The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLIII-B4-2021
30 Jun 2021
 | 30 Jun 2021


G. Bratic, A. Vavassori, and M. A. Brovelli

Keywords: Global Land Cover, High-Resolution Land Cover, Land Cover Legend, Review, Land Cover Accuracy

Abstract. The land cover detection on our planet at high spatial resolution has a key role in many scientific and operational applications, such as climate modeling, natural resources management, biodiversity studies, urbanization analyses and spatial demography. Thanks to the progresses in Remote Sensing, accurate and high-resolution land cover maps have been developed over the last years, aiming at detecting the spatial resolution of different types of surfaces. In this paper we propose a review of the high-resolution global land cover products developed through Earth Observation technologies. A series of general information regarding imagery and data used to produce the map, the procedures employed for the map development and for the map accuracy assessment have been provided for every dataset. The land cover maps described in this paper concern the global distribution of settlements (Global Urban Footprint, Global Human Settlement Built-Up, World Settlement Footprint), water (Global Surface Water), forests (Forest/Non-forest, Tree canopy cover), and a two land cover maps describing world in 10 generic classes (GlobeLand30 and Finer Resolution Observation and Monitoring of Global Land Cover). The advantages and shortcomings of these maps and of the methods employed to produce them are summarized and compared in the conclusions.