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The mosaicing project had two sub-projects, each designed to complement the underwater landscape mosaics. These two sub-projects explored the development of tools to automate or assist classification of underwater imagery. Secondary project objectives were to develop 3-D algorithms for improved reef mosaics and to evaluate underwater multi-spectral imaging for automated image classification.

Sub-project 1, 3D: One of the defining and most important attributes of coral reef communities is the 3D structure provided by stony corals. Because of the important role played by habitat complexity, monitoring tools able to document 3D topography can provide valuable information on reef structure and function that are not commonly obtained by standard monitoring methodologies that measure coral cover as the proportion of the bottom occupied by corals in a planar view. In order to develop a method that will allow measurements of 3-D structure from 2-D video mosaics we constructed 3-D terrain maps of objects within the mosaics using data acquired by stereo cameras. There is no web site for this sub-project yet, but results of similar work on this problem by Hongsheng Zhang when he was a student of team member Shahriar Negahdaripor are available on line.

Sub-project 2, Underwater multispectral imaging: Many current coral reef monitoring programs rely on acquisition of video or still imagery by scuba divers and data analysis using point counting techniques. Indeed, manual point counting is used to analyze the mosaics described on this web site, even though the mosaics themeselves are constructed using an automated process. Analysis of image data via point counting is labor intensive and time consuming. Therefore, developing the ability to automatically extract relevant ecological indices from underwater imagery would be of great benefit. We explored the use of multi-spectral imagery to automatically classify broad benthic classes in underwater imagery. There is no web site for this sub-project yet, but a paper and poster presented at the Oceans 2007 conference in Vancouver describe the technique and essential results.

In addition to the 3D and multispectral sub-projects, members of our mosaicing team have been working on other complementary projects, listed below.

Aerial Image Mosaicing: Application of the underwater video mosaic technology developed in this project to aerial imagery.