Earth Observation (EO) has long been used to collect information about our environment. One common application has been the production of land cover maps using multispectral imagery. Although a picture can tell a thousand words, context is vital for interpretation. Therefore, in order to enhance the success of EO, it is fundamental to validate its derived products. Check out the latest COBWEB video on YouTube which discusses how our infrastructure can be used to collect valuable environmental data relating to land cover. These data can subsequently be used to validate EO derived land cover products.
Citizens are able to record descriptive information about various parts of the environment using their mobile devices. This could include for example, when looking at woodland, whether it is deciduous or coniferous or if there is an understory/shrub layer. Such information may not be easily visible from EO data. Citizens are able to record all this information using the COBWEB app and act as source of roaming sensors.
On their own, the data are insightful snippets of information. However, collectively, the data can be used to validate products derived from EO enhancing our understanding of our environment. This can be shared with policy and decision makers in the future. The data can be made available to all through GEOSS.