The finer resolution observation and monitoring of the global land cover (FROM-GLC) product makes it the first 30 m resolution global land cover product from which one can extract a global water mask. However, two major types of misclassification exist with this product due to spectral similarity and spectral mixing. Mountain and cloud shadows are often incorrectly classified as water since they both have very low reflectance, while more water pixels at the boundaries of water bodies tend to be misclassified as land. In this paper, we aim to improve the accuracy of the 30 m FROM-GLC water mask by addressing those two types of errors. For the first, we adopt an object-based method by computing the topographical feature, spectral feature, and geometrical relation with cloud for every water object in the FROM-GLC water mask, and set specific rules to determine whether a water object is misclassified. For the second, we perform a local spectral unmixing using a two-endmember linear mixing model for each pixel falling in the water-land boundary zone that is 8-neighborhood connected to water-land boundary pixels. Those pixels with big enough water fractions are determined as water. The procedure is automatic. Experimental results show that the total area of inland water has been decreased by 15.83% in the new global water mask compared with the FROM-GLC water mask. Specifically, more than 30% of the FROM-GLC water objects have been relabeled as shadows, and nearly 8% of land pixels in the water-land boundary zone have been relabeled as water, whereas, on the contrary, fewer than 2% of water pixels in the same zone have been relabeled as land. As a result, both the user’s accuracy and Kappa coefficient of the new water mask (UA = 88.39%, Kappa = 0.87) have been substantially increased compared with those of the FROM-GLC product (UA = 81.97%, Kappa = 0.81).
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