NIIRS Civil NIIRS Reference Guide

Appendix II:
Additional NIIRS Criteria


Civil NIIRS Reference Guide

II-1. Additional NIIRS Criteria

In addition to the Civil NIIRS, a number of additional criteria (agricultural, cultural, and natural) appear in this Appendix as shown in Table II-1 through Table II-3, respectively. The values assigned to these NIIRS Criteria are in "decimal" NIIRS. This format differs from the one-page scale (Civil NIIRS) where the criteria are restricted to whole number NIIRS values.

The decimal NIIRS values were statistically derived from the formal evaluations conducted as part of the NIIRS development effort. Consequently, there is some variability in the decimal NIIRS ratings associated with these criteria. Therefore, analysts should not attach great importance to small differences in the decimal NIIRS values, e.g., differences of 0.1 or 0.2 NIIRS.


Civil NIIRS Reference Guide

Table II-1. Agricultural Criteria

Detect large (i.e., greater than 100 acre) slash and burn clearings in jungle areas. (NIIRS 1.4)
Identify long-lot land ownership patterns along major waterways. (NIIRS 1.7)

Detect forest clearings in suspected coca growing areas. (NIIRS 2.4)
Detect windbreaks (i.e., rows of trees) between fields. (NIIRS 2.6)
Detect forest clearings m suspected opium growing areas. (NIIRS 2.7)

Identify the path of a tornado through crop fields. (NIIRS 3.3)
Detect small (e.g., less than one acre) forest clearings in suspected opium growing areas. (NIIRS 3.3)
Detect individual large buildings (e.g., house, barn) in a farmstead. (NIIRS 3.3)
Detect slash and burn field abandonment in a jungle through observation of regrowth. (NIIRS 3.3)
Distinguish between crop land and pasture land. (NIIRS 3.4)
Detect hay mowing. (NIIRS 3.5)
Detect mechanized grain harvesting operations. (NIIRS 3.6)

Detect active plowing of fields. (NIIRS 4.1)
Identify small water sources (e.g., stock ponds, prairie potholes) in range land areas. (NIIRS 4.2)
Distinguish between individual trees in an orchard. (NIIRS 4.4)
Distinguish between individual rows in a mature vineyard. (NIIRS 4.5)
Detect large farm equipment (e.g., tractors, combines) in open fields. (NIIRS 4 5)
Identify commercial greenhouses. (NIIRS 4.6)
Detect marijuana harvest based on the absence of vegetation in known marijuana fields. (NIIRS 4.8)
Detect vehicle tracks through freshly plowed fields. (NIIRS 4.8)

Detect individual large domesticated animals (e.g., horses, cattle) in grazing pastures. (NIIRS 5.3)
Detect small (i.e., less than 1-meter wide) irrigation/drainage ditches. (NIIRS 5.3)
Identify individual bales of hay/straw. (NIIRS 5.4)
Distinguish between livestock watering troughs and feed troughs in pastures. (NIIRS 5.7)
Distinguish between individual rows of truck crops. (NIIRS 5.7)
Distinguish between livestock semi-trailers and regular box-body semi-trailers. (NIIRS 5.8)
Identify ornamental tree nurseries. (NIIRS 5.8)

Detect a closed gate across a single lane road. (NIIRS 6.0)
Identify orchards by fruit type based on tree size and shape (e.g., apple, cherry, citrus). (NIIRS 6.1)
Determine the number of rows on a field crop (e.g., corn, soybean) planter. (NIIRS 6.3)
Detect mixed cropping in small farm plots. (NIIRS 6.4)
Distinguish between mature and immature coca fields. (NIIRS 6.5)
Detect coca harvest based on the absence of leaves on coca bushes in known coca fields. (NIIRS 6.6)


Civil NIIRS Reference Guide

Table II-1 Agricultural Criteria (Cont.)

