Collaborative opportunities for high-res land cover products discussed

March 17th, 2019, Published in Articles: PositionIT

The First United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress was held in Deqing, Zhejiang Province, China from 19 to 21 November 2018. The Congress was organised by the United Nations through Statistics Division as the UN-GGIM Secretariat (United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management), in collaboration with the Government of China through the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Government of Zhejiang Province of China.

The focus of the congress was to discuss of the advances in geospatial information which are fundamental for enabling a sustainable development that leaves no one behind and guide us towards a better world.

The session “Global land cover and intelligent analysis of remotely sensed images was held under the umbrella of the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. It started with an overview of current state-of-the-art solutions in remote sensing for generating and updating geospatial information, and presented mechanisms and applications of AI for earth observation.

This was followed by a look at existing high-resolution global land cover products, focusing on GlobeLand30 as a notable example. Problems related to the creation of these datasets and their assessment were also discussed. Besides the traditional assessment procedures followed by the producers, collaborative validation best practice were highlighted. The lessons learnt over several years of validation and which led to the creation of free and open education material which was presented. These are able to improve the capacity in all countries, especially that of developing countries.

The session helped increase awareness of the importance of global high resolution land cover maps, showing that, even if there are still challenges to solve, a lot has been done and the lessons learnt can be applied  in a collaborative ways to involve different countries, their policy makers, researchers and citizens.

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