Price, JC (2003). Comparing MODIS and ETM+ data for regional and global land classification. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 86(4), 491-499.
Nearly simultaneous reflectance data sets from the Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), at 30-m resolution, and the Terra satellite instrument MODIS, at 500-m resolution, are compared for their ability to map fractional coverage of surface types over large areas. Lower spatial resolution MODIS classification results are generally comparable those of ETM+, with discrepancies for some regions with mixed surface types. Analysis of laboratory and field spectra suggests an ambiguity, the brightness ambiguity, which can prevent accurate area estimation of pixels having two or more surface types. This ambiguity, plus general mathematical inversion issues, can account for the discrepancy. Thus, occasional high-resolution measurements, as from Landsat 7, are necessary to refine estimations of large area surface types from MODIS and similar lower spatial resolution instruments. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.