LEVEL 6 (Cont.)
Identify cattle guards on single lane roads. (NIIRS 6.6)
Detect the presence of obstructions (e.g., weed growth, soil slumpage) in an irrigation system. (NIIRS 6.6)
Detect manual coca plant eradication. (NIIRS 6.6)
Identify large farm animals by type (e.g., horses, cows). (NIIRS 6.7)
Identify tractor-drawn farm machinery by type (e.g., plow, sprayer, planter). (NIIRS 6.7)
Detect flowering of opium poppies in known fields. (NIIRS 6.7)
Count sheep or goats in a flock. (NIIRS 6.8)
Identify silage crops by type (e.g., corn, sorghum). (NIIRS 6.9)
Distinguish opium poppies from wheat in small plots. (NIIR5 6.9)

Identify medium farm animals by type (e.g., sheep, goats). (NIIRS 7.1)
Identify individual steel fence posts. (NIIRS 7.6)
Distinguish between ewes and lambs. (NIIRS 7.7)
Distinguish between individual tea or coffee plants. (NIIRS 7.9)

Identify an uncoiled garden hose laying on the ground. (NIIRS 8.2)
Identify specific type of truck crop being grown (e.g., tomatoes, peppers, lettuce). (NIIRS 8.2)
Detect scoring of poppy bulbs. (NIIRS 8.5)
Detect tubing (approximately 1-inch diameter) for drip irrigation systems. (NIIR5 8.5)


Civil NIIRS Reference Guide

Table II-2. Cultural Criteria

Detect lines of transportation (either road or rail, but do not distinguish between). (NIIRS 1.3)
Detect major highway and rail bridges over water (e.g., Golden Gate, Chesapeake Bay). (NIIRS 1.7)
Detect multi-lane divided highways (e.g., greater than four lanes. (NIIRS 1.9)
Detect a golf course. (NIIRS 1.9)

Identify major street patterns in urban areas. (NIIRS 2.3)
Identify large POL storage tanks. (NIIRS 2.5)
Identify individual city blocks in a metropolitan area. (NIIRS 2.6)
Identify large buildings as multi-wing. (NIIRS 2.7)
Detect a dual lane/track bridge over water. (NIIRS 2.7)
Detect large area groundbreaking or clearing for construction of new facility or expansion of existing facilities. (NIIRS 2.7)
Identify vessels of ~300' length by type (e.g., merchant, combatant) at a known port. (NIIRS 2.8)
Detect rail yards of six or more tracks. (NIIRS 2.9)
Detect two-lane improved roads. (NIIRS 2.9)
Detect large aircraft (e.g., Boeing 737, Airbus A-300, MD-80) at a major commercial airport. (NIIRS 2.9)

Detect two-lane unimproved roads. (NIIRS 3.0)
Detect cleared security strip around a sensitive facility. (NIIRS 3.1)
Detect trail clearing/cutting in forested areas. (NIIRS 3.1)
Detect land-based oil exploration activity (e.g., bore-holes/spoils, seismic survey traces) in an arid environment. (NIIRS 3.2)
Identify an off-shore oil exploration drilling vessel. (NIIRS 3.3)
Detect indications of underground mining activity (e.g., headworks, tailings, rail spurs). (NIIRS 3.3)
Detect new oil drilling sites in or near a known oil field. (NIIRS 3.3)
Distinguish between roads with single and multiple lanes. (NIIRS 3.3)
Identify a road as divided or undivided. (NIIRS 3.3)
Detect very large vehicles (e.g., tractor-trailers). (NIIRS 3.3)
Detect major breaks in lines of communications (e.g., collapsed bridges, washed out roads, inundation) due to natural disasters. (NIIRS 3.3)
Detect a nuclear reactor containment structure. (NIIRS 3.3)
Count all large free-standing smokestacks and/or cooling towers at major power plants. (NIIRS 3.3)
Detect rows of automobiles in a parking lot.(NIIRS 3.4)
Detect single railcars on rail sidings. (NIIRS 3.5)
Detect fixed-wing aircraft at a dirt or grass airstrip. (NIIRS 3.5)
Detect control tower at airfield.(NIIRS 3.5)
Detect slag heaps at a mineral processing plant. (NIIRS 3.5)
Identify individual greens on a golf course. (NIIRS 3.6)
Distinguish between individual railcars in a train. (NIIRS 3.7)
Detect an automobile. (NIIRS 3.7)


Civil NIIRS Reference Guide

Table II-2. Cultural Criteria (Cont.)

