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Valuing map validation: the need for rigorous land cover map accuracy assessment in economic valuations of ecosystem services

Foody, Giles M.

Authors

GILES FOODY giles.foody@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Geographical Information



Abstract

Valuations of ecosystem services often use data on land cover class areal extent. Area estimates from land cover maps may be biased by misclassification error resulting in flawed assessments and inaccurate valuations. Adjustment for misclassification error is possible for maps subjected to a rigorous validation program including an accuracy assessment. Unfortunately, validation is rare and/or poorly undertaken as often not regarded as a high priority. The benefit of map validation and hence its value is indicated with two maps. The International Geosphere Biosphere Programme’s DISCover map was used to estimate wetland value globally. The latter changed from US$1.92 trillion yr-1 to US$2.79 trillion yr-1 when adjusted for misclassification bias. For the conterminous USA, ecosystem services value based on six land cover classes from the National Land Cover Database (2006) changed from US$1118 billion yr-1 to US$600 billion yr-1 after adjustment for misclassification bias. The effect of error-adjustment on the valuations indicates the value of map validation to rigorous evidence-based science and policy work in relation to aspects of natural capital. The benefit arising from validation was orders of magnitude larger than mapping costs and it is argued that validation should be a high priority in mapping programs and inform valuations.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2015
Journal Ecological Economics
Print ISSN 0921-8009
Electronic ISSN 0921-8009
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 111
Issue March
APA6 Citation Foody, G. M. (2015). Valuing map validation: the need for rigorous land cover map accuracy assessment in economic valuations of ecosystem services. Ecological Economics, 111(March), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.01.003
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.01.003
Keywords Remote sensing, Map accuracy, Misclassification bias, Valuation error
Publisher URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800915000166
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0





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