04.07.2017 Press release: EFTAS mapping for Copernicus N2K.Extending the Copernicus Local Land Component. read more
04.07.2017Press release: EFTAS mapping for Copernicus N2K.
Extending the Copernicus Local Land Component.
Current N2K mapping covers additional Natura 2000 sites.
Münster, 4.7.2017. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has commissioned a consortium made up of EFTAS, GAF and GeoVille to map additional grassland-rich Natura 2000 sites across Europe. This extends the coverage of the existing Copernicus Natura 2000 Local Land Component service. It is based on a visual interpretation of land cover and land use from very-high-resolution satellite imagery of the reference years 2006 and 2012. The first delivery unit containing around 22,000 km2 has been delivered to the EEA.
The Natura 2000 network of protected sites covers about 18% of the EU’s land area and is the main policy strategy to address biodiversity conservation in Europe. It is the world’s largest coordinated ecological network of protected areas, set up based on the legal requirements of the European Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive. Specifically, grassland habitats are an important component of biodiversity in Europe. Agricultural intensification and abandonment of traditional management practices have put these habitats under increasing pressure. Although protective legislation has been put in place, it has not yet been possible to stop the regional decline of important grassland habitat types.
The Natura 2000 (N2K) element is part of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service Components and focuses on these hot spots of biodiversity and human activity. ‘To assure that Natura 2000 sites are effectively preserved, harmonized information on land cover change dynamics and periodic monitoring across Europe is inescapable’, explains Oliver Buck, project manager of EFTAS and responsible for the overall production and quality assurance, with respect to the main N2K benefits. The N2K service element provides comparable, pan-European and very-high-resolution (VHR) information on land cover and land use (LC/LU) status and changes over time for selected grassland-rich Natura 2000 sites across Europe, including a 2 km buffer zone around each protected site. The service differentiates 55 thematic LC/LU classes specified according to the MAES framework (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and Their Services). All information is based on satellite image classification for the reference periods 2006 and 2012. The change mapping layer makes use of the LC/LU 2012 status information, applying a visual change interpretation using the VHR satellite imagery. It provides quantitative and qualitative information on land cover change dynamics between 2006 and 2012. The resulting LC/LU information will be used to support biodiversity conservation in Europe, such as analyses on pressures and threats within Natura 2000 sites and in their surroundings.
The current survey is intended to complement and continue the previous mapping under the Copernicus Initial Operation phase (GIO) to a maximum area of around 470,000 km² until mid-2019. So far, EFTAS, GeoVille and GAF (together with its subcontractor Telepsazio Iberica) have provided the first 22,000 km2 according to schedule.
Source cover picture:
Source text picture:
14.06.2017 Right?Validating geodata based on remote sensing. read more
Validating geodata based on remote sensing.
Satellite and aerial image data are used to observe and analyse the earth. Thematic land cover maps are created with the image data and serve as the basis for knowledge and decisions in politics, business and administration.
This begs a not insignificant question: How reliable is this geodata?
Naturally, this varies from dataset to dataset depending on the specifications and how it was produced. Therefore, datasets based on remote sensing are validated before release. Inconvenient and extremely complex, this step is not exactly popular. However, validation is necessary if qualitative standards are to be fulfilled and documented reliably; statistical procedures determine values indicating the quality of a dataset. In light of growing data stocks and increasingly automated analysis, it is ever more important to have standardised validation procedures with results that can be reproduced and compared. While statistical theory offers the most complex methods, operational practice requires robust instruments. And therein lies the stumbling block between theory and practice*. This has been confirmed by the SIGMA project network. SIGMA (Stimulating Innovation for Global Monitoring of Agriculture) is an international network of experts who work together to consolidate operational remote sensing methods. It is aided by ten JECAM (Joint Experiment of Crop Assessment and Monitoring) test sites spread across four continents.
EFTAS has developed a standardised concept for validating remote sensing-based geodata within the SIGMA network and offered it up for discussion. Building on this, GeoIT plug-ins have been developed that support individual validation steps based on open sources and free libraries. The JRC (Joint Research Centre) and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) were also involved. This has resulted in validation guidelines that are well founded yet easy to understand and linked with simple yet practical implementation tools. Practical relevance means that these tools and guidelines are used with increasing frequency, often when planning remote sensing projects.
Foody, G.M. (2002) ‘Status of land cover classification accuracy assessment’. Remote sensing of environment 80, 185–201.
