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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview

Validation of Earth Observation Time-Series: A Review for Large-Area and Temporally Dense Land Surface Products

German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, 82234 Wessling, Germany
Institute of Geology and Geography, Chair of Remote Sensing, University of Würzburg, Würzburg 97074, Germany
Institute of Geography, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020, Austria
Institute for Interdisciplinary Mountain Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Innsbruck 6020, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(22), 2616;
Received: 10 October 2019 / Revised: 4 November 2019 / Accepted: 6 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Satellite Derived Global Land Product Validation)
Large-area remote sensing time-series offer unique features for the extensive investigation of our environment. Since various error sources in the acquisition chain of datasets exist, only properly validated results can be of value for research and downstream decision processes. This review presents an overview of validation approaches concerning temporally dense time-series of land surface geo-information products that cover the continental to global scale. Categorization according to utilized validation data revealed that product intercomparisons and comparison to reference data are the conventional validation methods. The reviewed studies are mainly based on optical sensors and orientated towards global coverage, with vegetation-related variables as the focus. Trends indicate an increase in remote sensing-based studies that feature long-term datasets of land surface variables. The hereby corresponding validation efforts show only minor methodological diversification in the past two decades. To sustain comprehensive and standardized validation efforts, the provision of spatiotemporally dense validation data in order to estimate actual differences between measurement and the true state has to be maintained. The promotion of novel approaches can, on the other hand, prove beneficial for various downstream applications, although typically only theoretical uncertainties are provided. View Full-Text
Keywords: accuracy; error estimation; global; intercomparison; remote sensing; uncertainty accuracy; error estimation; global; intercomparison; remote sensing; uncertainty
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mayr, S.; Kuenzer, C.; Gessner, U.; Klein, I.; Rutzinger, M. Validation of Earth Observation Time-Series: A Review for Large-Area and Temporally Dense Land Surface Products. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2616.

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