ACCURACY DIMENSIONS IN REMOTE SENSING
Keywords: accuracy, data quality, data dimensions, uncertainty, metrics, procedures
Abstract. The technological developments in remote sensing (RS) during the past decade has contributed to a significant increase in the size of data user community. For this reason data quality issues in remote sensing face a significant increase in importance, particularly in the era of Big Earth data. Dozens of available sensors, hundreds of sophisticated data processing techniques, countless software tools assist the processing of RS data and contributes to a major increase in applications and users. In the past decades, scientific and technological community of spatial data environment were focusing on the evaluation of data quality elements computed for point, line, area geometry of vector and raster data. Stakeholders of data production commonly use standardised parameters to characterise the quality of their datasets. Yet their efforts to estimate the quality did not reach the general end-user community running heterogeneous applications who assume that their spatial data is error-free and best fitted to the specification standards. The non-specialist, general user group has very limited knowledge how spatial data meets their needs. These parameters forming the external quality dimensions implies that the same data system can be of different quality to different users. The large collection of the observed information is uncertain in a level that can decry the reliability of the applications.
Based on prior paper of the authors (in cooperation within the Remote Sensing Data Quality working group of ISPRS), which established a taxonomy on the dimensions of data quality in GIS and remote sensing domains, this paper is aiming at focusing on measures of uncertainty in remote sensing data lifecycle, focusing on land cover mapping issues. In the paper we try to introduce how quality of the various combination of data and procedures can be summarized and how services fit the users’ needs.
The present paper gives the theoretic overview of the issue, besides selected, practice-oriented approaches are evaluated too, finally widely-used dimension metrics like Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) or confusion matrix are discussed. The authors present data quality features of well-defined and poorly defined object. The central part of the study is the land cover mapping, describing its accuracy management model, presented relevance and uncertainty measures of its influencing quality dimensions. In the paper theory is supported by a case study, where the remote sensing technology is used for supporting the area-based agricultural subsidies of the European Union, in Hungarian administration.