Manual mapping of drumlins in synthetic landscapes to assess operator effectiveness

J.K. Hillier, M.J. Smith, R. Armugam, I. Barr, C.M. Boston, C.D. Clark, J. Ely, A. Frankl, S.L. Greenwood, L. Gosselin, C. Hättestrand, K. Hogan, A.L.C. Hughes, S.J. Livingstone, H. Lovell, M. McHenry, Y. Munoz, X. M. Pellicer, R. Pellitero, C. RobbS. Roberson, D. Ruther, M. Spagnolo, M. Standell, C.R. Stokes, R. Storrar, N.J. Tate, K. Woolridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Mapped topographic features are important for understanding processes that sculpt the Earth's surface. This paper presents maps that are the primary product of an exercise that brought together 27 researchers with an interest in landform mapping wherein the efficacy and causes of variation in mapping were tested using novel synthetic DEMs containing drumlins. The variation between interpreters (e.g. mapping philosophy, experience) and across the study region (e.g. woodland prevalence) opens these factors up to assessment. A priori known answers in the synthetics increase the number and strength of conclusions that may be drawn with respect to a traditional comparative study. Initial results suggest that overall detection rates are relatively low (34–40%), but reliability of mapping is higher (72–86%). The maps form a reference dataset.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-729
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Maps
Issue number5
Early online date18 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

The European Geophysical Union financially supported the workshop including the provision of travel grants to young researchers. Loughborough University and the CHES group in the Geography Department provided financial support and facilities for the workshop. Kathy Mather's quantitative MSc work, co-supervised by N. Woodcock, on drumlin morphology (Mather, 2008) acted as an early driver for this project. The NEXTMap DEM data were supplied to MS.


  • glacial landform
  • synthetic
  • drumlin
  • mapping
  • DEM
  • objective


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