JRC Land Cover/Use Change Validation Tool

JRC Land Cover/Use Change Validation Tool

The JRC TREES-3 project aims at estimating forest cover changes at continental and regional levels for the tropical belt for the periods 1990-2000 and 2000-(2005)-2010 based on a systematic sample of forest cover change maps. An operational system has been developed for the processing and change assessment of a large data set of multi-temporal medium resolution imagery (sample units of 20 km x 20 km size analysed from with Landsat imagery). The main task is to assess as accurately as possible for each sample unit the forest cover and forest cover change between two dates.

The analysis includes a crucial final step of visual verification and final assignment of land cover labels which is carried out by forestry national officers or remote sensing experts from tropical countries. The visual interpretation is conducted interdependently on two-date imagery to verify and to adjust the labels pre-assigned to each segment for the different dates. A dedicated stand-alone application has been developed for this purpose. The application is a graphical user interface, called the JRC Land Cover Change Validation Tool. The aim of this tool is to provide a user-friendly interface, with an optimised set of commands to navigate through and assess a given dataset of satellite imagery and land cover maps, and to correct easily the land-cover labels as appropriate. FAO is collaborating with JRC in this work under the Global Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) Remote Sensing Survey. JRC has added functionality to the tool to enable labelling of land-use classes that are part of the FRA classification.

The technical document, entitled “User Manual for the JRC Land Cover/Use Change Validation Tool” describes the steps for the installation of the tool on a personal computer, as well as the detailed features of this dedicated graphical user interface. The authors welcome feedback from potential users of the tool, in particular reporting of any potential software issue or providing suggestions for improvements of future versions of the tool.

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