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News about: Support To Topology, Filling the gap in landscape mapping or Gisat contribution to EEA-FOEN report on landscape fragmentatoin in Europe

Support To Topology

How to use topological relationships and rules during image classification?

The need of classifying remotely sensed images and characterize the image informative contents in terms of objects and their characteristics is becoming an urgent problem to solve for Earth Observation discipline, especially with the support of automated tools. The more the resolution of satellite sensors increases and the more the level of detail becomes higher and higher; not only the identification and characterization of the smallest possible object that can be detected in one image is important, but also the possibility to correctly group together small objects to create larger and more complex objects is of paramount importance.

The Support to TOpology (STO) project aims at analysing the latter aspect, identifying from users the needs and the methodologies to group together simple objects, and analysing them with experts in the topology domain to verify how the user requests can be satisfied with the theoretical topological approach.

STO is an research project run in the frame of ESA’s Basic Technology Research Programme (TRP). The project consortia is led by SISTEMA GmbH (Austria) having three research partners: UNIAQ (Department of Electrical and Information Engineering of the University of L‟Aquila, Italy), UBA (Austrian Environment Agency) and Gisat (Czech Republic).

Find more information at ESA project website rssportal

Filling the gap in landscape mapping

Gisat participates in the ESA project aiming at mapping of landscape linear features structure

Thanks to the recent developments in the GMES Land monitoring domain several pan-European mapping projects will be run to complement Corine Land Cover dataset. They have thematic focus to bring more detailed and more accurate spatial information about sealed areas, forest, grassland, wetlands and water bodies. However, none of them deals with monitoring of landscape small linear features (SLF). The missing information about this aspect of the European landscape represents for EEA a considerable data gap in its integrated assessment approach.

Linear features structure landscape in different ways, playing altogether and in different proportions the roles of connector, interface and habitat, and often of barrier. This is true for rivers, the borders of different systems as well as for transport networks. In that respect, the small linear features, natural (small streams, riparian forests) as well as artificial (hedgerows, small walls or lanes bordering fields…) are an important component of landscape diversity and biodiversity.

GeoVille (AT) together with Gisat have responded to the need of European Environment Agency (EEA) to acquire additional land cover dataset with specific focus on landscape small linear features. The proposal has been submitted to the European Space Agency (ESA) in the frame of the Value Added Element of the EO Envelope Programme. The main goal of the project is to set-up prototype mapping service to detect and categorize small linear features based on EO imagery. The products will be developed in close collaboration with EEA so that they may be directly ingested into the analysis and environmental models run by the EEA’s experts.

Example of the grid based Landscape heterogeneity index

The pilot mapping will be run on several test sites in different bio-geographic regions selected by EEA. From the temporal point of view, change potential of service will be demonstrated using IMAGE2006 and IMAGE2009 datasets. The service aims to allow consistent and comparable temporal analysis on user defined analytical units by change indicator. Small linear features project results are expected to play an important role in the EEA activities related to the land monitoring information system and in land and ecosystem accounting.

Fragmented Europe

Gisat participated on the award winning EEA-FOEN report on ‘Landscape fragmentation in Europe’.

Gisat has cooperated, in the frame of the European Topic Center for Spatial Information and Analysis (ETCSIA), in three years project recently published as the joint EEA-FOEN report by EEA in September. This report is the result of collaboration between the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the European Environment Agency (EEA). The Swiss FOEN provided funding for the work on this report, with contributions from the EEA via ETCSIA. The report takes the method of fragmentation analysis that has previously been applied to Switzerland, where the results are used in various monitoring systems, and applies it to 28 countries in Europe. For the first time, this report presents the extent of landscape fragmentation across an entire continent using a scientifically sound method. It also reveals the most relevant driving forces behind fragmentation, demonstrating that varying factors are relevant in different parts of Europe. This report provides a foundation for environmental monitoring and protective measures for those landscapes that are not yet fragmented. The problem of landscape fragmentation is considered by the recently-adopted European Union Strategy on Biodiversity and Ecosystems, where green infrastructure features prominently

More about the EEA Report No 2/2011

Meanwhile, the report has been already awarded with the Infra Eco Network Europe (IENE) Project Award 2011. IENE is a European network of authorities, institutes and experts involved in the phenomena of habitat fragmentation caused by the construction and use of linear transport infrastructure, especially roads, railways and canals (waterways). It addresses decision makers, planners and researchers as well as the public, by providing an international and interdisciplinary arena to encourage and enable cross-boundary cooperation in research, mitigation and planning. More information concerning the award can be found on CBM.

Source Gisat