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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(3), 2334-2351;

Cloud-Sourcing: Using an Online Labor Force to Detect Clouds and Cloud Shadows in Landsat Images

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, 208 Hutcheson Hall (0401), 250 Drillfield Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
Department of Economics, Virginia Tech, 3016 Pamplin Hall (0316), Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech, 310 West Campus Dr., Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Virginia Tech Information Technology, 1700 Pratt Drive (0214), Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Chandra Giri and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 15 December 2014 / Revised: 19 January 2015 / Accepted: 10 February 2015 / Published: 26 February 2015
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We recruit an online labor force through’s Mechanical Turk platform to identify clouds and cloud shadows in Landsat satellite images. We find that a large group of workers can be mobilized quickly and relatively inexpensively. Our results indicate that workers’ accuracy is insensitive to wage, but deteriorates with the complexity of images and with time-on-task. In most instances, human interpretation of cloud impacted area using a majority rule was more accurate than an automated algorithm (Fmask) commonly used to identify clouds and cloud shadows. However, cirrus-impacted pixels were better identified by Fmask than by human interpreters. Crowd-sourced interpretation of cloud impacted pixels appears to be a promising means by which to augment or potentially validate fully automated algorithms. View Full-Text
Keywords: cloud interpretation; satellite images; Mechanical Turk; economic experiment cloud interpretation; satellite images; Mechanical Turk; economic experiment

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Yu, L.; Ball, S.B.; Blinn, C.E.; Moeltner, K.; Peery, S.; Thomas, V.A.; Wynne, R.H. Cloud-Sourcing: Using an Online Labor Force to Detect Clouds and Cloud Shadows in Landsat Images. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 2334-2351.

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