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Comparison of Global and Continental Land Cover Products for Selected Study Areas in South Central and Eastern European Region

Information Technologies Institute, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
Geospatial Sciences Centre of Excellence (GSCE), South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007, USA
Institute of Geodesy and Cartography, 02-679 Warsaw, Poland
Remote Sensing Laboratory, National Technical University of Athens, 15780 Athens, Greece
Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 603 00 Brno, Czech Republic
Remote Sensing and GIS Department, Space Research and Technology Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (SRTI-BAS), 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
Land Use and Climate Change Laboratory, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Terzioglu Campus, 17100 Merkez/Çanakkale, Turkey
Laboratory of Forest Management & Remote Sensing, School of Forestry & Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
Institute of Landscape Ecology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 814 99 Bratislava, Slovakia
Remote Sensing and GIS Laboratory, National Meteorological Administration, Bucharest, 013686, Romania
Faculty of Science, Charles University, Albertov 6, 128 43 Prague, Czech Republic
Space Research Institute NASU-SSAU, 03680 Kiev, Ukraine
National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kiev Polytechnic Institute”, 03056 Kyiv, Ukraine
Department of Geography, Tourism and Hotel Management, Faculty of Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad 21000, Serbia
Transilvania University of Brasov, Brașov 500036, Romania
Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, 949 74 Nitra-Chrenová, Slovakia
University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
University of Maryland Baltimore County and NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(12), 1967;
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 27 November 2018 / Accepted: 1 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
Land cover is one of the key terrestrial variables used for monitoring and as input for modelling in support of achieving the United Nations Strategical Development Goals. Global and Continental Land Cover Products (GCLCs) aim to provide the required harmonized information background across areas; thus, they are not being limited by national or other administrative nomenclature boundaries and their production approaches. Moreover, their increased spatial resolution, and consequently their local relevance, is of high importance for users at a local scale. During the last decade, several GCLCs were developed, including the Global Historical Land-Cover Change Land-Use Conversions (GLC), the Globeland-30 (GLOB), Corine-2012 (CLC) and GMES/ Copernicus Initial Operation High Resolution Layers (GIOS). Accuracy assessment is of high importance for product credibility towards incorporation into decision chains and implementation procedures, especially at local scales. The present study builds on the collaboration of scientists participating in the Global Observations of Forest Cover—Global Observations of Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD), South Central and Eastern European Regional Information Network (SCERIN). The main objective is to quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of commonly used GCLCs at selected representative study areas in the SCERIN geographic area, which is characterized by extreme diversity of landscapes and environmental conditions, heavily affected by anthropogenic impacts with similar major socio-economic drivers. The employed validation strategy for evaluating and comparing the different products is detailed, representative results for the selected areas from nine SCERIN countries are presented, the specific regional differences are identified and their underlying causes are discussed. In general, the four GCLCs products achieved relatively high overall accuracy rates: 74–98% for GLC (mean: 93.8%), 79–92% for GLOB (mean: 90.6%), 74–91% for CLC (mean: 89%) and 72–98% for GIOS (mean: 91.6%), for all selected areas. In most cases, the CLC product has the lower scores, while the GLC has the highest, closely followed by GIOS and GLOB. The study revealed overall high credibility and validity of the GCLCs products at local scale, a result, which shows expected benefit even for local/regional applications. Identified class dependent specificities in different landscape types can guide the local users for their reasonable usage in local studies. Valuable information is generated for advancing the goals of the international GOFC-GOLD program and aligns well with the agenda of the NASA Land-Cover/Land-Use Change Program to improve the quality and consistency of space-derived higher-level products. View Full-Text
Keywords: land cover; earth observation; validation; weighted accuracy; confidence levels; inter-comparison; SCERIN land cover; earth observation; validation; weighted accuracy; confidence levels; inter-comparison; SCERIN
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MDPI and ACS Style

Manakos, I.; Tomaszewska, M.; Gkinis, I.; Brovkina, O.; Filchev, L.; Genc, L.; Gitas, I.Z.; Halabuk, A.; Inalpulat, M.; Irimescu, A.; Jelev, G.; Karantzalos, K.; Katagis, T.; Kupková, L.; Lavreniuk, M.; Mesaroš, M.; Mihailescu, D.; Nita, M.; Rusnak, T.; Stych, P.; Zemek, F.; Albrechtová, J.; Campbell, P. Comparison of Global and Continental Land Cover Products for Selected Study Areas in South Central and Eastern European Region. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1967.

AMA Style

Manakos I, Tomaszewska M, Gkinis I, Brovkina O, Filchev L, Genc L, Gitas IZ, Halabuk A, Inalpulat M, Irimescu A, Jelev G, Karantzalos K, Katagis T, Kupková L, Lavreniuk M, Mesaroš M, Mihailescu D, Nita M, Rusnak T, Stych P, Zemek F, Albrechtová J, Campbell P. Comparison of Global and Continental Land Cover Products for Selected Study Areas in South Central and Eastern European Region. Remote Sensing. 2018; 10(12):1967.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Manakos, Ioannis, Monika Tomaszewska, Ioannis Gkinis, Olga Brovkina, Lachezar Filchev, Levent Genc, Ioannis Z. Gitas, Andrej Halabuk, Melis Inalpulat, Anisoara Irimescu, Georgi Jelev, Konstantinos Karantzalos, Thomas Katagis, Lucie Kupková, Mykola Lavreniuk, Minučer Mesaroš, Denis Mihailescu, Mihai Nita, Tomas Rusnak, Premysl Stych, Frantisek Zemek, Jana Albrechtová, and Petya Campbell. 2018. "Comparison of Global and Continental Land Cover Products for Selected Study Areas in South Central and Eastern European Region" Remote Sensing 10, no. 12: 1967.

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