Giri, C; Pengra, B; Long, J; Loveland, TR (2013). Next generation of global land cover characterization, mapping, and monitoring. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOINFORMATION, 25, 30-37.
Land cover change is increasingly affecting the biophysics, biogeochemistry, and biogeography of the Earth's surface and the atmosphere, with far-reaching consequences to human well-being. However, our scientific understanding of the distribution and dynamics of land cover and land cover change (LCLCC) is limited. Previous global land cover assessments performed using coarse spatial resolution (300 m-1 km) satellite data did not provide enough thematic detail or change information for global change studies and for resource management. High resolution (similar to 30 m) land cover characterization and monitoring is needed that permits detection of land change at the scale of most human activity and offers the increased flexibility of environmental model parameterization needed for global change studies. However, there are a number of challenges to overcome before producing such data sets including unavailability of consistent global coverage of satellite data, sheer volume of data, unavailability of timely and accurate training and validation data, difficulties in preparing image mosaics, and high performance computing requirements. Integration of remote sensing and information technology is needed for process automation and high-performance computing needs. Recent developments in these areas have created an opportunity for operational high resolution land cover mapping, and monitoring of the world. Here, we report and discuss these advancements and opportunities in producing the next generations of global land cover characterization, mapping, and monitoring at 30-m spatial resolution primarily in the context of United States, Group on Earth Observations Global 30 m land cover initiative (UGLC). (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.