Canadian Forest Service Publications

An accuracy assessment framework for large-area land cover classification products derived from medium-resolution satellite data. 2006. Wulder, M.A.; Franklin, S.E.; White, J.C.; Linke, J.; Magnussen, S. International Journal of Remote Sensing 27(4): 663-683.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 25977

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


Land cover classification over large geographic areas using remotely sensed data is increasingly common as a result of the requirements of national inventory and monitoring programmes, scientific modelling and international environmental treaties. Although large-area land cover products are more prevalent, standard operational protocols for their validation do not exist. This paper provides a framework for the accuracy assessment of large-area land cover products and synthesizes some of the key decision points in the design and implementation of an accuracy assessment from the literature. The fundamental components of a validation plan are addressed and the framework is then applied to the land cover map of the forested area of Canada that is currently being produced by the Earth Observation for Sustainable Development programme. This example demonstrates the compromise between the theoretical aspects of accuracy assessment and the practical realities of implementation, over a specific jurisdiction. The framework presented in this paper provides an example for others embarking on the assessment of large-area land cover products and can serve as the foundation for planning a statistically robust validation.