Colditz, RR; Saldana, GL; Maeda, P; Espinoza, JA; Tovar, CM; Hernandez, AV; Benitez, CZ; Lopez, IC; Ressl, R (2012). Generation and analysis of the 2005 land cover map for Mexico using 250 m MODIS data. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 123, 541-552.
Land cover plays a key role in global to regional monitoring and modeling because it affects and is being affected by climate change and thus became one of the essential variables for climate change studies. National and international organizations require timely and accurate land cover information for reporting and management actions. The North American Land Change Monitoring System (NALCMS) is an international cooperation of organizations and entities of Canada. the United States, and Mexico to map land cover change of North America's changing environment. This paper presents the methodology to derive the land cover map of Mexico for the year 2005 which was integrated in the NALCMS continental map. Based on a time series of 250 m Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MOD'S) data and an extensive sample data base the complexity of the Mexican landscape required a specific approach to reflect land cover heterogeneity. To estimate the proportion of each land cover class for every pixel several decision tree classifications were combined to obtain class membership maps which were finally converted to a discrete map accompanied by a confidence estimate. The map yielded an overall accuracy of 82.5% (Kappa of 0.79) for pixels with at least 50% map confidence (71.3% of the data). An additional assessment with 780 randomly stratified samples and primary and alternative calls in the reference data to account for ambiguity indicated 83.4% overall accuracy (Kappa of 0.80). A high agreement of 83.6% for all pixels and 92.6% for pixels with a map confidence of more than 50% was found for the comparison between the land cover maps of 2005 and 2006. Further wall-to-wall comparisons to related land cover maps resulted in 56.6% agreement with the MODIS land cover product and a congruence of 49.5 with Globcover. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.