Assess citizen science based land cover maps with remote sensing products: the Ground Truth 2.0 data quality tool

One of the main concerns in adopting citizen science is data quality. Derived products inherit intrinsic limitations of the capture methodology as well as the uncertainties in observations. OpenStreetMap tools are designed to minimize uncertainties in positional accuracy by ensuring a good co-registration of the observations with imagery or direct use of GPS. When thematically annotating objects contributed by citizens, uncertainty increases. During the H2020 GroundTruth 2.0 project two land-cover products derived from OSM were analyzed; one created by the University of Heidelberg ( and another elaborated by University of Coimbra ( To be able to assess the quality of both maps, a third product derived from remote sensing was introduced as a reference map. In GroundTruth 2.0 a tool to show and compare maps as part of the MiraMon Map Browser was developed. The objective was to allow final users to auto-evaluate the quality of their region of interest. The confusion matrix has been used as a method to derive overall commission and omission estimators as well as the Kappa coefficient. Most of the discrepancies between OSM and remote sensing (RS) derived maps are related to different approaches used during data capturing. The data quality tool assesses the quality of individual observations exposed using the OGC standard and describes the quality in an interoperable approach based on QualityML.

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