Olofsson, P., Foody, G.M., Stehman, S.V., Woodcock, C.E. (2013) ‘Making better use of accuracy data in land change studies: Estimating accuracy and area and quantifying uncertainty using stratified estimation’. Remote Sensing of Environment 129, 122–131. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2012.10.031
09.06.2017Guideline: SIGMA - validation protocol.Protocol for land cover validation. read more
25.05.2017 !شكرا جزيلاCRFP -Workshop in Sudan. read more
CRFP -Workshop in Sudan.
The “CRFP Geo Data technical workshop” took place last week in the National Center for Research in Khartoum. Geoinformation is the crucial basis for the “Climate Risk Finance for Sustainable and Climate Resilient Rain-Fed Farming and Pastoral Systems” project (see also When the rain doesn’t come). However, many of the people involved in the project are not GeoIT experts. Our role was therefore to establish a common understanding of the uses and benefits of GeoIT and remote sensing data. Together with Dr Solafa Babiker Mohammed from the Sudanese RSSA (Remote Sensing and Seismology Authority), we presented the relevant geo datasets and their potential uses. This information enabled the workshop attendees to reflect on and discuss the further project steps proposed.
We believe that a good common understanding has now been reached within the project of the uses and benefits of GeoIT, along with a promising action plan supported by all.
Carsten Haub & Luca Kleinewillinghöfer
18.04.2017 When the rain doesn’t come.Credit and insurance management in Sudan with GeoIT. read more
18.04.2017When the rain doesn’t come.
Credit and insurance management in Sudan with GeoIT.
Over the last few days, there have been reports that April is too dry and too cold. While this might not be great for farmers, it won’t necessarily threaten their livelihoods. Not so in Sudan, where the coming weeks will determine this year’s crop yields. The rainy season begins in mid-June, and if it goes badly, there will be no crops. Extreme fluctuations in annual rainfall are characteristic of this region between the Sahara and tree savannah, and they are becoming even more extreme as the climate changes. For smallholder rain-fed farmers and pastoralists, this is a fight for survival.
Up to now, there have been no sustainable credit and insurance instruments to minimise the financial risk for these farmers. But this is set to change, as the Sudanese government engages in a large-scale, cross-ministry project. The foundations are being laid in an initiative from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) entitled “Climate Risk Finance for Sustainable and Climate Resilient Rain-Fed Farming and Pastoral Systems in Sudan” (CRFP Sudan).
A GeoIT system is being set up and satellite data is being incorporated to monitor the climate and to record and assess agricultural areas. This will provide the state and banking or insurance companies with sophisticated geodata to develop and apply suitable credit as well as insurance products for the Sudanese farmers affected. The project is being led by the Sudanese Remote Sensing and Seismology Authority (RSSA).
EFTAS is supporting the project with its long-standing expertise in remote sensing in Africa and its experience in on-site collaboration with national bodies. EFTAS focuses on implementing adapted procedures for processing satellite data, providing GeoIT applications for agricultural monitoring, systematically incorporating supplementary field mapping, ensuring quality standards and training in-country experts.
Source cover picture:
Source text picture:
30.01.2017 Raw materials sector needs Geo-IT.EFTAS new EIT RawMaterials partner. read more
30.01.2017Raw materials sector needs Geo-IT.
EFTAS new EIT RawMaterials partner.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) brings together cutting-edge research into ways to improve Europe's ability to compete. The EIT acts as an umbrella organisation and promotes innovation communities from the knowledge triangle of education, research and industry (Knowledge and Innovation Communities – KICs) covering areas such as climate change, renewable energies and information and communication technology.
EFTAS has also been a member of the EIT RawMaterials KIC, formed in 2014, since the end of 2016.
EIT RawMaterials is Europe's largest and most significant research network in the field of raw materials. It combines excellence and market potential. More than 100 partners from the worlds of business and academia, from a total of 22 EU member states, have joined forces to incorporate innovations stemming from research into the European raw materials industrial sector.
The use of digital resources is becoming ever more important in ensuring secure access to raw materials, sustainable resource management and resource efficiency.
That is why EFTAS is contributing its geo IT expertise to the EIT RawMaterials network in order to promote sustainable exploration, extraction, recycling and substitution of raw materials by analysing geoinformation.
18.01.2017 Copernicus@work in Berlin.EFTAS at Copernicus Forum 2017. read more
18.01.2017Copernicus@work in Berlin.
EFTAS at Copernicus Forum 2017.
Whenever the German Aerospace Center and German government organise the German National Forum for Remote Sensing and Copernicus, EFTAS is invariably there.
This series of events targets traditional potential Copernicus users in order to communicate the potential uses of Copernicus as a valuable digital information base with regard to efficient public administration, innovative private-sector services and science.
That is also an important concern for EFTAS. That is why we will once again be exhibiting our latest developments at the sixth instalment of the forum, held at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in Berlin from 14 to 16 March 2017.
