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Accuracy assessment of GlobeLand30 2010 land cover over China based on geographically and categorically stratified validation sample data

Yu Wang, Jingxiong Zhang, Di Liu, Wenjing Yang, Wangle Zhang

Land cover information is vital for research and applications concerning natural resources and environmental modeling. Accuracy assessment is an important dimension in use and production of land cover information. GlobeLand30 is a relatively new global land cover information product with a fine spatial resolution of 30 m and is potentially useful for many applications. This paper describes the methods for and results from the first country-wide and statistically based accuracy assessment of GlobeLand30 2010 land cover dataset over China. For this, a total of 8400 validation sample pixels were collected based on a sampling design featuring two levels of stratification (ten geographical regions, each with nine or eight land-cover classes). Validation sample data with reference class labels were acquired from visual interpretation based on Google Earth high-resolution satellite images. Error matrices for individual regions and entire China were estimated properly based on the sampling design adopted, with the former aggregated to get the latter through suitable weighting. Results were obtained, with agreement at a sample pixel defined both as a match between the map (class) label and either the primary or alternate reference label therein and, more strictly, as a match between the map label and the primary reference label only. Based on the former definition of agreement, the overall accuracy of GlobeLand30 2010 land cover for China was assessed to be 84.2%. User’s accuracy and producer’s accuracy were both greater than 80% for cultivated land, forest, permanent snow and ice, and bareland, with user’s accuracy for water bodies estimated 94.2% (82.1% for wetland, 79.8% for artificial surface) and producer’s accuracy for grassland estimated 89.0%. These indicate that GlobeLand30 2010 depicts land cover circa 2010 in China quite accurately, although estimates of accuracy indicators based on the latter definition of agreement were lower as expected with an estimated national overall accuracy of 81.0%. Regional and class variations in accuracy were revealed and examined in the light of their associations with land cover distributions and patterns. Implications for use and production of GlobeLand30 land cover information were discussed, so were commonality and lack of it between GlobeLand30 and other fine-resolution land cover products.


Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, No. 8. (02 August 2018), 1213, https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10081213 
Key: INRMM:14628199

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