Integrating global land cover datasets for deriving user-specific maps

Nandika Tsendbazar*, Sytze de Bruin, Martin Herold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Global scale land cover (LC) mapping has interested many researchers over the last two decades as it is an input data source for various applications. Current global land cover (GLC) maps often do not meet the accuracy and thematic requirements of specific users. This study aimed to create an improved GLC map by integrating available GLC maps and reference datasets. We also address the thematic requirements of multiple users by demonstrating a concept of producing GLC maps with user-specific legends. We used a regression kriging method to integrate Globcover-2009, LC-CCI-2010, MODIS-2010 and Globeland30 maps and several publicly available GLC reference datasets. Overall correspondence of the integrated GLC map with reference LC was 80% based on 10-fold cross-validation using 24,681 sample sites. This is globally 10% and regionally 6–13% higher than the input map correspondences. Based on LC class presence probability maps, expected LC proportion maps at coarser resolution were created and used for characterizing mosaic classes for land system modelling and biodiversity assessments. Since more reference datasets are becoming freely accessible, GLC mapping can be further improved by using the pool of all available reference datasets. LC proportion information allow tuning LC products to specific user needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-237
JournalInternational Journal of Digital Earth
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • data integration
  • Global land cover
  • LC proportion
  • user-specific legend


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