These are EFTAS contributions on the programme:
- Keynote: Copernicus im Feuerwehr-Einsatz, Dr. Bodo Bernsdorf
- Session A.1: Satellitengestützte Fernerkundung zur Stärkung von Subsistenzlandwirtschaft und Transhumanz im Hinblick auf klimatische Schwankungen im Sudan, Alexandra Biscan
- Session A.3: GMES4Mining - Copernicus-basierte Dienste für den Bergbau, Dr. Kian Pakzad
- Session D.1: Bedeutung und Auswirkungen der erneuerbaren Energien auf Natura2000 Gebiete, Oliver Buck
Image and further information:
11.01.2017 More Copernicus Local Land Component data.EEA contract for Natura 2000 mapping. read more
11.01.2017More Copernicus Local Land Component data.
EEA contract for Natura 2000 mapping.
The Europe-wide network of Natura2000 conservation areas is at the heart of European policy on long-term nature conservation and the preservation of biodiversity. The European Environment Agency (EEA) has now commissioned a consortium of companies comprising EFTAS, GAF and Geoville to use satellite imagery to record the condition and rate of change of a selection of Natura2000 regions consisting mainly of grassland covering a large surface area.
This builds on the local component of the European Copernicus programme aimed at providing pan-European data for specific issues.
EFTAS is coordinating the consortium and will undertake approximately 190,000 km2 of the mapping, representing the largest share of the project. In this context, 55 land cover and land use classes will be recorded for the 2012 and 2006 time windows over the next 30 months.
05.01.2017 Geoinformation for landscape planning.Three new contracts for biotope type mapping. read more
05.01.2017Geoinformation for landscape planning.
Three new contracts for biotope type mapping.
Led by ARGE Kortemeier Brokmann Landschaftsarchitekten, the foundations are due to be laid in spring 2017 for updating the landscape structure plans for the Osnabrück and Schaumburg districts and the landscape plan for the Herford district.
In order to update the content of these plans, the biotope types present must be recorded again in each case. So as to limit the time and effort needed to undertake full terrain recordings, recordings based on aerial images will be collected beforehand and combined with local mapping.
EFTAS has been commissioned to collect these aerial-image-based biotope type recordings.
21.11.2016 EFTAS at d-copernicus.de!DLR documents EFTAS Copernicus expertise. read more
21.11.2016EFTAS at d-copernicus.de!
DLR documents EFTAS Copernicus expertise.
Within the frame of D-Copernicus Web Portal the German Aerospace Center (DLR) offers a database that contains qualified remote sensing companies and institutes based in Germany at http://www.d-copernicus.de/fernerkundungsinstitute-firmen-deutschland .
The EFTAS record presents many examples of Copernicus relevant EFTAS activities.
Graphic source: www.d-copernicus.de
01.11.2016 GeoIT for mining technology.Research center Nachbergbau cooperates with EFTAS. read more
01.11.2016GeoIT for mining technology.
Research center Nachbergbau cooperates with EFTAS.
From space the ‘Ruhrgebiet’ is a real eye-catcher: at night millions of lights twinkle and during the day it looks much greener than expected. But satellites also show where mining has had its impact. The research center Nachbergbau of the Technical University Georg Agricola uses the satellite imagery to develop innovative monitoring methods for former mines and redeveloped areas. Also an early warning system for the consequences is possible in the long-run. That’s why the researchers now work together with EFTAS GmbH in Münster.
“EFTAS provides the experts for interpretation of areal and satellite imagery – we from the research center Nachbergbau are the experts on the ground and we have access to information on redevelopment from terrestrial sources” says Prof. Dr. Peter Goerke-Mallet. This information includes mining specific maps but also on site measurements and surveys.
Together we can develop tailor-made solutions for the many aspects of mine-redevelopment.
“The structures of mining have for instance an impact on hydraulics. Some of the hydraulic changes can be recorded with satellite sensors and so the first signs of an impact on the surface are detected. This helps to detect spatial – temporal processes and to detect dangers“ explains Prof. Dr. Christian Melchers, scientific head of the research center Nachbergbau. The experts of Nachbergbau also want to develop an early warning system with the geo-data of EFTAS.
Possible ground movements are also examined: “especially effective are these measurements for build-up areas without vegetation. This means we have a lot of potential here in the Ruhrgebiet””, says prof. Melchers.
To monitor complete regions for environmental purposes, we have to process enormous amounts of data, explains Dr. Andreas Müterthies von EFTAS. “Data mining is the IT-approach that will be used to combine the mining data with the satellite remote sensing data. For the first time these remote sensing data are available through the European ‘Copernicus’ program for the whole area. New possibilities for the continuous monitoring of changes in former mining areas arise”.
