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UAS imagery protocols to map vegetation are transferable between dryland sites across an elevational gradient

posted on 2024-02-21, 19:53 authored by Patrick E. Clark

This dataset consists of UAS flight images from three sites along an elevation and precipitation gradient within Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed collected between June 4 and July 9, 2019. The lowest elevation site ('wbs1', 1,425 m) was vegetated by shrub steppe dominated Wyoming big sage (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis). Vegetation at the middle elevation site ('los1', 1,680 m) was shrub steppe dominated by low sage (Artemisia arbuscula). Shrub steppe at the highest elevation site ('mbs1', 2,110 m) was dominated by mountain big sage (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana) and Utah snowberry (Symphoricarpos oreophilus utahensis). A MicaSense RedEdge 3 sensor mounted on a DJI Matrice 600 Pro UAS platform was used to collect multispectral imagery of each site. The drone was flown by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 certified remote pilot between June 5 and July 9 2019. All flights were completed within two hours of solar noon. The RedEdge is a broadband multispectral sensor: blue (475nm), green (560nm), red (668nm), red edge (717nm), and near-infrared (840nm). The RedEdge sensor was radiometrically calibrated using a reflectance panel before and after each flight. A DJI Phantom 4 with the stock FC330 Red Green Blue (sRGB) camera was flown over each site to collect imagery at a finer spatial resolution to assist with training and test data for vegetation type classification.

Resources in this dataset:

  • Resource Title: UAS Imagery and Location Data - SCINet.File Name: Web Page, url: containing imagery (.zip) and location (.csv) data. The .zip files contain unprocessed visual (RGB) imagery in .jpg format acquired with a 12-MP DJI (Sony) FC330 camera and unprocessed multispectral, 5-band imagery in .tif format acquired with a MicaSense RedEdge-M sensor. Camera settings and EXIF information are embedded in the imagery files. The .csv files contain ground control point (GCP) labels and coordinate information recorded with an RTK instrument for GCP target (black/white cross) locations at the relevant study areas.SCINet users: The files can be accessed/retrieved with valid SCINet account at this location: /KEEP/ADCdatastorage/NAL/published/node424632/ See the SCINet File Transfer guide for more information on moving large files: users: The files can also be accessed through Globus by following this data link.The user will need to log in to Globus in order to retrieve this data. User accounts are free of charge with several options for signing on. Instructions for creating an account are on the login page.


USDA-ARS: 59-2052-8-002

National Science Foundation: OIA-1757324


Data contact name

Clark, Patrick E.

Data contact email


Ag Data Commons

Intended use

Dataset may be used to classify plant functional type, fractional photosynthetic cover, and multiple vegetation indices from the multispectral imagery.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

Three field sites on Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, Owyhee County, Idaho, USA. The sites are along an elevational and precipitation gradient. Wyoming big sage (*Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis*) is the most common shrub species at the Low site, which has an elevation of 1,425 m. The Middle site has an elevation of 1,680 m and is characterized by low sage (*Artemisia arbuscula*) and co-dominant forbs, tailcup, and silvery lupine (*Lupinus caudatus* and *Lupinus argenteus*). At the High site, with an elevation of 2,110 m, mountain big sage (*Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana*) and Utah snowberry (*Symphoricarpos oreophilus utahensis*) shrubs are co-dominant.

ISO Topic Category

  • biota
  • imageryBaseMapsEarthCover

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

vegetation; arid lands; streams; watersheds; shrubs; sage; Artemisia tridentata subsp. wyomingensis; Artemisia arbuscula; Artemisia tridentata subsp. vaseyana; Symphoricarpos oreophilus; canopy; photosynthesis; leaf area index; remote sensing; Idaho; unmanned aerial vehicles

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 215

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Clark, Patrick E. (2022). UAS imagery protocols to map vegetation are transferable between dryland sites across an elevational gradient. Ag Data Commons.