May 26, 2022

Science: Global Dataset Of Crowdsourced Land Cover and Land Use Reference Data

The following article/dataset was recently published in Scientific Data, a peer-reviewed journal from Nature.


Global Dataset Of Crowdsourced Land Cover and Land Use Reference Data


Steffen Fritz, Linda See, Christoph Perger, et al.
Ecosystems Services and Management Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)


Scientific Data 4:170075


Global land cover is an essential climate variable and a key biophysical driver for earth system models. While remote sensing technology, particularly satellites, have played a key role in providing land cover datasets, large discrepancies have been noted among the available products. Global land use is typically more difficult to map and in many cases cannot be remotely sensed. In-situ or ground-based data and high resolution imagery are thus an important requirement for producing accurate land cover and land use datasets and this is precisely what is lacking.

Here we describe the global land cover and land use reference data derived from the Geo-Wiki crowdsourcing platform via four campaigns. These global datasets provide information on human impact, land cover disagreement, wilderness and land cover and land use.

Hence, they are relevant for the scientific community that requires reference data for global satellite-derived products, as well as those interested in monitoring global terrestrial ecosystems in general.

Direct to Full Text Article and Links to Download Data

Note: Dataset is licensed using Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.