10.10.2016Flyer: DLM-Update.Change Detection as easy as it seems. read more
07.10.2016 DLM-Update meets 3A-products.EFTAS and AED-SICAD sign cooperation agreement. read more
07.10.2016DLM-Update meets 3A-products.
EFTAS and AED-SICAD sign cooperation agreement.
The use of remote sensing to update vector data sets.
EFTAS Fernerkundung Technologietransfer GmbH (EFTAS), Münster, and AED-SICAD AG, Bonn, have signed a cooperation agreement. The goal of the cooperation is to provide an integrated solution for the use of remote sensing to update existing vector data.
The basis of the product will be formed by the Land management product line, the 3A products of the AED-SICAD as well as the DLM-Update of EFTAS and the “Landesamtes für Vermessung und Geoinformation” in Schleswig-Holstein. “ We have found that our products, skills and services are complementary to a large extend. Our 3A product family focuses among others on the management of basic geo data of the land registry and the survey department. Moreover we have plenty of experience with the update of these data using our 3A-model”, says Markus Müller, manager Public Sector of AED-SICAD. EFTAS on the other hand has many years of experience with the use of satellite data and areal imagery.
Both companies respond to the increasing demand for useful methods for the update of vector data sets using information from remote sensing. Especially important is that this application makes it possible to have current vector data.
“Satellite remote sensing data is getting more and more precise and less expensive at the same time. When we connect our products we contribute to the update of data sets by using remote sensing data”, emphasizes Dr. Andreas Müterthies of the R&D section of EFTAS.
05.09.2016Folder: Geoinformation and IT ServicesEFTAS.GeoIT read more
29.08.2016 Latest news about „DLM-update“.EFTAS will give a speech at GEOBIA 2016. read more
29.08.2016Latest news about „DLM-update“.
EFTAS will give a speech at GEOBIA 2016.
At this year’s GEOBIA (Enschede, 14.-16.9.2016) Andreas Völker will present the actual state of affairs concerning the automated update of the ATKIS©-Basis-DLM through remote sensing:
DLM-Update - Integration of earth observation technologies in IT structures of the national mapping authorities in an use case: Update of the ATKIS®-DLM of the State Bureau of Surveying and Geoinformation Schleswig-Holstein.
GEOBIA - GEOgraphic-Object-Based Image Analysis - is an evolving sub-discipline of GIScience devoted to partitioning remote sensing (RS) imagery into meaningful image-objects, and assessing their characteristics through spatial, spectral and temporal scale.
During the last 10 years the GEOBIA community has grown from a niche discipline to a recognized and vibrant branch of geoinformation science, and methods developed by the growing community have helped to tackle problems in virtually all domains where geographic data are used.
The decennial GEOBIS-conference-anniversary will take place at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente, in Enschede, The Netherlands, from 14-16 September 2016.
Link conference homepage.
23.08.2016 Red-hot at EFTAS.GeoIT-Offers for Fire Services. read more
23.08.2016Red-hot at EFTAS.
GeoIT-Offers for Fire Services.
How do officers-in-charge get fast decision support using spatial data? Which spatial base data are available and how to use them legally compliant and technically rational on incident sites?
Our new products and services give an answer. The modular offers consist of Software, Consulting, Data-Services/-Production and Development.
Our offers are generated by firemen to be used by firemen and are affordable for even small fire brigade – guaranteed.
ContactDr. Bodo Bernsdorf
15.07.2016 It is there!The new EFTAS web site is on line. read more
15.07.2016It is there!
The new EFTAS web site is on line.
Welcome to the new EFTAS web site.
Together with the WN Online Service from the ‚Aschendorff Unternehmensgruppe‘ EFTAS has developed a new web site concept. Modern design, current content and modern techniques are the ingredients.
Main feature: you can learn about us and our Geo IT Solutions as well from the technology perspective as from the projects. Main short project presentations connect the basic descriptions of technologies with practical examples and invite you to nose around.
If you already have some key words, you can select relevant technologies and projects from the EFTAS content pool.
We hope our new concept works. Your feedback and comment is welcome.
05.07.2016 We use the gate to the world.EFTAS is exhibitor at the Intergeo 2016 in Hamburg. read more
05.07.2016We use the gate to the world.
EFTAS is exhibitor at the Intergeo 2016 in Hamburg.
As a loyal Intergeo exhibitor EFTAS will be present in Hamburg from the 11th – 13th of October.
Our motto for this year’s fair for Geodesy, Geo information and Land management: The world changes. We will see! The demands of the modern world also reflect on geo information.
