SPINlab researchers Vasco Diogo and Eric Koomen have written a paper for the OECD identifying opportunities to refine OECD’s indicators of land cover and land use and their regular production for all OECD and G20 countries. A comprehensive review is conducted of the available datasets at the global, regional and national levels, including data derived from remote sensing as well as those complemented with administrative and survey data.
The datasets are assessed in terms of their geographic coverage, periodicity, spatial resolution, data reliability and comparability. The paper discusses the potential use of such datasets for the production of indicators that are harmonised across countries and over time.
It is found that data on land cover are widely available and that many OECD countries have good-quality national land cover datasets, in some cases consistently over time. However, considerable differences have been found among the land cover products reviewed in terms of their geographic coverage, spatial, temporal and thematic resolution. For eight countries, no country- or region-specific data could be found (including Israel, Korea, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia). On the other hand, data on land use seem to be much scarcer, available only for Australia, European countries, Japan and the United States.
The paper concludes with a discussion of selection guidelines for, and examples of, potentially suitable datasets in terms of their geographic coverage and the temporal, spatial and thematic resolution. The paper can be downloaded from the OECD library: