Biradar, CM, Thenkabail, PS, Noojipady, P, Li, YJ, Dheeravath, V, Turral, H, Velpuri, M, Gumma, MK, Gangalakunta, ORP, Cai, XL, Xiao, XM, Schull, MA, Alankara, RD, Gunasinghe, S, Mohideen, S (2009). A global map of rainfed cropland areas (GMRCA) at the end of last millennium using remote sensing. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOINFORMATION, 11(2), 114-129.
The overarching goal of this study was to produce a global map of rainfed cropland areas (GMRCA) and calculate country-by-country rainfed area statistics using remote sensing data. A suite of spatial datasets, methods and protocols for mapping GMRCA were described. These consist of: (a) data fusion and composition of multi- resolution time-series mega-file data-cube (MFDC), (b) image segmentation based on precipitation, temperature, and elevation zones, (c) spectral correlation similarity (SCS), (d) protocols for class identification and labeling through uses of SCS R-2-values, bi-spectral plots, space-time spiral curves (ST-SCs), rich source of field-plot data, and zoom-in-views of Google Earth (GE), and (e) techniques for resolving mixed classes by decision tree algorithms, and spatial modeling. The outcome was a 9-class GMRCA from which country-by-country rainfed area statistics were computed for the end of the last millennium. The global rainfed cropland area estimate from the GMRCA 9-class map was 1.13 billion hectares (Bha). The total global cropland areas (rainfed plus irrigated) was 1.53 Bha which was close to national statistics compiled by FAOSTAT (1.51 Bha). The accuracies and errors of GMRCA were assessed using field-plot and Google Earth data points. The accuracy varied between 92 and 98% with kappa value of about 0.76, errors of omission of 2-8%, and the errors of commission of 19-36%. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.