Bloggage update: Two year review of a personal project that shows what free map data to hang sketch maps on, and a little tinkering to add historic wealth data, can achieve to illustrate almost 1000 yrs of geo-economics. Three key elements are: a) a geographic unit that stays constant, b) people who indefatigably document and update such important information, and c) ground truthing i.e. knowing & QCíng the data in order to put information in context.
The AGISRS list made me aware of Geo-Wiki.org, a crowdsourcing effort aimed at validating global land cover.
From their main page: "The Geo-Wiki Project is a global network of volunteers who wish to help improve the quality of global land cover maps. Since large differences occur between existing global land cover maps, current ecosystem and land-use science lacks crucial accurate data (e.g. to determine the potential of additional agricultural land available to grow crops in Africa). Volunteers are asked to review hotspot maps of global land cover disagreement and determine, based on what they actually see in Google Earth and their local knowledge, if the land cover maps are correct or incorrect. Their input is recorded in a database, along with uploaded photos, to be used in the future for the creation of a new and improved global land cover map."
Via email, in the lastest Global Land Cover Network bulletin #19 [pdf], published this week, we learn about the ECO-NET Earth Cover Observation Network.
From the introduction: "ECO-NET Earth Cover Observation Network is a programme that aims to create a consistent and scalable information system on land cover and its dynamics. It is designed to improve the access to data and information and improve assessment of land cover status and dynamics, based on standards and good practices. This programme responds to the need for consistent and reliable information that serves multiple applications, interoperable, scalable and compliant with reporting needs.
The primary focus is to develop a sampling framework for detailed land cover assessment at half degree intervals. The GLCN methodology and tools will enable active participation of a wide range of users by implementation of crowd sourcing technology. The database will be made available for public access and it will be part of the contribution to the pavilion of the Milan expo in 2015."
We mentioned the GLCN a few times in the past.
VerySpatial made me aware that the provisional version of the U.S. National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2006 is now available.
From the official page: "NLCD 2006 quantifies land cover and land cover change between the years 2001 to 2006 and provides an updated version of NLCD 2001. These products represent the first time this type of 30-meter cell land cover change has been produced for the conterminous United States. Products were generated by comparing spectral characteristics of Landsat imagery between 2001 and 2006, on an individual path/row basis, using protocols to identify and label change based on the trajectory from NLCD 2001 products. A formal accuracy assessment of the NLCD 2006 land cover change product is planned for 2011."
To my total surprise, I don't think we ever mentioned the NLCD dataset before.