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Investigating the feasibility of geo-tagged photographs as sources of land cover input data


Vyron Antoniou

Costa Fonte

Linda See

Jacinto Estima

Jamal Jokar Arsanjani

Flavio Lupia

Marco Minghini

Professor of Geographical Information

Steffen Fritz


Geo-tagged photographs are used increasingly as a source of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), which could potentially be used for land use and land cover applications. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the feasibility of using this source of spatial information for three use cases related to land cover: Calibration, validation and verification. We first provide an inventory of the metadata that are collected with geo-tagged photographs and then consider what elements would be essential, desirable, or unnecessary for the aforementioned use cases. Geo-tagged photographs were then extracted from Flickr, Panoramio and Geograph for an area of London, UK, and classified based on their usefulness for land cover mapping including an analysis of the accompanying metadata. Finally, we discuss protocols for geo-tagged photographs for use of VGI in relation to land cover applications.


Antoniou, V., Costa Fonte, C., See, L., Estima, J., Arsanjani, J. J., Lupia, F., …Fritz, S. (2016). Investigating the feasibility of geo-tagged photographs as sources of land cover input data. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 5(5), 1-20.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 9, 2016
Online Publication Date May 13, 2016
Publication Date May 13, 2016
Deposit Date Mar 8, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 8, 2017
Journal ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Electronic ISSN 2220-9964
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 5
Article Number 64
Pages 1-20
Keywords geo-tagged photographs; Volunteered Geographic Information; Flickr; Panoramio; Geograph; land cover; land use; fitness-for-use
Public URL
Publisher URL


2016-IJGI-Vyron.pdf (2.8 Mb)

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