Gao, Y; Liu, LY; Zhang, X; Chen, XD; Mi, J; Xie, S (2020). Consistency Analysis and Accuracy Assessment of Three Global 30-m Land-Cover Products over the European Union using the LUCAS Dataset. REMOTE SENSING, 12(21), 3479.

Land-cover plays an important role in the Earth's energy balance, the hydrological cycle, and the carbon cycle. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the current global land-cover (GLC) products and to understand the differences between these products so that they can be used effectively in different applications. In this study, three 30-m GLC products, namely GlobeLand30-2010, GLC_FCS30-2015, and FROM_GLC30-2015, were evaluated in terms of areal consistency and spatial consistency using the Land Use/Cover Area frame statistical Survey (LUCAS) reference dataset over the European Union (EU). Given the limitations of the traditional confusion matrix used in accuracy assessment, we adjusted the confusion matrices from sample counts by accounting for the class proportions of the map and reported the standard errors of the descriptive accuracy measures in the accuracy assessment. The results revealed the following. (1) The overall accuracy of the GlobeLand30-2010 product was the highest at 88.90 +/- 0.68%; this was followed by GLC_FCS30-2015 (84.33 +/- 0.80%) and FROM_GLC2015 (65.31 +/- 1.0%). (2) The consistency between the GLC_FCS30-2015 and GlobeLand30-2010 is higher than the consistency between other products, with an area correlation coefficient of 0.930 and a proportion of consistent pixels of 52.41%, respectively. (3) Across the area of the EU, the dominant land-cover types such as forest and cropland are the most consistent across the three products, whereas the spatial consistency for bare land, grassland, shrubland, and wetland is relatively low. (4) The proportion of pixels for which the consistency is low accounts for less than 16.17% of pixels, whereas the proportion of pixels for which the consistency is high accounts for about 39.12%. The disagreement between these products primarily occurs in transitional zones with mixed land cover types or in mountain areas. Overall, the GlobeLand30 and GLC-FCS30 products were found to be the most consistent and to have good classification accuracy in the EU, with the disagreement between the three 30-m GLC products mainly occurring in heterogeneous regions.