It is now widely accepted that an accuracy assessment should be part of a thematic mapping programme. Authoritative good or best practices for accuracy assessment have been defined but are often impractical to implement. Key reasons for this situation are linked to the ground reference data used in the accuracy assessment. Typically, it is a challenge to acquire a large sample of high quality reference cases in accordance to desired sampling designs specified as conforming to good practice and the data collected are normally to some degree imperfect limiting their value to an accuracy assessment which implicitly assumes the use of a gold standard reference. Citizen sensors have great potential to aid aspects of accuracy assessment. In particular, they may be able to act as a source of ground reference data that may, for example, reduce sample size problems but concerns with data quality remain. The relative strengths and limitations of citizen contributed data for accuracy assessment are reviewed in the context of the authoritative good practices defined for studies of land cover by remote sensing. The article will highlight some of the ways that citizen contributed data have been used in accuracy assessment as well as some of the problems that require further attention, and indicate some of the potential ways forward in the future.
Foody, G. M. (2015). An assessment of citizen contributed ground reference data for land cover map accuracy assessment. ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 2(3/W5), doi:10.5194/isprsannals-II-3-W5-219-2015