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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?

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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.

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