Land-cover maps are often used to compute land-cover composition (i.e., the proportion or percent of area covered by each class), for each unit in a spatial partition of the region mapped. We derive design-based estimators of mean deviation (MD), mean absolute deviation (MAD), root mean square error (RMSE), and correlation (CORR) to quantify accuracy of land-cover composition for a general two-stage cluster sampling design, and for the special case of simple random sampling without replacement (SRSWOR) at each stage. The bias of the estimators for the two-stage SRSWOR design is evaluated via a simulation study. The estimators of RMSE and CORR have small bias except when sample size is small and the land-cover class is rare. The estimator of MAD is biased for both rare and common land-cover classes except when sample size is large. A general recommendation is that rare land-cover classes require large sample sizes to ensure that the accuracy estimators have small bias. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc.
Additional publication details
Estimating accuracy of land-cover composition from two-stage cluster sampling