Hansen, MC; Egorov, A; Roy, DP; Potapov, P; Ju, JC; Turubanova, S; Kommareddy, I; Loveland, TR (2011). Continuous fields of land cover for the conterminous United States using Landsat data: first results from the Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) project. REMOTE SENSING LETTERS, 2(4), 279-288.
Vegetation Continuous Field (VCF) layers of 30 m percent tree cover, bare ground, other vegetation and probability of water were derived for the conterminous United States (CONUS) using Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) data sets from the Web-Enabled Landsat Data (WELD) project. Turnkey approaches to land cover characterization were enabled due to the systematic WELD Landsat processing, including conversion of digital numbers to calibrated top of atmosphere reflectance and brightness temperature, cloud masking, reprojection into a continental map projection and temporal compositing. Annual, seasonal and monthly WELD composites for 2008 were used as spectral inputs to a bagged regression and classification tree procedure using a large training data set derived from very high spatial resolution imagery and available ancillary data. The results illustrate the ability to perform Landsat land cover characterizations at continental scales that are internally consistent while retaining local spatial and thematic detail.