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Special Issue "GISc Contributions to the Study and Understanding of Geographies of Change"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sotirios Koukoulas

Department of Geography, University of the Aegean, Lofos Panepistimiou, Mytilene 81100, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Geographic Information Science; remote sensing; statistics; land change science

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Geo-environmental and Geo-socioeconomic changes, as well as their interactions, will be studied at a variety of scales in an attempt to explore the role of analytical tools and technologies in understanding changing geographies. The role of Geographical Information Science in mapping, analyzing, monitoring and modeling change will be presented in a series of articles, providing answers to research questions and problems that are suitable for GISc (Geographical Information Science contributions) analysis. 

This Special Issue will not attempt to answer all questions or connect all the dots in the complex puzzle of our changing world. It will however present examples of ways to quantify change, highlight patterns of geographical differentiation, explore spatial complexities and drivers of change and present some solutions that can lead to practices of sustainability. Planning for sustainability requires an interdisciplinary approach with an emphasis on the application of modern methodological developments in GISc and Earth Observation and this is the direction that this issue will take.

Papers incorporating novel and interesting Geospatial Science techniques to study change are particularly encouraged. Well prepared review papers are also welcomed. A thematic balance will also play a role in the selection of papers.

Prof. Dr. Sotirios Koukoulas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Spatial patterns of Environmental change
  • Spatial patterns of Socioeconomic change
  • Impacts of Climate change
  • Dynamic Simulation techniques
  • Spatio-temporal modeling and analysis of geographical problems

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Detecting Historical Vegetation Changes in the Dunhuang Oasis Protected Area Using Landsat Images
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1780; doi:10.3390/su9101780
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
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Abstract: Given its proximity to an artificial oasis, the Donghu Nature Reserve in the Dunhuang Oasis has faced environmental pressure and vegetation disturbances in recent decades. Satellite vegetation indices (VIs) can be used to detect such changes in vegetation if the satellite
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Abstract: Given its proximity to an artificial oasis, the Donghu Nature Reserve in the Dunhuang Oasis has faced environmental pressure and vegetation disturbances in recent decades. Satellite vegetation indices (VIs) can be used to detect such changes in vegetation if the satellite images are calibrated to surface reflectance (SR) values. The aim of this study was to select a suitable VI based on the Landsat Climate Data Record (CDR) products and the absolute radiation-corrected results of Landsat L1T images to detect the spatio-temporal changes in vegetation for the Donghu Reserve during 1986–2015. The results showed that the VI difference (ΔVI) images effectively reduced the changes in the source images. Compared with the other VIs, the soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI) displayed greater robustness to atmospheric effects in the two types of SR images and was more responsive to vegetation changes caused by human factors. From 1986 to 2015, the positive changes in vegetation dominated the overall change trend, with changes in vegetation in the reserve decreasing during 1990–1995, increasing until 2005–2010, and then decreasing again. The vegetation changes were mainly distributed at the edge of the artificial oasis outside the reserve. The detected changes in vegetation in the reserve highlight the increased human pressure on the reserve. Full article

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