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School of Geography

Lex Comber Prof Lex Comber

Contact details

Room 10.118, Irene Manton Building
School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK


+44 113 343 9225 (internal: 39225)

Student hours:
My office hours are really varied this year. Please email me for an appointment.


Journal Papers published or in press

Li T, Lü Y, Fu B, Comber AJ, Harris P and Wu L (in press). Gauging policy-driven large-scale vegetation restoration programmes under a changing environment: their effectiveness and socioeconomic relationships. Paper accepted for publication in Science of the Total Environment (July 2017)

Jega IM and Comber A (2017). A comparison of methods for spatial interpolation across different spatial scales. Paper accepted for publication in SSRG International Journal of Geo informatics and Geological Science (May 2017).

Jega IM, Comber A, Tate NJ (2017). Spatial Planning Under Data Paucity: Dasymetric Interpolation of Population, Validated by Google Earth, to Support Health Facility Location Modelling, paper accepted for publication in SSRG International Journal of Geoinformatics and Geological Science (June 2017)

Tsutsumida N, Harris P and Comber A (2017). The application of a geographically weighted principal components analysis for exploring 23 years of goat population change across Mongolia. Annals of the American Association of Geographers

Comber A, Brunsdon CF, Charlton M and Harris P (2017). Geographically weighted correspondence matrices for local change analyses and error reporting: mapping the spatial distribution of errors and change. Remote Sensing Letters, 8(3), 234-243

Comber A, Harris P and Tsutsumida N (2016). Improving land cover classification using input variables derived from a geographically weighted principal components analysis. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 119: 347–360.  doi:10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2016.06.014.

Comber A, Mooney P, Purves RS,  Rocchini D and Walz A (2016). Crowdsourcing: It Matters Who the Crowd Are. The Impacts of between Group Variations in Recording Land Cover. PlosONE, 11(7): e0158329, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158329

Comber A, Davies H, Pinder D, Whittow JB, Woodhall A and Johnson SCM (2016). Mapping coastal land use changes 1965-2014: methods for handling historical thematic data. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, DOI: 10.1111/tran.12128

See L, Mooney P, Foody G, Bastin L, Comber A, Estima J, Steffen F, Kerle N, Jiang B, Laakso M, Liu HY, Milčinski G, Nikšič M, Painho m, Pődör A, Olteanu-Raimond AM and Rutzinger M (2016). Crowdsourcing, Citizen Science or Volunteered Geographic Information? The Current State of Crowdsourced Geographic Information, ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 5: 55.

Comber A, Balzter H, Cole B, Johnson S, Oguto B and Fisher P, (2016). Methods to quantify regional differences in land cover change. Remote Sensing, 8, 176; doi:10.3390/rs8030176

Comber A, Fonte C, Foody G, Fritz S, Harris P, Raimond A-M and See L, (2016). Geographically weighted evidence combination approaches for combining discordant and inconsistent volunteered geographical information. GeoInformatica, 20(3): 503-527. Doi: 0.1007/s10707-016-0248-z

Tsutsumida N, Comber AJ, Barrett K, Saizen I, Rustiadi E (2016). Sub-pixel classification of MODIS EVI to map annual impervious surface areas. Remote Sensing, 8, 143; doi:10.3390/rs8020143

Lesiv M, Moltchanova E, Schepaschenko D, See L, Shvidenko A, Comber A and Fritz S (2016). Comparison of data fusion methods using crowdsourced data in creating a hybrid forest cover map.  Remote Sensing, 8, 261; doi:10.3390/rs8030261


Comber A, Dickie J, Jarvis C, Phillips M and Tansey K, (2015). Locating bioenergy facilities using a modified GIS-based location-allocation-algorithm: considering the spatial distribution of resource supply. Applied Energy, 154: 309-316. doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.04.128

Tsutsumida N. and Comber A.J. (2015). Measures of spatio-temporal accuracy for time series land cover data. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 41: 46-55

Tewkesbury AP, Comber AJ, Tate NJ, Lamb A, Fisher PF (2015). A critical synthesis of remotely sensed optical image change detection techniques. Remote Sensing of Environment, 160: 1-14 doi:10.1016/j.rse.2015.01.006

Bodicoat DH, Carter P, Comber A, Edwardson C, Gray LJ Hill S, Webb D, Yates T, Davies MJ, Khunti, K (2014). Is the number of fast food outlets in the neighbourhood related to screen-detected type 2 diabetes mellitus and associated risk factors? Public Health Nutrition, 18(09): 1698-1705. doi:10.1017/S1368980014002316

Comber, A. and Brunsdon, C. (2015). A spatial analysis of plant phenophase changes and the impact of increases in urban land use. International Journal of Climatology, 35(6): 972-980. DOI: 10.1002/joc.4030

