With the opening up of the Landsat archive, global high resolution land cover maps have begun to appear. However, they often have only a small number of high level land cover classes and they are static products, corresponding to a particular period of time, e.g., the GlobeLand30 (GL30) map for 2010. The OpenStreetMap (OSM), in contrast, consists of a very detailed, dynamically updated, spatial database of mapped features from around the world, but it suffers from incomplete coverage, and layers of overlapping features that are tagged in a variety of ways. However, it clearly has potential for land use and land cover (LULC) mapping. Thus the aim of this paper is to demonstrate how the OSM can be converted into a LULC map and how this OSM-derived LULC map can then be used to first update the GL30 with more recent information and secondly, enhance the information content of the classes. The technique is demonstrated on two study areas where there is availability of OSM data but in locations where authoritative data are lacking, i.e., Kathmandu, Nepal and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The GL30 and its updated and enhanced versions are independently validated using a stratified random sample so that the three maps can be compared. The results show that the updated version of GL30 improves in terms of overall accuracy since certain classes were not captured well in the original GL30 (e.g., water in Kathmandu and water/wetlands in Dar es Salaam). In contrast, the enhanced GL30, which contains more detailed urban classes, results in a drop in the overall accuracy, possibly due to the increased number of classes, but the advantages include the appearance of more detailed features, such as the road network, that becomes clearly visible.
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