that was specified by the Motion Imagery Standards Board (also US Government). You can download the "Recommended Practice" document: RP-0901 from the NGA's web site.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.