By Fahima Amin (Bangladesh)
Global Land Cover (GLC) datasets and available reference datasets for its validation are an important issue now a days for worldwide research related with global changes in relation to agriculture, climate or urban planning. The GOFC-GOLD Land Cover Project Office took a good initiative to support those researches by providing standard quality GLC reference datasets with the detail of validation criteria for free. These reference datasets are reusable; multiple groups of researchers, government and nongovernmental officials use them for different purposes. This thesis presents an exploratory study to web GIS technology to improve the accessibility of reference datasets for GLC maps validation. A vast literature study has been performed to understand the differences between regular reference datasets and the reference datasets GOFC-GOLD offers. An online questionnaire survey has been done with the participation of 12 experts of different research backgrounds to evaluate the existing situation and to identify the lacking of the GOFC-GOLD website. A server side geoportal development has been completed to improve the accessibility of datasets validation with a qualitative approach. However, the evaluation survey of existing and new geo-portal focus on client-side oriented. Evaluation of the server side development has not done yet. The evaluation survey showed clearly that redevelopment of GOFC-GOLD geoportal is essential. Moreover, from the qualitative validation survey, I found, 75% of total respondents said that from the proposed geoportal it’s easier to find the reference datasets whereas 67% of total respondents had difficulties to find the datasets from existing geoportal. The new interface is highly appreciated by the 91.66% respondents. Additionally, the overall user satisfaction has improved from 33% to 75%. The participants appreciate the new design. Despite several imperfections of the proposed geoportal, the results allow the conclusion that the methods used to develop a new geoportal, work well. Based on the study outcomes of the proposed server side interface further development of a prototype version is required to reach an implementation stage of the GOFC-GOLD geoportal.
Keywords: GOFC-GOLD; global land cover (GLC) datasets; geoportal; validation; GLC reference data; accessibility