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GISAT develops Snow portal within the eartH2Observe project

The aim of the portal is to support analyses and assessment of the usability of different types of optical satellite imagery for the snow monitoring purposes.

The use of optical remote sensing for operational snow monitoring at European scale is strongly limited by the cloud cover presence. The compositing of more acquisitions from pre-defined time interval and the integration of optical imagery acquired by different satellites may help to overcome this problem but serious analysis is needed to assess the usability of these approaches.

The Snow portal aims to provide tools to support such analysis. It is developed within the user friendly environment where the user can choose desired type of analysis and define additional parameters: area of interest, satellite mission and time interval.

The list of possible analyses which could be run within the portal includes:

  • Composite – Create a composite for a selected AOI, made of scenes from selected sensors and time period. A single value will be assigned to each pixel based on rules/frequency of appearance. Pixels covered by cloud cover can thus be replaced by valid pixel value of Snow/NoSnow. This analysis can show what the optimal time period for a composite creation can be, i.e. long enough to have valid pixel values for most of the area but short enough to ensure timely real situation update.
  • Temporal coverage – For a selected AOI, sensor, time period and certain pixel value (i.e. Snow/NoSnow/Cloud/NoData) create a map which will show how many times each pixel was assigned that value.
  • Information per pixel – For a selected AOI, sensor and time period show the information about all the values each pixel was assigned. E.g. after clicking on a certain pixel a table appears which will show all the values from all the sensors that pixel was assigned during chosen time period.
  • Thresholding – The user can set a set of thresholds and based on that obtain a map of selected AOI which will assign each pixel into certain class depending on the threshold.

All the above and similar analyses may be used to demonstrate and verify the proposed options related to the snow monitoring service and help specifying its characteristics. The portal shall support the European Environment Agency (EEA) in its decisions related to the future European snow & ice cover monitoring service within the Copernicus programme.

EartH2Observe “Global Earth Observation for Integrated Water Resource Assessment” ( is a collaborative project funded under the DG Research FP7 programme. The project begun in January 2014 and will run for 4 years, until the end of 2017. The overall objective is to contribute to the assessment of global water resources through the use of new Earth Observation datasets and techniques. The project consortium consists of 27 partners (23 EU and 4 non-EU partners) including institutes, universities, SMEs and stakeholders. The project coordinator is Deltares – Dutch institute for applied research and development on issues related to living and working in delta areas.

Gisat provides wide range of geoinformation services based on Earth Observation technology. It focuses on operational application of satellite mapping to monitor various aspects of our environment and development of dedicated web based platforms for geoinformation analysis and assessment
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