Solutions for maintenance of official Geo data in 3D with photogrammetry and the mapping of change detection for land cover and land use with (Sentinel) satellite data are our main themes this year.
For the land register, nature conservation, environment or for tourist information, our solutions work for official building registers, updates of biotope maps or for apps for tourists. Precise and Efficient.
Our booth: E4.002 (Hall 4).
15.02.2016 For planted housetops.EFTAS is working together with Green roof associations. read more
15.02.2016For planted housetops.
EFTAS is working together with Green roof associations.
The International Green Roof Association (IGRA), the Deutsche Dachgärtner Verband e.V. and EFTAS Fernerkundung Technologietransfer GmbH have signed an agreement. EFTAS will act as technology partner for the mapping of green roofs and the green roof potential.
01.02.2016 Experience nature.New app „Erlebnis Naturerbe“. read more
New app „Erlebnis Naturerbe“.
With the app Erlebnis Naturerbe you can compose your own tours through the nature reserves and scenery of Westfalen. Experience the natural heritage walking or cycling. Available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
More information: erlebnis-naturerbe.de
01.02.2016Striking changes.ArcGIS-Tool and Sentinel data for the analysis of FFH habitat types. read more
ArcGIS-Tool and Sentinel data for the analysis of FFH habitat types.
The Habitats Directive (FFH-RL in Germany) forms the central legal basis for nature conservation in the European Union (EU). FFH (Fauna-Flora-Habitat) areas are part of the Natura 2000 network of protected areas and are subject to monitoring and reporting requirements.
Conservation status and future outlook of the FFH-habitat types (LRT) have to be assessed on a regular basis. The Directive was passed more than 20 years ago. Currently, the basis for the specified monitoring method are field surveys.
The EFTAS solution FELM (i.e. “Fernerkundungsgestützte Erfassung von Lebensraumtypen für das FFH-Monitoring”) minimises the amount of field surveys and increases the efficiency of the monitoring.
FFH monitoring at its core means earth observation. A variety of satellite systems is observing the earth with their sensors. On the basis of these satellite images the earth surface can be classified into different land cover classes and geometrically delineated.
Modern methods of remote sensing allow a further automatization and refinement of these geometric delineations and class definitions. The challenge grows with the number of classes that have to be differentiated. The FFH-RL distinguishes between 231 habitat types. However, the remote sensing based identification of these habitat types is a challenge.
The FELM software checks whether there are any change notices due in the LRT field surveys of the FFH area to be monitored. LRT objects that have changed can then be further analysed. These change notices result from the analysis of a time series of satellite images. The distribution of satellite images throughout the year allows the collection of additional data on vitality and phenology of vegetation as well as on indicators such as surface structure and land use (e.g. mowing of pasture) that help with the LRT identification. Objects with signs of change are filtered out by comparing all indicators with LRT typical patterns.
FELM is a pilot development for the state of North-Rhine Westphalia and is integrated into the existing GeoIT infrastructure as an ArcGIS extension. The system has become economically viable because cost free Sentinel satellite data from the European Copernicus programme could be used.
01.02.2016Point by point detection.LUCAS – a European wide mapping project. read more
01.02.2016Point by point detection.
LUCAS – a European wide mapping project.
Imagine covering the whole of Europe with a sampling grid of 2 x 2 km generating 270.000 intersection points that are used to map land use and land cover on the ground. No matter, whether it is agriculture, forest or urban area.
A mammoth task? Of course. But absolutely essential for EUROSTAT. For years, EFTAS has been substantially involved in the accomplishment of this task, together with a strong partner network. EUROSTAT is the statistical office of the European Union and responsible for the provision of statistics at European level. LUCAS (Land Use/Cover Statistical Area Frame Survey) provides fundamental and harmonised information
on land use and land cover that can be used for long term observations, e.g. sealing, soil degradation, the impact of agriculture on the environment and the degree of landscape fragmentation. LUCAS is a stratified sample on the basis of a regular point grid covering the whole of the EU’s territory. It has become an operational EUROSTAT standard to provide harmonised, geostatistical information. The first LUCAS survey was held in 2001. Since 2009, the LUCAS survey is carried out operational in a three-yearly interval.
Until now, EFTAS has always been involved in carrying out the survey. In 2015, EFTAS was responsible for the collection of survey points in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland and the overall coordination of point collection in 10 other member states.
The mapping requirements have continued to develop since 2001. The set of rules is by no means trivial. Land cover is differentiated into 69 classes, land use into 33 classes. Starting from the survey point, these classes are recorded on a 250 m transect in eastward direction. Moreover, pictures are taken at the point in all four cardinal directions. On the ground, the surveyor also collects information on a further 60 parameters in order to provide a differentiated description of the survey point. A top soil sample is taken for 10 % sample of the surveyed points.
