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I want to statistically sample a map printed on graph paper by using Google Earth to print out an aerial view of on island to compute the area of the island that is inhabitable by animals. I'm thinking of counting the total number of axis points of the graph paper and subtracting out those axis points that are uninhabitable due to their being covered by road or buildings. I would count each uninhabitable axis point as being the area of one whole cell of the graph paper and thus estimate the habitat area by this sampling process.

Is this a sound approach? Is there a better way to do this?

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What if part of the island is habitable but does not have a road or a building? –  opt Jan 10 '12 at 2:34
    
your terminology is still confusing; habitable and inhabitable are like flammable and inflammable –  mode Jan 10 '12 at 16:40
    
Thanks for the correction! –  WilliamKF Jan 10 '12 at 17:10
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To obtain the relative area, a chemist would weigh the map, (literally) cut out the uninhabitable areas, and reweigh the map. An easier and much more accurate way would be to post-process the digital version of the GE image with a GIS (or comparable image processing software). –  whuber Jan 10 '12 at 18:50
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Do you mean habited or habitable? Because those are completely different things. If looking for if the area is habitable, search more for the areas where it's impossible to inhabit, not for currently inhabited areas.

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I mean inhabitable, I'm thinking it is easier to count whole area and subtract out the uninhabitable areas. –  WilliamKF Jan 10 '12 at 17:11
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