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The Southern Africa Fire Network (SAFNet) regional burned‐area product‐validation protocol

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The development of appropriate validation techniques is critical to assess uncertainties associated with satellite‐data‐based products, to identify needed product improvements and to allow products to be used appropriately. At regional to global scales, there are several outstanding issues in the development of robust validation methodologies, including the need to increase the quality and economy of product validation by developing and promoting international validation standards and protocols. This paper describes a protocol developed to validate a regional southern Africa burned‐area product derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 500 m time series data. The protocol is based upon interpretations by members of the Southern Africa Fire Network (SAFNet) of multitemporal Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) data to derive maps of the location and approximate date of burning. The validation data are derived using Landsat ETM+ scenes distributed to encompass representative regional variation in the conditions for which the MODIS burned‐area product was generated and to capture the more important factors that influence product performance. The protocol was developed by consensus to ensure inter‐comparison of the independent data derived by the different SAFNet members and to allow these data to be scaled up to provide regional validation of the MODIS burned‐area product. Biomass burning in southern Africa, the ETM+ sampling rationale, the interpretation and mapping approach, SAFNet member fire activities, and illustrative 2001 results and difficulties encountered with the protocol are described.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Cartography Centre, Tropical Research Institute, Travessa Conde da Ribeira 9, 1300‐142 Lisbon, Portugal 2: Institute of Environmental Studies, University of Zimbabwe, PO Box MP 167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe 3: Department of Geography, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA 4: CSIR Environmentek, PO Box 395, Pretoria, 0006, South Africa 5: Etosha Ecological Institute, Okaukuejo Camp, Etosha National Park, Namibia 6: Forestry Commission, 71 Fife Street, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe 7: University of Malawi, Bunda College of Agriculture, PO Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi 8: WWF Southern African Regional Programme Office, PO Box CY 1409, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe 9: Geospatial Solutions Zimbabwe, Box BE683, Belvedere, Harare, Zimbabwe 10: Direcção Nacional de Florestas e Fauna Bravia Ministério da Agricultura e Desenvolvimento Rural, Praça Dos Herois Moçambicanos, 2° Andar, CP 1928 c/c FAO, Maputo, Mozambique 11: Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre, University of Botswana, Private Bag 285, Maun, Botswana 12: Department of Environmental Science, University of Botswana, Private Bag UB00704, Gaborone, Botswana 13: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 614.5, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

Publication date: 2005-10-10

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