Just like the survey methodology, the management of the project is very complex. EFTAS has been coordinating a European wide network of surveyors and partner companies. The implementation of the survey requires extensive preparation. To ensure the efficient running of the project, the surveyors are professionally trained and technically equipped by EFTAS. To support the surveyors in the field, EFTAS has developed an App called PLOP. Nevertheless, the back office remains the main central authority for the direct clarification of urgent questions from the surveyors in the field. With the beginning of the field survey, the internal quality control as well as the processing of data for delivery to the external quality control by EUROSTAT plays a vital role. EFTAS is judged by its continuous high quality of data.
Besides the provision of statistical data for socio-environmental studies, LUCAS has become of further significance in the context of COPERNICUS. COPERNICUS, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), is the European Programme for the establishment of an autonomous European satellite infrastructure including Earth Observation services. The terrestrial survey data of LUCAS serve as a valuable addition to the COPERNICUS services. Details on how to integrate the data have been documented in a recent study conducted by a European expert network.
19.01.2016App to explore the river Wupper.Modern nature tourism in the region Bergisches Land. read more
19.01.2016App to explore the river Wupper.
Modern nature tourism in the region Bergisches Land.
The initiative „WupperVielfalt“ has a praiseworthy objection with regard to the region Bergisches Land. It intends to display the connection between historic elements of the industrial landscape and valuable natural areas.
EFTAS developed an App with theme routes.
The river Wupper is the connecting element in the region. In the most recent past, this has not always been the case. Not too long ago the Wupper looked more like a grey-brown band as a result of industrialisation. Meanwhile, some of the natural spaces that can be found among the old industrial and cultural areas have Europe-wide significance. Besides offering an interesting natural landscape, the touristic infrastructure is well developed and offers a variety of hiking and bike trails to explore the area. These are ideal conditions to disseminate this knowledge on natural spaces and the necessity for their protection.
In this context, the Biological Station Oberberg has realised adventure stations. Along the Wupper between Marienheide, Wipperfürth, Hückeswagen and Radevormwald, 26 adventure stations have been installed displaying information on fauna, flora, habitats and characteristics of this cultural landscape.
Together with the „Bahntrassenradweg“ (a cycle path on an abandoned railway track), the bird observation station in Wipperfürth-Leiersmühle, the „Auenpark“ in Hückeswagen and the „Basisstation Wasserquintett“ (information centre), these adventure stations form the backbone of the nature-based tourism infrastructure as well as the basis of information for the App with theme routes developed by EFTAS. Via smartphone cyclists, hikers and walkers can choose their individual route as well as download additional information on other points of interest.
Homepage and image source: Biologische Station Oberberg:
07.01.201630 ha per day is enough!Evaluation of different data sources for the monitoring of land consumption. read more
07.01.201630 ha per day is enough!
Evaluation of different data sources for the monitoring of land consumption.
A lot of building activity is taking place in Germany. Industrial estates, shopping centres, residential areas, roads. The plan of the National Sustainability Strategy outlines that by 2020 less than 30 ha per year of “green area” should be overbuilt with residential and traffic areas.
How can this goal of 30 ha be realised? Which data base provides the ideal reference? There are large differences in official data sets. The following publication by Spiegel online on the 11.11.2014: "Germany is growing by the size of Liechtenstein" referred to area data of the Federal Statistical Office. At the end of 2013, the ground area of Germany was approximately 17.000 ha larger than in the year before. The reason for this was a change in the state of Brandenburg from the previous basis for calculation, the ALB (“Automatisiertes Liegenschaftsbuch”) to the geometry based ALKIS (“Amtliches Liegenschaftskatasterinformationssystem”).
In future, real estate book and map will be integrated into one unit, therefore their values will have to be aligned.
On behalf of the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety as well as the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development, EFTAS analysed the land statistics for possible inaccuracies. Other potential application possibilities of additional data sources such as the Digital Landscape Model (ATKIS-Basis-DLM) were also investigated.
The results in short:
- The ALKIS-Migration worked well with regard to the land area categories
- In terms of change from book area to geometry-based area case studies showed inaccuracies of 0,4 % with regard to the daily land usage
- Currently, there are no alternative remote sensing based data sources that could completely replace ALKIS in terms of accuracy and area coverage.
In conclusion it can be said that following the ALB – ALKIS migration and the complete update of the „real land use“, a single instrument is now available nationwide as a basis for land area monitoring.
