Table of Contents
Geography Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 372349, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/372349
Research Article

A Suite of Tools for Assessing Thematic Map Accuracy

1Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro 8701, Colonia Ex-Hacienda de San José de La Huerta, 58190 Morelia, MICH, Mexico
2Dirección de la División de Ingenierías, Universidad de Guanajuato, Avenida Juárez 77, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, GTO, Mexico
3Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Antigua Carretera a Pátzcuaro 8701, Colonia Ex-Hacienda de San José de La Huerta, 58190 Morelia, MICH, Mexico

Received 14 March 2014; Revised 7 May 2014; Accepted 18 May 2014; Published 11 June 2014

Academic Editor: Laerte G. Ferreira

Copyright © 2014 Jean-François Mas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Although land use/cover maps are widely used to support management and environmental policies, only some studies have reported their accuracy using sound and complete assessments. Thematic map accuracy assessment is typically achieved by comparing reference sites labeled with the “ground-truth” category to the ones depicted in the land use/cover map. A variety of sampling designs are used to select these references sites. The estimators for accuracy indices and the variance of these estimators depend on the sampling design. However, the tools used to assess accuracy available in the main program packages compute the accuracy indices without taking into account the sampling and give inconsistent estimates. As an alternative, we present free user-friendly tools that enable users beyond the Geographic Information Science Community to compute accuracy indices and estimate corrected areas of given categories with their respective confidence intervals. The tool runs in Dinamica EGO, a free platform for environmental spatial modeling as well as a Q-GIS plugin and a R package. Additionally, a practical application example is described using a case study area in central-west Mexico.