An analysis of IGBP global land-cover characterization process

Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
By: , and 


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The international Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP) has called for the development of improved global land-cover data for use in increasingly sophisticated global environmental models. To meet this need, the staff of the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln developed and applied a global land-cover characterization methodology using 1992-1993 1-km resolution Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and other spatial data. The methodology, based on unsupervised classification with extensive postclassification refinement, yielded a multi-layer database consisting of eight land-cover data sets, descriptive attributes, and source data. An independent IGBP accuracy assessment reports a global accuracy of 73.5 percent, and continental results vary from 63 percent to 83 percent. Although data quality, methodology, interpreter performance, and logistics affected the results, significant problems were associated with the relationship between AVHRR data and fine-scale, spectrally similar land-cover patterns in complex natural or disturbed landscapes.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title An analysis of IGBP global land-cover characterization process
Series title Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing
Volume 65
Issue 9
Year Published 1999
Language English
Publisher ASPRS
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 12 p.
First page 1021
Last page 1032
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