Waser, LT, Schwarz, M (2006). Comparison of large-area land cover products with national forest inventories and CORINE land cover in the European Alps. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOINFORMATION, 8(3), 196-207.

Considerable efforts have recently resulted in the development of global land cover data at large spatial scales. The main objective of this study is a comparison of different AVHRR- and MODIS-based forest and land cover products at the scale of the European Alps: a large natural ecosystem that is exposed to both natural environmental threats and human impacts and exploitation. In a first test, the accuracy of land cover products in predicting the overall amount of forest across national boundaries was assessed using national forest inventory statistics. Both variants of forest class combinations resulted in a general overestimation of the forest area. The IGBP 2.0 cover performed best with an overall mean absolute error of 13% and a bias of 0%. In a second test, large-area land cover products were tested for accuracy in predicting 13 aggregated land cover types in a spatially explicit manner using CORINE land cover as reference dataset. Due to data inconsistencies, partly insufficient spatial resolution, steep terrain and land use heterogeneity of the European Alps, only partly satisfactory results were obtained. (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier B.V.