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New web tool to improve accuracy of global land cover maps
Date:2/14/2012

a quality. Volunteers are also encouraged to submit photographs of the location to help in the validation of the land cover. The majority of registered volunteers to date have some professional association with remote sensing.

Once submitted the land cover information recorded in Geo-wiki is freely available for decision makers, land managers, or any member of the community anywhere in the world.

Several additional Geo-Wikis have also been developed. An agriculture Geo-Wiki aims to provide the most detailed coverage to date of the type and extent of agriculture, while urban Geo-Wiki (urban.geo-wiki.org) helps users to better understand the percentage of the earth's surface under urbanization. Current estimates of the total land surface classified as urban vary from between 0.05% to 3% of the Earth's surface, a significant disagreement that the Geo-Wiki team hope to reduce. Other Geo-Wiki 'branches' currently developed include biomass cover, human impact, archeology, and regional Geo-Wiki.

"Geo-Wiki attempts to bring information together on many aspects of the Earth's surface, this information is primarily associated with how humans have managed or modified landscapes and ecosystems. To address the many challenges global communities are dealing with, such as climate change or food security, we need multidisciplinary responses. Policymakers thus need information that is not only as accurate as possible but that is holistic we cannot deal with climate change, independent of how we deal with food security or energy security. Geo-Wiki is one tool to start bridging this information gap, integrating information, and, ultimately, we believe supporting the development of more integrated policy and management decisions," said Dr Fritz.

Geo-Wiki is a relatively new tool, with approximately 700 registered users world-wide. However, in a short time these volunteers have validated over 55, 000 areas (or validation points) equivalent to
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Contact: Leane Regan
regan@iiasa.ac.at
43-066-444-30368
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Source:Eurekalert

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