Supporting European policies for Land Monitoring with Earth Observation services

Geographic Information and Earth Observation technologies are becoming a relevant area of development in European policies towards a sustainable management of the land and the environment. The main advantages of such technologies are a shared standardized knowledge and a more efficient tool supporting decisions.

The addressees are Public Administration at local, regional and national level and private entities that use the GSE Land product in several application fields, such as Urban Planning, Geographic Information System, Environmental and Pollution Monitoring, Green Areas Monitoring and Urban Audit projects.

Planetek Italia in years has continuously maintained relationships with national and European governmental and non governmental organizations, research institutes and private companies by jointly working in international programmes in this field area.

The GSE Land program (2005-2008) is an  European Space Agency (ESA) funded GMES project. The Objective of the GSE Land program is to provide regularly updated core land cover / land use maps at European, national / regional and local level.

GSE Land joins the three ESA GSE projects that had already worked on land applications in the first GSE stage:

  • SAGE: water pollution, water abstraction, agro-environmental indicators and soil sealing indicators;
  • GMES Urban Services (GUS): urban mapping and monitoring services;
  • CoastWatch (land part): integrated coastal zone management.

By integrating such information into existing infrastructure, models and management tools, international and national public entities are enabled to fulfil their increasing reporting and management obligations in an improved way.

The GSE Land services portfolio is organized in 2 product lines: the mapping services and downstream services. Mapping services are designed to provide map products at different scales (urban, regional) and with different techniques.

Starting from mapping services as input data, downstream services are designed to provide additional information, such as soil sealing indexes or soil exploitation/use, etc.

Planetek Italia operates in the GSE Land program as provider of Earth Observation derived value added product, that is Land Use Map for urban areas. The product developed and provided is Urban Atlas, a Land Use Map with CORINE Land Cover legend. The level of detail of GSE Land Product Map is 4 for artificial surfaces and 2 for the natural ones.

The aim of this product is to provide to Local Authorities an European approved tool to monitor, manage and plan urban areas. The extracted information can be used to show possible environmental inconvenience, excessive territory exploitation and some parameters related to life quality.

Planetek Italia has just provided the GSE Land Product Map to Naples and Città del Fare (municipality area and north eastern area); Patto del Nord Barese (northen area of Bari); Oristano (province of); Venice, Padova, Rovigo, Treviso; Belluno; Verona and Vicenza.

The GSE Land Product Map will be provided to Catania; Patto del Calatino and Thessaloniki (Greek municipality area) by October 2008.