News

Global Landcover at 10m resolution available on CODE-DE

2022-03-21
code-de project

In an ever-changing environment, the need for accurate, timely and high-resolution information on land use/land cover and its changes has increased tremendously.

However, until now, regional or continental land cover maps either used low-resolution images (>100 m) as input or were based exclusively on high-resolution optical Earth observation data, such as Sentinel-2 or Landsat. The use of SAR data such as Sentinel-1 to produce large area land cover maps is still in its infancy. For this purpose and inspired by the 2017 WorldCover conference (attended by more than 400 participants) the European Space Agency (ESA) initiated the WorldCover project.
 
The key outcome of this project was the release in October 2021 of a freely accessible global land cover product at 10 m resolution for 2020, based on both Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data, containing 11 land cover classes and independently validated with a global overall accuracy of 74.4%. A crucial aspect for WorldCover was the involvement of several end users active in different domains who provided primary input for all engineering aspects and followed the whole project workflow from design up to validation and uptake. Consequently, WorldCover intends to provide a substantial benefit to various user communities and expands the established global land cover base of users and the development of novel services.