CAPACITY BUILDING FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION LAND COVER INTERCOMPARISON AND VALIDATION: WHAT IS AVAILABLE AND WHAT IS NEEDED
Land Cover (LC) maps are fundamental products for a wide variety of applications. The workflow for their production is composed of classification of satellite imagery and validation against a reference dataset. Different LC maps as well as multiple versions in time of the same LC map can be also compared with one another to assess LC changes. Since the current richness of both space and in-situ observations makes it quite easy to produce LC maps, it is fundamental to assess their accuracy before using them for real applications. This paper focuses on education and capacity building on the intercomparison and validation of global (i.e. covering the whole world) and high-resolution (i.e. with a spatial resolution of at least 30 m) LC maps. The availability of Free and Open Source for Geospatial (FOSS4G) technology capable to process LC maps, as well as the existence of ad hoc educational material, is carefully assessed. In parallel, an ad hoc survey has showed that users, especially in developing countries, often lack awareness about the need to validate them and are not aware about the existence of training material. With this premise, a new project presented in the paper aims to produce new, openly licensed and FOSS4G-based training material on the intercomparison and validation of global high-resolution LC maps.