LEVEL 3 (Cont.)
Identify a small (e.g., less than 1/4 acre) electrical transformer yard in a residential neighborhood. (NIIRS 3.8)
Detect towers associated with power lines. (NIIRS 3.8)
Detect guard towers along perimeter fences. (NIIRS 3.8)

Identify potential secondary fire sources (e.g., fuel storage areas, explosive storage area). (NIIRS 4.1)
Detect a security fence at an urban industrial facility. (NIIRS 4.1)
Detect barriers/obstacles (e.g., barrels, logs) on runways. (NIIRS 4.2)
Detect groups of cargo (e.g., crates, pallets) on piers and quays. (NIIRS 4.2)
Detect fallen trees obstructing two-lane roads. (NIIRS 4.4)
Distinguish between locomotives and railcars. (NIIRS 4.6)
Detect external structural damage to urban buildings from natural disasters. (NIIRS 4.7)
Identify a pump house at an above ground POL (petroleum, oil, lubricant) storage area. (NIIRS 4.7)
Identify trucks as cab-over-engine or engine-in-front. (NIIRS 4.7)
Detect an individual concrete barrier/obstacle (e.g., dragon's teeth, Jersey barrier). (NIIRS 4.8)

Identify raw materials (e.g., lumber, sand, gravel, bricks) in a residential construction area. (NIIRS 5.0)
Identify individual lines painted on paved roads, aprons, parking lots. (NIIRS 5.1)
Distinguish between wheeled and tracked vehicle tracks. (NIIRS 5.1)
Identify large construction equipment by type (e.g., bulldozer, backhoe, road grader). (NIIRS 5.2)
Identify individual telephone/electric poles in residential neighborhoods. (NIIRS 5.4)
Identify fallen utility poles. (NIIRS 5.5)
Detect lines on track, basketball, volleyball, tennis, baseball, soccer playing areas. (NIIRS 5.5)
Identify individual 55 gallon drums in an open storage facility. (NIIRS 5.7)

Detect individuals, when not in a group. (NIIRS 6.2)
Identify pole-mounted electrical transformers in residential neighborhoods. (NIIRS 6.4)
Detect small road signs (e.g., stop, yield, speed limit) in an urban area. (NIIRS 6.6)
Identify building materials of urban structures (e.g., brick, wood, concrete, stucco, tile, adobe). (NIIRS 6.8)
Identify flags on a green at a golf course. (NIIRS 6.9)

Identify individual above ground utility lines in a residential neighborhood. (NIIRS 7.1)
Identify a manhole cover. (NIIRS 7.1)
Identify a fire hydrant. (NIIRS 7.2)
Identify limbs (arms, legs) on an individual. (NIIRS 7.3)
Distinguish between welded and riveted joints on large POL tanks. (NIIRS 7.6)
Identify riveting or seams on locomotives. (NIIRS 7.6)
Identify bicycle details (e.g., frame, wheel/tire, etc.). (NIIRS 7.7)


Civil NIIRS Reference Guide

Table II-2. Cultural Criteria (Cont.)

LEVEL 7 (Cont.)
Detect outside rearview mirrors on passenger cars. (NIIRS 7.7)
Identify farm or construction tools by general shape (e.g., shovel, pitchfork, pick, ax, sledge-hammer). (NIIRS 7.9)
Identify individual asphalt shingles on a residential roof. (NIIRS 7.9)
Count ceramic insulators on individual transmission wires at a switching yard. (NIIRS 7.9)

Identify valve locations along a small (~3") pipe. (NIIRS 8.0)
Detect corrosion on metal surfaces. (NIIRS 8.1)
Identify small hand tools (e.g., hammer, carpenters saw, pipe wrench). (NIIRS 8.1)
Identify hazardous material labels on crates and barrels. (NIIRS 8.1)
Identify the registration on pleasure craft in port. (NIIRS 8.1)
Determine the direction of flow through a pipe based on flow arrows. (NIIRS 8.2)
Identify facial features on an individual (i.e., at least partial discrimination of some facial features). (NIIRS 8.2)
Identify a cellular phone antenna on a passenger car. (NIIRS 8.2)


Civil NTIRS Reference Guide

Table II-3. Natural Criteria

Identify abandoned meander sections in major river flood plains. (NIIRS 1.4)
Detect large area (e.g., greater than 100 acres) timber clearcutting. (NIIRS 1.7)
Identify an inland delta, based on braided channels and oxbows. (NIIRS 1.8)
Detect large coastal sand beaches. (NIIRS 1.8)

