Multi-scale accuracy assessment of land cover datasets based on histo-variograms

Liujun Zhu, Pengfeng Xiao, Xuezhi Feng, Zuo Wang, Luyuan Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the shortage of single-scale accuracy assessment methods, this paper proposes a multi-scale accuracy assessment method based on histo-variograms, which assesses the accuracy of land cover datasets on a pixel and sub-pixel scale. On a pixel scale, a standing-pixel is introduced as the sample tool to accurately assess datasets directly, whereas on a sub-pixel scale, a non-strictly defined standing-pixel and histo-variogram are applied to evaluate the accuracy of the dominant type in a mixed pixel with different areas and spatial structures. Taking as the experimental area a typical region in northern Zhejiang Province, China, and Landsat TM/ETM+ images as the reference data, accuracy assessment experiments of five large-scale land cover datasets, i.e., UMD, IGBP DISCover, MOD12Q1-2001, GLC2000 and GlobCover2009 are carried out. The result shows that the proposed multi-scale accuracy assessment method can provide a comprehensive evaluation of datasets along with abundant multi-scale accuracy information. The accuracy assessment on a pixel scale can eliminate the error caused by spatial disagreement between reference data and datasets, making the result more objective, while the accuracy assessment on a sub-pixel scale can effectively reflect the relationship between the accuracy and feature attributes, which refers to the feature's spatial structure and area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1459-1474
Number of pages16
JournalYaogan Xuebao
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Accuracy assessment
  • Histo-variogram
  • Large-scale land cover datasets
  • Multi-scale
  • Northern part of Zhejiang Province

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