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GRAS: Innovative mapping solutions

GRAS provides innovative mapping solutions worldwide based on satellite and aerial imagery


GRAS is specialised in earth observation, satellite image processing and GIS analyses for assessment of natural resources, environmental impact assessment and very high resolution mapping. Water quality monitoring and mapping of land cover, urban areas, vegetation and coastal change has been carried out in most parts of the world and often in interdisciplinary project settings in close collaboration with engineers, botanists, coastal experts, anthropologists etc.
Since 2000 GRAS has completed more than 150 projects in 50 countries worldwide. Most of these projects are related to environmental assessment and detection of changes based on time series of satellite images. Examples of the diversity of the scope of services include sea ice and vegetation mapping in Arctic areas, detailed mapping of urban environments in Europe, land cover and forest cover mapping in South America and mapping of water quality and turbidity in South East Asia.

GRAS has a long track record of delivering high quality services both within satellite based water quality monitoring and land cover and vegetation mapping. Furthermore GRAS is an official distributor of all the most popular satellite images and also maintains a number of operational processing chains delivering image data in near real time to clients around the world. GRAS is owned by DHI – an independent, international consulting and research organisation specialised in water, environment and health – but also closely associated with the Department of Geography and Geology at the University of Copenhagen. GRAS works closely with universities, research institutions and commercial partners in order to develop improved and cost effective methods that can be applied in projects. Map of GRAS activities



Remote sensing is a unique tool for extracting information about oceans, lakes and other water bodies. With Earth Observation satellites it is possible to map large areas instantaneously and systematically which enables the user to monitor the development in ocean parameters such as sea surface temperature, and chlorophyll-a or sediment concentrations. Remote sensing is a very cost-effective method for marine monitoring and the relevant information can be delivered in near real time. The method can also be applied to land areas where dynamic features such as snow cover, land surface temperatures, flooding and vegetation status can be monitored.

GRAS is specialised in setting up operational systems for monitoring the environment. Satellite images are automatically processed to the relevant products and several times a day and delivered via ftp or email to clients anywhere in the world.

Project example: Operational monitoring of suspended sediments

GRAS has been involved in several mapping and monitoring services related to detection of total suspended matter (TSM). For the areas of interest automated mapping of TSM for historic time series has been conducted. Daily automated maps and data of TSM have been produced and delivered in near real time to the clients. This information is important for monitoring environmental compliance or for model calibration.

Mapping and feature extraction

Land cover mapping represents perhaps the most common and useful application of satellite remote sensing and land cover mapping is used within a wide range of applications including natural resource management, urban planning, hydrological modelling and exploration of oil, gas, and minerals. GRAS has profound expertise in mapping of land cover and feature extraction of desired objects in various regions worldwide. GRAS is using state-of-the-art object-based image analysis for mapping and feature extraction.

Project example: Vegetation and snow mapping in West Greenland

GRAS has performed vegetation and snow mapping in an area located in Western Greenland for use in the preparation of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the construction of a large hydroelectric plant.

Change Detection

The access to historical data makes it possible to detect land cover back in time and the continued supply of new image data allows monitoring and detection of changes in land cover in the observed period of time. Up-to-date land cover maps and change detection maps are often used in environmental impact assessments.

Project example: Change Detection of Forest Cover in Peru

GRAS has performed land cover mapping and change detection in a rain forest environment in Amazonas, Peru. GRAS has worked with archaeologists, anthropologists and botanists to synthesise land cover changes over the past 500 years, with detailed analyses supported by satellite images and GIS to document changes over the past 35 years.

Training and Capacity building

Capacity building is an essential part of our activities and we assist the implementation of projects through training. In this way the methods can be developed and customised to match the actual needs of the client. Based on long term and thorough experience with GIS and Image Analysis, GRAS offers training courses within GIS and Remote Sensing software and applications. The training courses can be customized to the user’s specific needs and ideally involves local case stories and data from the users. Often the image analysis applications are accompanied by collection of ground truth data with GPS. GRAS has a broad experience with collection of ground truth and teaching within these subjects as well.

Project example: Remote Sensing and Mobile GIS to assist health survey

GRAS was responsible for implementing the use of Remote Sensing and Mobile GIS in a research project related to health surveying in Ghana, Western Africa. Following land cover mapping and development of Mobile GIS applications, GRAS has been building local capacity and transferring of knowhow to local stakeholders through workshops and training sessions.

Further information at
GRAS – Geographic Resource Analysis & Science A/S
Geocenter Denmark, Øster Voldgade 10
1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Phone: +45 3532 4175

Eomag!27_GRAS (Denmark) (Autumn 2011).pdf