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Harmonization & Validation Initiative

Background of the harmonization & validation initiative are the needs from international drivers, i.e. those described in the GCOS Implementation Plan to establish international standards for land-cover characterization, produce reliable accepted methods for land-cover map accuracy assessment, and develop an in situ reference network and apply CEOS WGCV validation protocols for land cover.

The tasks masters are the CEOS Working Group on Calibration and Validation, GTOS/GOFC-GOLD and the UN Global Land Cover Network (GLCN). The strategic, organizational and methodological frame has already been established (Herold et al., 2006). Examples are the UN Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) and the validation protocols (Strahler et al., 2006). The joint harmonization and validation initiative will involve all important actors for best use of resources and experiences and combine harmonization and validation activities towards synergy and improved usability of land cover products.

There have been a number of additional developments with contribution of the Land Cover Implementation Team. A first GOFC-GOLD/CEOS Cal-Val workshop for validation Vegetation Continuous Fields products has been held in October 2005 at South Dakota State University. Following the model for developing "best practices" validation protocols an additional workshop is needed to move ahead in this arena. There has been an international Land Use and Land Cover harmonization workshop in February 2006, at FAO in Rome starting to develop a "Land Use Classification System". GOFC-GOLD has been present and will continue to participate in this process. In addition the LC-IT has been organizing and participating in LCCS and land cover validation capacity building events involving the GOFC-GOLD regional networks and UN GLCN.

Important links:

UN Global Land Cover Network: http://www.glcn.org/

Land Cover Classification System LCCS: http://www.africover.org/LCCS.htm

GOLD-24: A Revised Strategy for GOFC-GOLD, Townshend, J. R. & M. A. Brady, January 2006

GOLD-20: Report on the Harmonization of Global and Regional Land Cover Products meeting, Herold, M., Rome, Italy, 14-16 July 2004

Strahler, A., Boschetti, L., Foody, G. M., Fiedl, M. A., Hansen, M. C., Herold, M., Mayaux, P., Morisette, J. T., Stehman, S. V. & C. Woodcock (2006): Global Land Cover Validation: Recommendations for Evaluation and Accuracy Assessment Of Global Land Cover Maps, Report of Committee of Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) - Working Group on Calibration and Validation (WGCV).

Scientific papers: