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geoland2 Project Achievements

September 2011: NRT MERIS Biophysical Products available over Europe through the SDI portal

Astrium Services is now producing in Near Real Time a set of biophysical variables derived from the MERIS Full Resolution data over the whole Europe. The variables include the Leaf Area Index (LAI), the Fraction of Green Cover, the Fraction of Brown Cover, the Fraction of photo synthetically active radiation absorbed by the vegetation (FAPAR), the Canopy Shadow Factor (CSF), the Chlorophyll content, the Fraction of Soil, the Fraction of Snow, and the Fraction of Water. New products are available every 10 days, and less than 3 days after the most recent acquisition. They are provided by country, and they cover the period from March 2011 to the present, so far.

The NRT MERIS products, like all products of the Biophysical Parameter Core Mapping Services (BioPar), are accessible free of charge through the SDI portal. They are associated to a Product User Manual and a Validation Report that can be downloaded here.

July 2011: G2 model for erosion

G2 model is a new generic model for erosion, resulted from the cooperation of JRC/IES/Land Management & Natural Hazards Unit and the Lab of Forest Management and Remote Sensing of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in the framework of geoland2 project.

G2 estimates soil loss (in t/ha) from sheet and interril erosion caused by splash and runoff, on a month-step basis and on a landscape scale. G2 employs harmonized standard input data from European and global databases, such as the European Soil Database (ESDB), the Topsoil Organic Carbon (TOC), BioPar products of geoland2, the SPOT imagery and the ASTER DEM datasets. This makes it appropriate for implementation throughout Europe on a 1:500,000 cartographic scale (MMU=10 ha). Download a presentation of G2 model (pdf, 1,1 MB).

G2 model has been applied in the cross-border basin of Strymonas river (14,500 km2), located in South East Europe (Greece/Bulgaria). The results showed that the model could become the basis for a functional pan-European service for soil erosion monitoring on a regional scale. The GIS data of the application can be found at JRC portal.

Contact for more information and a published paper 

June 2011: Population living within reach of nuclear power plants

The map shows population living within reach of nuclear power plants surrounding Austria. The yellow circle indicates the 20 km zone, dark red the 40 km zone and light red the 100 km buffer zone. As known from the current example Fukushima in Japan, danger zones are established around derelict nuclear reactors to protect residents against radioactivity.

Based on the recent discussion on nuclear power plants, GeoVille GmbH has created several maps within the Core Information Service for Spatial Planning for a number of European countries. GeoVille is a service provider of satellite-based earth observation with offices in Luxembourg and Innsbruck. Spatially refined population data have been generated through a spatial disaggregation model employing the new high-resolution soil sealing layer and population data from the census. Modelling was performed by AIT and GeoVille.

In a 20 km radius, the population is evacuated. In the case of Fukushima, even a complete long-term closure of this area is being considered by law. Because of the increased radiation exposure, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has advised the Japanese government to expand the evacuation zone to 40 km.

About 2.6 million people in Austria live within a radius of 100 km around a nuclear plant. In case of accidents citizens within a radius of 100 km are recommended to stay in their homes and take iodine tablets. The Radiation Protection Advisor of the Ministry of Internal Affairs would in case of accident also recommend farmers to cover their fields and prevent animals from grazing. For the actual threat and a possible radioactive contamination, also factors such as wind and precipitation must be considered.

May 2011: GMES Land Services support the SOER

EEA has published in November 2010 the State of Environment Report 2010, which provides assessments about the current state of the European Environment, likely future trends and measures that can be done to improve it. As source for describing the land cover and land cover changes in Europe operational GMES land data sets were used to compile this report: CORINE Land Cover 2000 and 2006, FTSP SOIL Sealing 2006 and Urban Atlas 2006 are referenced in at least two thematic assessments on “Land Use” (pdf, 6,7 MB) and “Urban Environment” (pdf, 8,2 MB). geoland2 developed 5 High Resolution Layers, largely taken up by the GMES Initial operations starting in 2011, that deliver basic information on Land cover such as Imperviousness (Soil Sealing), Forest, Grassland, Wetland and water bodies to serve direct European reporting requirements (e.g. SOER 2015) and support the continuation of Corine Land Cover in the future.

May 2011: Gridded Population – new data sets for an improved disaggregation approach

European transect with popuplation on NUTS 3 level (left) and disaggregated to a 500m grid

There is a demand for population data that are independent from administrative areas. Raster representations meet this demand but are not yet available for all European countries. Spatial disaggregation of population data can overcome this gap and has been performed on a Europeen scale based on CORINE land cover data (CLC). The drawback of this approach is the limited spatial resolution of the CLC data set that leads to over-/underestimation of sparsely populated areas depending on the applied method.

With the recently published EEA Fast Track Service Precursor on Land Monitoring a new data set is now available that provides the degree of soil sealing for EEA-38 countries. Applying this data set as a proxy for population density the spatial disaggregation can be improved significantly. Since the soil sealing is not directly corresponding to residential building density a number of pre-processing steps are required beforehand. These steps are defined as simple rules and require CLC data as additional input.

