International Journal of Digital Earth Special Issue Call for Papers

Remote Sensing of Land Use/Cover Changes in South and Southeast Asian Countries

International Journal of Digital Earth

Land Use/Cover Change (LU/CC) is one of the most important types of environmental change in South and Southeast Asian countries. Several studies suggest that LU/CC in these countries is in large part driven by population growth and economic development. In the region, changes that are most common include urban expansion, agricultural land loss, land abandonment, deforestation, logging, reforestation, etc.

Specific to South Asia, forest cover has been increasing in countries like India, Nepal and Bhutan due to sustainable afforestation measures; whereas, large-scale deforestation in southeast Asian countries is still continuing, for example due to oil palm plantation expansion driven by the international market demand in Malaysia and Indonesia. Small-scale deforestation in most of the Southeast Asian countries is due to slash and burn agriculture by indigenous people, driven by poverty and population growth. Logging activities are common in Myanmar and Cambodia.

With respect to urbanization, South and Southeast Asian countries contain 23 megacities, each with more than 10 million people. Megacities in these countries usually start as small urban clusters which are rapidly growing merging into conurbations. Rapid urbanization is driving agricultural land loss and agricultural intensification has been increasing due to less availability of land for growing food crops such as in India, Vietnam, and Thailand. The drivers of LUCC vary widely in the region and include such factors as land tenure, local economic development, government policies, inappropriate land management, land speculation, improved road networks, etc. In addition, variability in the weather, climate, and socioeconomic factors also drive LU/CC resulting in disruptions of biogeochemical cycles, radiation and the surface energy balance of the atmosphere.

Documenting the LU/CC and the associated impacts gains significance in the region, as the results can be useful for improved land management. Remote sensing due to its synoptic coverage, multi-temporal, multi-spectral and repetitive coverage capabilities can be effectively used to document LU/CC and associated impacts.

The current focus issue calls for articles that focus on the use of remote sensing and geospatial technologies in the following LU/CC areas focusing on South/Southeast Asia:

  • Use of optical, thermal, multispectral, hyperspectral, lidar and airborne remote sensing data for LUCC mapping, monitoring and impact assessment studies;
  • Remote sensing of forest cover changes and impacts on biogeochemical cycling.
  • Agricultural monitoring and land use change mapping including remote sensing of crop growth stage, crop calendars, crop production, farming practices and impacts on water/energy balance.
  • LUCC, urbanization and associated impacts (urban climate, air and water pollution, etc).
  • LUCC, fires, biomass burning and pollution impacts.
  • Use of remote sensing data for characterizing air pollution multiple sources and impacts
  • Integrating remote sensing data for emission inventories linking bottom up and top-down approaches.
  • Mapping and monitoring of land management practices, disturbances and interactions;
  • Detecting long term trends in LUCC and impacts on hydrological variables, such as runoff, evapotranspiration, and soil moisture.
  • Spatio-temporal data mining, modeling and analysis for LUCC data and impact assessment studies.
  • New tools and methods for LUCC data generation and dissemination.
  • Both the regional scientists as well as international researchers working on the above topics in the South/Southeast Asian region are invited to contribute to the focus issue.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions must follow the instructions to authors outlined on the Taylor & Francis web page for the International Journal of Digital Earth found: here. Both word and LaTeX templates are available on the web site and papers are typically 5000‐8000 words in length.

Papers should be submitted online at the International Journal of Digital Earth's Manuscript Central Site. New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre.

To ensure high quality papers published on the International Journal of Digital Earth, authors from non-English speaking countries are requested to have the paper edited by Professional English Editing companies, or researchers from native English speakers. It is the responsibility of the authors to pay for the associated editing fees.

*Please indicate the paper is submitted to Special Issue on “Remote Sensing of Land Use/Cover Changes in South and Southeast Asian Countries” during your submission.

The deadline for submission is 31 March 2018.

Editorial information

  • Special Issue Guest Editor: Krishna Vadrevu, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama, USA (
  • Special Issue Guest Editor: Andreas Heinimann, Center for Development and Environment and Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland (
  • Special Issue Guest Editor: Garik Gutman, NASA Headquarters, Washington D.C., USA (
  • Special Issue Guest Editor: Chris Justice, Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland College Park, USA (