Source of figure: „BERNSDORF, B. (2015): Evaluation der Datenbasis für die Flächennutzungsstatistik.- in: Meinel, G., Schumacher, U., Behnisch, M. & Krüger, T. [Hrsg.] (2015): Flächennutzungsmonitoring VII: Boden – Flächenmanagement – Analysen und Szenarien, IÖR-Schriften, Band 67, Berlin, S. 29 – 38.“
04.01.2016Next Generation.GIS in times of big data. read more
GIS in times of big data.
Humankind is producing enormous amounts of digital data. Meanwhile, this fact has become common knowledge. The same holds true for data base approaches and management tools for the organisation of data streams that are becoming increasingly faster and more diverse.
The new approach of the future is to realise that we do not need all the data. Promising are the new concepts that tell us what we really need: which patterns generate new findings and have to be examined more closely in order to support quick and better decisions on the basis of this “dimensionally reduced” heterogeneous data.
ContactDr. Bodo Bernsdorf
BigGIS helps to research and develop a new generation of geographic information systems. These will be predictive and prescriptive geographic information systems, based on high-dimensional geo-temporal data structures. Available data can basically be looked at as features in terms of space and time.
The challenge lies in the integrated analysis of spatial and temporal geodata with additional heterogeneous and incomplete data. Data which does not fulfil the requirements in terms of area coverage or resolution from our understanding of quality. Data from a variety of sources such as remote sensing, crowdsourcing, social web and legacy systems for the processing of geodata.
Prototypical solutions are developed and validated for application areas such as „hazard prevention“, „environment“, as well as „smart city and health“.
01.01.2016Sustainable and constant supply of rubber.Remote sensing for the detection of rubber plantations along the Mekong river. read more
01.01.2016Sustainable and constant supply of rubber.
Remote sensing for the detection of rubber plantations along the Mekong river.
Latex is the sap of the tropical rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis and contains caoutchouc. The rubber tree can be seen as a guest in the southern tropical regions of China and the neighbouring countries of the Mekong region.
Traditionally, the tree originates from South America. However, the use of this tree also causes problems. One of the reasons is the world economy and its growing demand for natural rubber as a result of the economic boom in Asia. For many small farmers, the cultivation of rubber trees in monocultures is the only way to escape poverty.
As a result, rubber tree plantations in the Mekong region are expanding at the expense of natural forests belonging to the “Indo-Burma hotspot“, one of the world’s richest biodiversity regions. The overall objective of the joint project SURUMER is the development of an integrative land management concept for sustainable rubber cultivation in the Chinese province of Yunnan. SURUMER is the acronym for “Sustainable Rubber Cultivation in the Mekong Region”.
The project investigates the impact of the rubber boom on the environment and living conditions of the population as well as possibilities to minimise negative impacts. To be able to transfer the selective results to larger areas the size and location of plantations must be known.
Within SURUMER, EFTAS is responsible for the provision of information obtained from remotely sensed data.
On the basis of field-based reference data, the so-called „ground truth“, the classification system is trained to distinguish typical statistical characteristics of different land use and land cover.
With the help of this sample data a supervised classification can be performed where colour values and textures in the satellite imagery as well as elevation data is used to classify the actual land cover in the project area.
Although the remote sensing methodology developed in SURUMER can be seen as a prototype, the resulting concept can be transferred to other areas in the Mekong region. Ideally, the processes should be adjustable to other extensive tropical monocultures.
01.01.2016LUCAS and Copernicus.Synergies of European geospatial data sets. read more
01.01.2016LUCAS and Copernicus.
Synergies of European geospatial data sets.
LUCAS and Copernicus. Two variables in the European geodata scene. They both describe programs for the provision of pan-European land use and land cover information. Each program has its own history, its own intention and its own justification. The Land Use/Cover Area Frame Survey, in short LUCAS [Link intern nn], is a European-wide survey that provides comparable statistics on land use and land cover on the basis of a systematic area sampling. The surveyed points are analysed statistically by the European commission.
The goal of Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), is the establishment of a European infrastructure for environmental monitoring. Copernicus has a fleet of earth observation satellites to produce specific geoinformation services.
Therefore, LUCAS and Copernicus are two completely different programs. On behalf of the European Topic Centre Urban, Land and Soil (ETC/ULS) and the European Environmental Agency (EEA), EFTAS analysed the interfaces of these two programs with regard to the aspect of monitoring. How do these two programs fit together with regard to temporal, thematic and spatial processes as well as data models?
The study proved that LUCAS can make a contribution to the Copernicus program. On the basis of the results, recommendations were made for the improvement and harmonisation of different data models and processes. Not only were further empirical analyses proposed, but it was also initiated to provide results to the EAGLE working group (Eionet [European Environment Information and Observation Network] Action Group on Land monitoring in Europe). This group advocates the harmonisation of geoinformation on land cover on a European level.
