The formulation of a generalized area-based confusion matrix for exploring the accuracy of area estimates is presented. The generalized confusion matrix is appropriate for both traditional classification algorithms and sub-pixel area estimation models. An error matrix, derived from the generalized confusion matrix, allows the accuracy of maps generated using area estimation models to be assessed quantitatively and compared to the accuracies obtained from traditional classification techniques. The application of this approach is demonstrated for an area estimation model applied to Landsat data of an urban area of the United Kingdom
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