See, L, Schepaschenko, D, Lesiv, M, McCallum, I, Fritz, S, Comber, A, Perger, C, Schill, C et al (2015) Building a Hybrid Land Cover Map with Crowdsourcing and Geographically Weighted Regression. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 103: 48-56,

van Beijma, S, Comber, A and Lamb, A. (2014). Random forest classification of salt marsh vegetation habitats using quad-polarimetric airborne SAR, elevation and optical RS data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 149:118-129

Foody, G.M., See, L., Fritz, S., Van der Velde, M., Perger, C., Schill, C., Boyd, D.S. and Comber, A., (2014). Accurate attribute mapping from volunteered geographic information: issues of volunteer quantity and quality. The Cartographic Journal DOI:

Comber, A., Brunsdon, C., See, L., Fritz, S. and McCallum, I. (2013). Comparing expert and non-expert conceptualisations of the land: an analysis of crowdsourced land cover data. Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Spatial Information Theory, 8116: 243-260, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-01790-7_14

See, L., Comber, A.J., Salk, C., Fritz, S., Van der Velde, M., Perger, C., Schill, C., McCallum, I., Kraxner, F. and Obersteiner M. (2013). Comparing the Quality of Crowdsourced Data Contributed by Expert and Non-Experts. PLoS ONE 8(7): e69958. doi:10.1371/journal.pone. 0069958

Zhou, R., Li, Y., Umezaki, M., Ding, Y., Jiang, H., Comber, A. and Fu, H. (2013). Association between physical activity and neighborhood environment among middle-age adults in Shanghai. Journal of Environmental and Public Health

Comber, A., See, L., Fritz, S., Van der Velde, M., Perger, C., Foody, G.M. (2013). Using control data to determine the reliability of volunteered geographic information about land cover. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 23: 37–48

Khalefa, E., Smit, I.P.J., Nickless, A., Archibald, S., Comber, A. and Balzter, H. (2013). Retrieval of savannah vegetation height from ICESat-GLAS speacborne LiDAR with terrain correction. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2013.2259793

Comber A.J., (2013). Geographically weighted methods for estimating local surfaces of overall, user and producer accuracies. Remote Sensing Letters, 4(4): 373-380 DOI: 10.1080/2150704X.2012.736694

Comber, A., Fisher, P.F., Brunsdon, C. and Khmag, A. (2012). Spatial analysis of remote sensing image classification accuracy. Remote Sensing of Environment, 127: 237–246.

Brunsdon, C. and Comber, A.J. (2012). Experiences with Citizen Science: Assessing Changes in the North American Spring. GeoInformatica, 16(4): 675-690. DOI 10.1007/s10707-012-0159-6

Comber A., Brunsdon, C. and Farmer, C. (2012). Community detection in spatial networks: inferring land use from a planar graph of land cover objects. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 8: 274–282.

Comber A., Brunsdon, C. and Phillips, M. (2012). The varying impact of geographic distance as a predictor of dissatisfaction over facility access. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 5: 333–352, DOI: 10.1007/s12061-011-9074-8

Carver S, Comber A, McMorran R and Nutter S. (2012). A GIS model for mapping spatial patterns and distribution of wild land in Scotland. Landscape and Urban Planning, 104 (2012) 395–409.

Comber, A., Umezaki, M., Zhou, R., Ding, Y., Li, Y., Fu, H, Jiang, H. and Tewkesbury, A. (2012). Using shadow in high resolution imagery to map residential density. Remote Sensing Letters, 3:7, 551-556

Comber A., Brunsdon, C. and Radburn, R. (2011). A spatial analysis of variations in health access: linking geography, socio-economic status and access perceptions. International Journal of Health Geographics, 10:44

Comber, A.J., Sasaki, S., Suzuki, H. and Brunsdon, C., (2011). A modified grouping genetic algorithm to select ambulance site locations. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 25(5): 807–823 doi:10.1080/13658816.2010.501334

Elaalem, M., Comber, A., and Fisher, P., (2011). Land Evaluation Techniques Comparing Fuzzy AHP with Ideal Point methods. Transactions in GIS, 15(3): 329–346 doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9671.2011.01260.x

Sasaki, S., Igarashi, K., Fujino, Y., Comber, A.J. and Brunsdon, C., Muleya, C.M. and Suzuki, H. (2011). The impact of community-based outreach immunization services on immunization coverage with GIS network accessibility analysis in peri-urban areas, Zambia. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 65: 1171-1178 doi:10.1136/jech.2009.104190

Comber, A.J., Carver, S., Fritz, S., McMorran, R., Washtell, J. and Fisher, P. (2010). Different methods, different wilds: evaluating alternative mappings of wildness using Fuzzy MCE and Dempster Shafer MCE. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 34: 142-152

Comber, A., Medcalf, K., Lucas, R., Bunting, Brown, A., P Clewley, D., Breyer, J. and Keyworth, S., (2010). Managing uncertainty when aggregating from pixels to objects: context sensitive mapping and possibility theory. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 31(4): 1061-1068.

