Sustainable forest management : current research by Jorge Martín García; Julio Javier Diez Casero

By Jorge Martín García; Julio Javier Diez Casero

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Generally, map accuracy is measured by means of reference sites and a classification process more reliable than the one used to generate the map itself. The classified reference sites are then confronted with the map, assuming that the reference site is “the truth”. Agreement or disagreement is recorded in error matrices, or confusion matrices (Card, 1982), on the base of which various reliability indices may be derived. For regional scale LULC maps, the abundance and distribution of classes over the large extension of the map, confronted with tight budget constraints, add complexity to accuracy assessments.

For example, a simple random selection is associated with a uniform (constant) inclusion probability among all reference sites. For a two stage sampling, the probability of inclusion follows Bayes law: The probability of inclusion p2k of a reference site at the second stage is a multiplicative function of the inclusion probability p1k of the cluster it pertains to, and of the inclusion probability of the reference site, once the cluster has been selected p2|1 (conditional inclusion probability)(equation 1): p2k=p2|1 * p1k (1) Accuracy indices per class are derived from these calculations: ‘user’s accuracy’ of class k is the account of agreements from all sites of mapped class k while the ‘producer’s accuracy’ of class k counts agreements from all reference sites labeled as class k.

Because of the high complexity of these products, detailed information on the assessment process itself is needed for the reliability figures to be interpreted properly (Foody, 2002). With this understanding, Stehman & Czaplewski (1998) have proposed a standard structure for accuracy assessment designs, divided into three phases: 1. Representative selection of reference sites (sampling design), 2. Definition, processing and classification of the selected reference sites (verification design), 3.

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