In April 2013, IABG was commissioned by the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG) to update the so-called Digital Landscape Model of Germany (DLM-DE 2012). The supplementing and updating of spatial data for the area of the Federal Republic of Germany encompasses approximately 360,000 square kilometres. In IABG’s production centre, the “Geodata Factory” in Dresden, remote sensing experts will update the DLM-DE 2012 based on satellite image data. The starting point for the update are the edited ATKIS® database (ATKIS = Official Topographic-Cartographic Information System) and the DLM-DE 2009, which was also created with IABG involvement. The project is due for completion by February 2014.
In contrast with the DLM-DE 2009, which was still compiled on the basis of CORINE Land Cover (CLC) nomenclature, in the 2012 update a land cover and land use code will be awarded for all objects. Due to this segregation developed by the BKG, the complex landscape structures can be depicted with a high degree of realism in DLM-DE 2012. The minimum mapping area is 1 hectare, the minimum mapping length 15 metres. Specifically, thematic and geometric changes are included that had not previously been part of the DLM-DE. Existing objects are verified and corrected if necessary.
Mapping includes, for example, the recent enlargements of urban and industrial areas, and also changes in forest, field and meadow areas. Data are validated and updated by means of highly efficient, semi-automated data processing, saving time and money and ensuring the quality of the data. Using the BKG project guide as a basis, IABG developed detailed mapping instructions in order to achieve a homogeneous and efficient evaluation. Besides the mapping itself, the tasks include the implementation of the database schema and the preparation of a quality assurance plan. The development of appropriate software tools contributes both to an efficient mapping process as well as to quality assurance. The required standard of quality level was increased in comparison with 2009 to a total accuracy of 97.5 per cent.
The primary data source for mapping is, as in 2009, the German RapidEye satellite constellation. To cover Germany, 750 tiles of 25 × 25 km each are needed. Based on RapidEye AG’s excellent preparatory work the best scenes could be selected. Data acquisition is limited to the growing season of 2012. In addition, data from the European GMES program (GMES = Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) is used. These free data represent a high added value, in particular for tracking changes to forested or wooded areas.
Thus, a spatial data set is created for Germany that can serve many different sorts of applications in the fields of environment, agriculture, forestry, water conservation, transport, security and land-use planning. Particular beneficiaries are interdisciplinary issues: the new DLM-DE provides a current and reliable basis for the accurate surveying and environmental information required here. The land cover and land use codes of the new DLM-DE are subsequently used to derive the classes of the CORINE Land Cover (CLC) pan-European land-use mapping, carried out via a fully automated process at the BKG. This ensures that the Federal Republic of Germany can fulfil its commitment to register the CLC data set (reference year 2012) with the EU by the summer of 2014.