Please download a paper for further information here.

Image: European transect with popuplation on NUTS 3 level (left) and disaggregated to a 500m grid

August 2010: Release of Biophysical Parameters based on High Resolution Data

New Biophysical parameters have been released based on high resolution SPOT and RapidEye data. The products with the reference year 2009 are available for test sites over the Rhine, Seine-Normandy, Guadalquivir and Struma-Strymonas and contain the following parameters: Fraction of vegetation cover (FCover), Fraction of brown vegetation cover (FBrown), Leaf Area Index (LAI), Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR), Fraction of Soil (FSoil), Chlorophyll (Chl), Canopy Shade Factor (CSF), Fraction of Water (FWater), Fraction of Snow (SNow).

Please download the product manual .

Image: Example of quick look image (here FSOIL) - North-West coast of France (SEINE) [click on image to enlarge]


March 2010: New Pan European Hydrological Products from the E-HYPE Model

The Core Information Service Water has rolled out products, which have been created using a pan-European application of the HYPE hydrological model, called E-HYPE. The model is set-up using readily available global databases for geographical, forcing and calibration/evaluation data.

This version of the model application has been set up using the GLOBCOVER database for land cover. As data from EUROLAND for dynamic forest, agricultural and urban sealing land cover become available, the use of dynamically updated land cover in the model will be tested.

  • Average annual discharge 7 runoff
  • Average annual specific runoff (mm/month)
  • Deviation of annual runoff from mean annual runoff
  • Seasonal soil moisture estimates

Image: Average annual specific runoff (mm/month) [click on image to enlarge]


November 2009: BioPar Provides Global Biogeophysical Products in Near-Real-Time, Updated Every 10 Days

The Leaf Area Index (LAI), the Fraction of green vegetation Cover (FCover), and the surface albedo derived from SPOT/VEGETATION sensor data are produced in near-real-time since November 1st, 2009, whereas the Dry Matter Productivity (DMP) and the Normalised Difference Water Index (NDWI) exist since October 1st, 2009. These products cover the whole globe, and are updated every 10 days. They are associated with a Product User Manual, which describes the retrieval methodology, the technical characteristics of the products, and summarises the validation results.

Products and documentation are available on the geoland2 Expert Portal.

November 2009: EUROLAND Forest Products Released and Published

EUROLAND delivers and publishes high resolution Forest layers across various test sites in Europe.

The Forest Area comprises of all forests in 2006 with a crown closure of >10% and currently unstocked Forest Areas in 2006.

The product Forest Types is available in 3 versions: 1) Share of broadleafed trees in percent, 2) Share of coniferous trees in percent, and 3) Forest typesin 4 discrete classes (unstocked, coniferous, broadleafed, mixed).

Forest Area Change is a product that provides information on increase and decrease of forest areas over a defined time span (e.g. 2000-2006).

The Forest Crown Cover Density product represents the crown closure per pixel according to different forest definitions: a) CORINE Land Cover definition (30% coverage threshold) and b) FAO definition (10% coverage threshold).

All products can be accessed via the Geoportal and the geoland2 Expert Portal

Image: Forest Types with share of coniferous trees [click on image to enlarge]

September 2009: EUROLAND Delivers High-resolution Land Cover Data for Scandinavia

One of the first products to be delivered by geoland2 was a Scandinavian Land Cover dataset, which demonstrates the capacity of Member States to comply with future European standards on land cover/ land use and change monitoring in a bottom-up approach. For this product existing datasets from Finland, Norway and Sweden were combined to create a map of Scandinavias land cover status with 21-25 thematic classes and 1-5 ha minimum mapping unit.  Further, this data set also demonstrates the specifications and quality of a potential future GMES Land Cover product, envisaged for the whole of Europe.

Image: Scandinavian datasets harmonised towards a possible CLC++ product [click on image to enlarge]

October 2008: geoland2 All Teams Commence Work

Since the project start in September 2008 all services have prepared the layout of the pre-operational production and test environments and pre-operational production lines commenced demonstration production of first geo-information services. These first results are validated and refined by the end-user organisations within their working environment to assess their applicability and value to support the users in their monitoring and reporting obligations.

September 2008: geoland2 Project Kick-off in Lille

In the context of the GMES Forum in Lille, France, the geoland2 team has held their Kick-off meeting. geoland2 will prepare the operational capabilities of the GMES Land Service, through the development of Core Mapping Services and Core Information Services. The Core Mapping Services produce basic geo-information on land cover and land use and its annual and seasonal changes. They also include a variety of additional biophysical parameters describing the continental vegetation state, the radiation budget at the surface and the water cycle.  These Core Mapping Services form the basis for more elaborated geo-information services, the Core Information Services, which address a wide variety of thematic fields of application, like water quality, forest management, spatial planning, agri-environmental management, carbon cycle or food security. geoland2 is undertaken by a consortium led by Astrium and composed of 50 partners.


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