West Australian Vegetation Extent

A methodological framework for a WA Vegetation Extent mapping and monitoring system.

The Challenge

Vegetation extent mapping and monitoring spatial information is required to reliably inform robust regulation and policy decisions by the WA Government relating to cumulative impact assessment, clearing, land use planning, management and conservation of native vegetation. However, there is no current vegetation extent and change (clearing) mapping for Western Australia that is publicly available and regularly updated. This project defined a methodology for regular identification and classification of vegetation cover over all of Western Australia using satellite data. 


Project partners included NGIS and Curtin University to deliver this project for Western Australia Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER). 

The Solution 

A recommended methodology framework to produce annual state-wide vegetation extent and change statistics using remote sensing satellite data at the spatial scale required for government reporting was produced. The two main products of the Western Australian Vegetation Extent (WAVE) system are expected to be: 

  • A vegetation classification product with sub-classes of exotic, native remnant and native revegetation 
  • An annual vegetation (native remnant) change product 

The development of vegetation extent and spatial change products is challenging across an area as large as WA due to the many different vegetation communities within the state. Modern cloud-computing resources, coupled with machine learning, can provide a viable solution to produce annual vegetation extent and spatial change products and a delivery mechanism for these products. The initial investment in methodology development and ongoing research to keep up to date with machine learning and cloud technology will ensure an efficient delivery system is developed and maintained. This system will provide timely information for the government and other stakeholders that is vital for decision-making about vegetation in WA. 


Vegetation maps produced from remote sensing satellite data provide the only way to determine vegetation change regularly and accurately across an area as large as the state of WA. Such a system enables ongoing vegetation detection for use in informing decisions on land use and land change based on the most up to date information, captured in the most economically viable way possible. 


Contact us at contact@frontiersi.com.au