GAF, GeoVille, SIRS and e-GEOS contracted by the European Environment Agency to implement the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service — High Resolution Layers 2015

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has recently contracted GAF AG and its international partners to implement the update of the Copernicus High Resolution Layers (HRLs) Imperviousness, Forest, Grassland, Water/Wetness and Small Woody Features in the frame of the continental component of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS).

Three leading European geo-information service companies – GAF AG (Germany), GeoVille GmbH (Austria) and SIRS SAS (France) – have joined forces to serve Europe’s need for consistent mapping and updating of all five High Resolution Layers (HRL) 2015 on land cover characteristics for all of Europe. Complemented by e-GEOS S.p.A. for grassland mapping, the joint team has conducted a successful Kick-off Meeting together with EEA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Topic Centre on Urban Land and Soil Systems (ETC-ULS) in Copenhagen end of August 2016. Framework Service Contracts with a total volume of up to eight million Euro have been signed. The main production will run within a 12 to 18 months time period.

Based on high to very-high resolution satellite imagery, including ESA’s Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 satellites, the team will perform an update and change mapping of the High Resolution Layers “Imperviousness” and “Forest”, as well as a new mapping of “Grassland”, “Water and Wetness”, and “Small Woody Features” for the EEA-39 countries (approx. 6 million km²). All thematic Layers provide dedicated information on current environmental conditions and change trends of the major land cover / land use types at 20 m spatial resolution. In complement to the well-established CORINE Land Cover (CLC), the HRLs will serve a broad user community, including European administration as well as Member State institutions, supporting applications for environmental policies and political decision-making. All final products will be made freely available by EEA via the CLMS portal (

The HRL 2015 team at Kick-Off: EEA, ESA, GAF, GeoVille, SIRS, e-Geos and ETC-ULS members (© M. Probeck)

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