Description and extraction of urban fragmentation indices: The Indifrag tool

M. Sapena, L.A. Ruiz


The concept of land fragmentation is studied and analysed in this paper by means of remote sensing and GIS techniques. A new tool is presented, IndiFrag, which calculates a variety of metrics to characterise landscape fragmentation using as input data LULC classification data in vector format. The tool includes an exhaustive set of fragmentation indices, and allows its application to cartographic objects at several hierarchical levels. These indices are divided into five groups according to the measured properties: area and perimeter, shape, aggregation, diversity, and contrast. The tool and methods are applied to data derived from an object-based classification and neighbourhood boundaries from the city of Valencia, in order to assess the urban use fragmentation. Urban fragmentation indices and maps of the Valencian administrative neighbourhoods are generated and interpreted. The development of IndiFrag constitutes a preliminary step to create a methodology that quantifies urban evolution through the time in terms of fragmentation, as well as to explore the relations from a geographical perspective.


IndiFrag; fragmentation indices; urban fragmentation; urban sprawl; classification; LULC; remote sensing

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