The Luxembourg-based company GeoVille Environmental Services was established in 2007 with the objective to add the environmental dimension to Earth Observation (EO) data. At GeoVille Environmental Services we recognise that the needs of our customers go beyond land mapping and monitoring towards environmental assessments. We help our customers to understand the processes behind land changes and their impact on ecosystems and society. Our environmental services provide the bridge from technical know-how in merging geospatial explicit data with statistics to supporting environmental analyses of what this information means for the environment.
As a member of the European Topic Centre on Spatial Information and Analysis, GeoVille Environmental Services has supported the European Environment Agency State of Environment Report 2010 (SOER 2010) as well as several technical reports with environmental analyses and policy assessments.
For the SOER 2010 GeoVille Environmental Services analysed the quality of life for more than 170 European cities. By assessing the relation of the urban green within the city and green areas in the urban hinterland an indicator for access to recreational services for city residents was established. Figure 1 illustrates the combination of “green” or “brown” cities in their respective “green” or “brown” hinterland.
Figure 1: Level of green areas inside and around European cities
As a contribution to the discussion on Green Infrastructure GeoVille Environmental Services developed a characterisation of European regions based on their environmental assets. This map characterises European landscapes according to their degree of naturalness, expressed by factors such as presence of high nature value farmlands, air quality and proximity to natural areas or rural typology.
Figure 2: Regional characterisation of environmental assets
At GeoVille Environmental Services we certainly know our basic utensils: EO images and their processing – GIS based data analyses integrating EO derived information with other survey, statistical or thematic data – open source based data access for the client and the wider public.
We have carried out land cover mapping projects from global to local scale, working with EO data image resolutions from 300m to aerial photographs with less than 1m resolution. Amongst others we have supervised, trained and managed the implementation of Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2006 in the West Balkan Countries and carried out the CLC2000 – 2006 change mapping for such different landscapes such as Albania and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Figure 3: Capacity building and CLC2006 Albania
For our local customers we have mapped building footprints, artificial surfaces and other surfaces in Luxembourg for the years 2001, 2004, 2007 and most recently also for 2010. The information is used to calculate the actual surface occupied by buildings and roads compared to more general land cover maps, which often do not differentiate between built-up and non built-up surfaces within individual plots.
Figure 4: Building footprint mapping
To make our information accessible for our clients and the wider public, GeoVille Environmental Services uses proven open source technology which avoids the client’s dependency on costly licence policies.
The crop yield estimation and forecast tool (CROPSIM) has been developed in the context of a national research project. CROPSIM compares the current status with long-term averages and provides the user with information on deviation from the average for soil moisture, temperature, precipitation and plant development.
Figure 5: CROPSIM online information system
Client support & validation
Apart from land cover / use mapping and targeted environmental assessments, GeoVille Environmental Services has established a strong foothold in a third area – customer support. Through the long-term work of its managing director at the interface of service providers and user community, GeoVille Environmental Services is able to understand and translate user needs and requirements into technical specifications and vice versa.
Making use of its recognition as independent authority by many service providers and users, GeoVille Environmental Services provides independent quality assessments of land cover mapping products. For us product validation and service certification are two important components towards user satisfaction and confidence building. In our understanding quality is not only “accuracy” as the illustration from the GNU (GMES Network of Users) project shows – quality is a multi-criteria phenomenon which can take different priorities for different users and at different moments in time.
Figure 6: Quality criteria for a good EO-based (GMES) product (Source: GNU)
GeoVille Environmental Services Sàrl
3, Zone Industrielle Bombicht
L-6947 Niederanven (Luxembourg)
Tel: +352 26 71 41 35
Eomag!29_Geoville Environmental Services.pdf