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Manual mapping of drumlins in synthetic landscapes to assess operator effectiveness

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journal contribution
posted on 03.12.2014 by John Hillier, Mike J. Smith, R. Armugam, I. Barr, C.M. Boston, C.D. Clark, J. Ely, A. Fankl, Sarah L. Greenwood, L. Gosselin, C. Hattestrand, K. Hogan, A.L.C. Hughes, Stephen J. Livingstone, H. Lovell, M. McHenry, Y. Munoz, X.M. Pellicer, R. Pellitero, C. Robb, S. Roberson, D. Ruther, M. Spagnolo, Matthew R. Standell, C.R. Stokes, R. Storrar, Nicholas J. Tate, K. Wooldridge
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.


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.



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Journal of Maps


HILLIER, J.K. ... et al, 2014. Manual mapping of drumlins in synthetic landscapes to assess operator effectiveness. Journal of Maps, forthcoming.


Taylor and Francis / © J.K. Hillier


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

Publication date



This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Maps on 18 Sept 2014, available online:






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