The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has recently released the first comprehensive digital map of wetlands across China, based on remote sensing imagery.  The effort was led by PengGong, of CAS Institute of Remote Sensing Applications in Beijing and University of California, Berkeley.  Wetland map classification was based on Landsat (ETM+) imagery (1999 to 2002) obtained from University of Maryland’s Global Land Cover Facility and reference sources including GTOPO30 (elevation), Land Cover maps of China, marshland database of China, and Google Earth imagery.

The digital map, being the first of its kind to be publicly released (1KMresolution ESRI GRID available), is a valuable resource for ecologists, conservationists, planners, and scientists alike.  It appears, however, to primarily be a remote-sensing exercise with minimal ground-truthing (mainly cross-referencedwith Google Earth imagery) and it will be interesting to see how it translates on the ground!  Apparently, China’s State Forestry Administration is currently working on a wetlands mapping project( $14.6M USD) that includes remote sensing and substantial ground data – looking forward to that release in the future.

Let us know if you have explored this dataset to any extent!News Articles announcing release of the maps:

Nature:  http://www. nature. com/news/2009/090310/full/458134a. html

Wetlands International :http://www. wetwonder. org/en/shownews. asp? news_id=953

Description of dataand download access: http://www. slrss. cn/show. aspx? id=651&cid=19

Read the referencepaper (in Chinese):
Niu ZG., P Gong, X Cheng, Guo JH, WangL, Huang HB, Shen SQ, Wu YZ, Wang XF, Wang XW, Ying Q, Liang L, Zhang LN, WangL, Yao Q, Yang ZZ, Guo ZQ, Dai YJ, Geographical analysis of China’s wetlands preliminarily derived from remotely sensed data. Science in China Series D:Earth Sciences, 2009. 39(2):188-203 {in Chinese}

Via:ecotope. оrg

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