Distinguish between islands and nests of moored ships. (NIIRS 2.2)
Detect utility towers in forested regions on the basis of a sequence of circular clearings. (NIIRS 2.7)

Identify general vegetation cover type (e.g., grass, brush, wetland, agricultural crop) in non-forested areas. (NIIRS 3.1)
Detect jeep trails. (NIIRS 3.3)
Identify small slash and burn agriculture plots (e.g., <1 acre). (NIIRS 3.5)
Identify inland waterways navigable by medium boats (e.g., 30' cabin cruiser). (NIIRS 3.5)
Detect small (e.g., less than 1 acre) man-made clearings in a forested area. (NIIRS 3.5)
Distinguish between open and closed forest canopies. (NIIRS 3.5)
Detect landslide or rockslide large enough to obstruct a single lane road. (NIIRS 3.6)
Distinguish between operational and abandoned quarries. (NIIRS 3.7)

Detect jeep trails in scrub brush. (NIIRS 4.1)
Distinguish between islands and mats of aquatic vegetation. (NIIRS 4.1)
Identify cable logging operations. (NIIRS 4.1)
Detect individual truck tracks through grassy vegetation. (NIIRS 4.3)
Detect vertical obstruction (e.g., tree, shrub, snag) in vegetated helicopter landing zones. (NIIRS 4.3)
Identify log decks (i.e., stacks of recently cut logs). (NIIRS 4.4)
Detect jeep trails crossing bare soil areas. (NIIRS 4.5)
Detect fallen trees in inland waterways. (NIIRS 4.9)

Identify hummocks in marsh/swamp. (NIIRS 5.0)
Detect selective timber harvest. (NIIRS 5.0)
Detect foot trails through grassland. (NIIRS 5.1)
Detect small marine mammals (e.g., harbor seals) on ice floes. (NIIRS 5.1)
Detect small water sources (e.g., springs, seeps) in arid areas. (NIIRS 5.2)
Distinguish individual trees in a closed canopy deciduous forest. (NIIRS 5.3)
Identify prairie dog towns based on soil disruption pattern. (NIIRS 5.4)
Detect evidence of a fish kill (e.g., masses of floating fish). (NIIRS 5.5)
Identify tree species on the basis of crown configuration. (NIIRS 5.5)
Detect large game (e.g., deer, antelope, elk, moose) in a meadow. (NIIRS 5.6)


Civil NIIRS Reference Guide

Table II-3. Natural Criteria (Cont.)

Detect natural objects (e.g., tree stumps, large rocks, boulders) in forest clearings and open fields. (NIIRS 6.2)
Distinguish between hummocks and stands of aquatic grass/cattails in marsh/swamp. (NIIRS 6.3)
Distinguish between pulp, pole, and saw timber insingle species plantation stands. (NIIRS 6.3)
Detect schools of dolphins (e.g., Bottlenose, Dahl) in coastal waters. (NIIRS 6.5)
Distinguish between sand and pebble/rock beaches. (NIIRS 6.5)
Distinguish between pulp, pole, and saw timber in mixed stands. (NIIRS 6.7)
Detect small marine mammals (e.g., harbor seals) on sand/gravel beaches. (NIIRS 6.8)

Detect sea turtle trails between nest sites and the water. (NIIRS 7.4)
Detect large raptor (e.g., eagle, osprey) nests. (NIIRS 7.5)
Detect individual large waterfowl (e.g., snow goose, Canada goose, trumpeter swan) in previously harvested grain fields. (NIIRS 7.6)
Distinguish between alligators/crocodiles and fallen trees/logs on land. (NIIRS 7.6)
Identify floating objects as plastic garbage bags. (NIIRS 7.6)
Distinguish between whitetail deer bucks and does based on presence of antlers. (NIIRS 8.2)
Identify individual cattails. (NIIRS 8.3)
Determine occupancy of large raptor (e.g., eagle, osprey) nests. (NIIRS 8.3)
Identify tree species based on leaf size and shape. (NIIRS 8.4)
Distinguish between-oil covered and unaffected seabirds. (NIIRS 8.5)
Distinguish between tree species based on bark texture. (NIIRS 8.5)
Identify neck bands on large waterfowl (e.g., snow goose, Canada goose, trumpeter swan). (NIIRS 8.6)


Civil NIIRS Reference Guide