A36 Direct estimation of area

Whenever the total inventory area is known, it is efficient to estimate areas, and area changes, via assessment of proportions, since that procedure will result in the highest accuracy. In cases where the total inventory area is not known or is subject to unacceptable uncertainty, an alternative procedure that involves a direct assessment of areas under different land-use classes can be applied. This approach can only be used when systematic sampling is applied; each sample point will represent an area corresponding to the size of the grid cell of the sample layout.

For example, when sample points are selected from a square systematic grid with 1000 metres distance between the points, each sample point will represent an area of 1 km • 1 km = 100 ha. Thus, if 15 plots fall within a specific land-use class of interest the area estimate will be 15 • 100 ha = 1500 ha.

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