Sasaki, S., Comber, A.J., Suzuki, H. and Brunsdon, C., (2010). Using genetic algorithms to optimise current and future health planning - the example of ambulance locations. International Journal of Health Geographics, 9: 4. doi:10.1186/1476-072X-9-4

Comber, A.J., Brunsdon, C., Hardy, J. and Radburn, R. (2009). Using a GIS–based network analysis and optimisation routines to evaluate service provision: a case study of the UK Post Office Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 2(1):47-64

Kemawy, A.H. and Comber, A.J., (2009). Modeling spatial variability of water quality: a case study of Lake Manzala. Bulletin of the Egyptian Geographical Society, 82:33-51

Comber, A.J., Brunsdon, C. and Green, E. (2008). Using a GIS-based network analysis to determine urban greenspace accessibility for different ethnic and religious groups. Landscape and Urban Planning, 86: 103–114.

Comber, A.J., Proctor, C. and Anthony, S. (2008). The creation of a national agricultural land use dataset: combining pycnophylactic interpolation with dasymetric mapping techniques Transactions in GIS, 12(6): 775–791.

Comber, A.J., (2008 ). Land Cover or Land Use?, Editorial, Journal of Land Use Science, 3(4): 199–201.

Comber, A., (2008). The separation of land cover from land use with data primitives. Journal of Land use Science, 3(4): 215–229

Wadsworth, R., Balzter, H., Gerard, F., George, C., Comber, A. and Fisher, P. (2008). An environmental assessment of land cover and land use change in Central Siberia using Quantified Conceptual Overlaps to reconcile inconsistent data sets. Journal of Land use Science, 3(4): 251–264.

Comber, A.J., Fisher, P.F., Wadsworth, R.A., (2008). Using semantics to clarify the conceptual confusion between land cover and land use: the example of ‘forest’. Journal of Land use Science, 3(2-3): 185-198

Comber, A.J., Fisher, P.F. and Wadsworth, R.A., (2008). Semantics, Metadata, Geographical Information and Users. Editorial Transactions in GIS, 12(3): 287–291

Comber, A.J., Fisher, P.F., Wadsworth, R.A., (2007). Land cover: to standardise or not to standardise? Comment on ‘Evolving standards in land cover characterization’ by Herold et al. Journal of Land Use Science, 2(4): 287–291

Procter, C., Comber, L.,Betson, M., Buckley, D.,Frost, A., Lyons, H., Riding, A., and Voyce, K. (2006) Identifying crop vulnerability to groundwater abstraction: modelling and expert knowledge in a GIS. Journal of Environmental Management, 81: 296 - 306

Comber, A.J., Fisher, P.F., Wadsworth, R.A., (2005). A comparison of statistical and expert approaches to data integration. Journal of Environmental Management, 77: 47-55.

Comber, A.J., Fisher, P.F., Wadsworth, R.A., (2005). Comparing the consistency of expert land cover knowledge. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 7(3): 189-201.

Comber, A.J., Fisher, P.F., Wadsworth, R.A., (2005). What is land cover? Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 32:199-209.

Comber, A.J., Fisher, P.F., Wadsworth, R.A., (2005). You know what land cover is but does anyone else?…an investigation into semantic and ontological confusion. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26 (1): 223-228

Comber, A.J., Fisher, P.F., Wadsworth, R.A., (2004). Assessment of a Semantic Statistical Approach to Detecting Land Cover Change Using Inconsistent Data Sets. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 70(8): 931-938.

Comber, A., Fisher, P., Wadsworth, R., (2004). Integrating land cover data with different ontologies: identifying change from inconsistency. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 18(7): 691-708.

Comber, A.J., Law, A.N.R., Lishman, J.R., (2004). A comparison of Bayes', Dempster-Shafter and endorsement theories for managing knowledge uncertainty in the context of land cover monitoring, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 28(4): 311-327

Comber, A.J., Law, A.N.R., Lishman, J.R., (2004). Application of knowledge for automated land cover change monitoring. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 25(16): 3177-3192.

Comber, A., Fisher, P., Wadsworth, R., (2003) Actor Network Theory: a suitable framework to understand how land cover mapping projects develop? Land Use Policy, 20: 299–309.

Comber, A.J., Birnie, R.V., Hodgson, M. (2003). A retrospective analysis of land cover change using polygon shape index. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 12: 207-215. 

Peer Reviewed Computer Science Proceedings

Jeansoulin, R., Pham, T.T. and Comber, A.J. (2004). Land cover change detection: a quality-aware and semantic-based approach. In Proceedings of Information Processing and Management of Uncertainty in Knowledge-Based Systems 2004, (eds. B. Bouchon-Meunier, G. Coletti, and R. R. Yager), 4th-9th July, Universita' di Perugia, Perugia.