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The geoland2 project has ended in 2012 - COPERNICUS Land Monitoring Serivces are implemented by EEA and JRC

Follow up new developments of the COPERNICUS Land Monitoring Services here.


An Outlook to the future of the COPERNICUS Land Monitoring Services

As with all COPERNIUCS Services once implemented monitoring scheme over the European continent the benefits resulting from the local and continental LMCS will be on different levels and will differ according to the needs of the various customers interested in land cover information and its change over time.

  • As stated frequently not only from international organisations and User DGs, but from scientists as well, trans-boundary coherent information on land cover and land use is most important. It not only provides measures to assess the impact of European policies and directives but can support new reporting obligations (e.g. coming from UNFCCC, UNEP …), as well.
  • For member states COPERNICUS Services  can support their reporting obligations by reducing the overall costs. In addition, they allow the upgrade of national data bases;
  • It is expected that the wall-to-wall image products together with the 5 HR layers currently under production will motivate member states to invoke national programs to take best benefit from the new data sources.
  • On European as well as on national and regional level the COPERNICUS land Services will allow to retrieve and/or to regularly update European and national land cover databases, downstream services, environmental indicators and cross-border planning.
  • The possibility to connect in-situ monitoring with spatially explicit information allows improved exploitation of the remote sensing-based information by calibration of models, leading into better environmental indicators and improved statistics,
  • Of critical importance for all governmental and regional users is the long-term sustainability of the local and continental LMCS services. Only by reliable and repetitive time series can the monitoring of urban and regional developments create the highest benefits and lead-in investments required by national and regional entities to become economically feasible.


Future Research

According to the overall specification of geoland2, the emphasis was more on the development and consolidation of operational production capacities than on basic research. Hence, some R&D issues which were known even before or were identified during the project are not fully solved during the project’s lifetime.

  • Maybe the most important issue here relates to possible improvements of the current HR layers with respect to accuracy, thematic content and their integration with European and/or national LC/LU databases (e.g. the appropriate upgrade of CLC polygons or existing national data bases with HR thematic content). Especially for the latter national programs are needed to prepare the MS on the optimal use of the HR layers and the Sentinel data (from 2013/14 onwards). The effort or EEA as part on the GIO program does not seem to be sufficient in this regard. This topic requires measures to ingest directly the new high quality satellite data itself and the improved HR layers based on more reliable coverages. However, for an optimal exploitation of the new resources it will be mandatory to link the GMES satellite data base of ESA with national data archives and third party mission data providers.
  • Another very important issue is the change mapping over large areas. Here, still many open scientific and technical questions exist, surrounding European-wide operations. For instance the differentiation between „real“ vs. artificial changes in land use (e.g. stemming from different data models or from seasonal vegetation effects) is a real challenge for automated production. Also the question of how to validate changes in a cost effective but still valid approach is not solved yet.
  • Investigations are needed relating to the data volumes to be expected, the data handling and their integration into large area processing chains. Here, for instance the availability of European Sentinel simulation data would be highly appreciated. 
  • All of the above goes hand in hand with the demand for a higher degree of automation, as increasing data volumes will require more data analysis work. It also demands new multi-sensor approaches and integrated monitoring concepts taking benefit of the Sentinel satellites and other third party missions.
  • Finally an open issue is the adoption and integration of GMES data and services into the public domain for monitoring the environment on local and regional level. Here, sound approaches are needed for the seamless combination of HR imagery from satellites with aerial photography, VHR optical and SAR imagery, UAVs, LIDAR, and in-situ measurements. This goes hand in hand with easy access to all data via the WWW based on INSPIRE rules. And the information society expects more and more on-the-fly data processing based on cloud computing approaches (e.g. like Google Earth or on-going MS activities) even when this is a rather challenging approach today when complex continental information should be exploited to derive state-of-the-art for environmental indicators based on sound models.


After geoland2 EEA and JRC implement COPERNICUS Land Services

Based on geoland2 developments and the experience acquired by the European remote sensing consortia, the European Commission and the EEA agreed to appoint the EEA to coordinate and implement the pan‐European and local components of the GMES Initial Operations (GIO) Land Monitoring Service from 2011, with the implementation of the Global component coordinated by the JRC in 2013. In this manner the service portfolios developed and demonstrated by various projects have been largely taken up by the GMES Initial Operations, forming a bridge from research, integration and preoperational activities to the operational phase of GMES land.














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geoland2 is a Collaborative Project (2008-2012) funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme (project number 218795).
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