01.01.2016Working in the field.App for the real-time-management of field surveys. read more
01.01.2016Working in the field.
App for the real-time-management of field surveys.
The App PLOP was developed by EFTAS to facilitate the execution of complex and large scale mapping projects. PLOP stands for „Progress logging for Land Observation Projects”. This App enables surveyors in the field to provide direct and real-time feedback to the project management on the progress of data entry.
The dictionary describes the term „to plop“ as a „slight popping noise“. As soon as a point is processed in the field, this information appears, i.e. „plops“ onto the screen of the project manager.
PLOP is an EFTAS in-house design and was developed to support and coordinate a large number of surveyors in the field with a simple tool in the event of low mobile network coverage. PLOP allows dealing with short term capacity shifts if the progress of data entry is slowing down or speeding up for whatever reasons.
The App has proven itself in large scale mapping projects such as LUCAS or field surveys in Africa.
05.12.2015Sought and found.The automated update of the ATKIS©-Basis-DLM through remote sensing. read more
05.12.2015Sought and found.
The automated update of the ATKIS©-Basis-DLM through remote sensing.
Please have a look at the following images:
Can you detect any differences? There are 10 dissimilarities to be found?
In principle, you have just conducted an on-screen change detection. You have manually compared two similar data sets searching for differences. A similar manual process is currently the standard for the update of geographic base data at the “Landesvermessungsbehörden” (land survey offices) throughout Germany.
EFTAS and the State Agency for Surveying and Geoinformation of Schleswig-Holstein (LVermGeo SH) have been looking for alternative solutions to update geographic data bases. „DLM-Update“ describes the concept to optimise and accelerate the detection of changes to the ATKIS©-Basis-DLM through partly automated satellite image analysis.
Geographic base data from the LVermGeoSH have been combined with satellite imagery, made available through the European program Copernicus . Data from the satellite system Sentinel-2 will be used, as it provides cost free, high resolution and multispectral optical imagery with a high temporal resolution.
Remote sensing methods based on this data help to detect changes in comparison to the current data set. Based on a set of rules, the supervised classification results of land cover are compared to the real land use classes within the ATKIS©-Basis-DLM in order to automatically find indications for area changes.
With “DLM-Update”, the whole methodology is realised as a software prototype. GeoIT enables the robust, cost-efficient and automated analysis of remote sensing data within the existing GIS structure of the surveying authorities. The simple and user-friendly programming interface allows staff from the surveying authority to operate the programme without detailed knowledge of remote sensing.
By the way, did you discover all 10 differences? And do you think you managed quickly?
If you can answer both questions with “yes”, you should apply for a job with one of the relevant authorities. If not, this might be one more reason to look at “DLM-Update” as a useful instrument.
01.11.2015Biomass has great potential.Landscape management materials for the generation of heat and electricity. read more
01.11.2015Biomass has great potential.
Landscape management materials for the generation of heat and electricity.
Landscape preservation measures are expensive. BiomassMon offers a more economic solution. How? By implementing remote sensing data free of charge.
Traditionally, landscape preservation measures are carried out to comply with traffic safety duties and conservation guidelines. For public authorities and land owners it is first and foremost a cost factor. With the increasing importance and use of renewable energies, biomass has become a valuable product. The increase in the cultivation of corn underlines this development.
Materials produced from nature conservation and landscape management measures provide biomass that can be used to generate energy. No matter whether it is legally classified as waste or raw material. Instead of wasting green cuttings, using them for energy production is a better and reasonable alternative. From a financial viewpoint, expenditures can at least be compensated and if the energy production is successful, profits can be generated.
However, the energy content of the material is limited. Furthermore, there are different ways of utilisation. Only a local and systematic use makes sense from an economic and sustainable perspective. In compliance with traffic safety and ecology and integrated into a management system based on growth forecasts of all parcels for the coming years. This requires detailed knowledge. What realistic quantities of biomass are available where? This information is of great importance not only to plant operators but also politicians.
Currently, there is no database or registry with information on type, growth and extent of biomass from nature conservation and landscape management. This is where BiomassMon starts.
Remote sensing is the method of choice when it comes to the acquisition of large scale and systematic geoinformation. With the Copernicus program [link], Europe is currently establishing an autonomous European satellite infrastructure which will provide free of charge satellite data with a variety of new spectral and temporal resolutions. This opens up new application possibilities that were not possible before due to the high cost of remote sensing data. This is also true for the detection of biomass potentials for energy production.
Together with the institute Fraunhofer UMSICHT and the University of Hannover, EFTAS has developed a process to use Copernicus data. In addition, digital terrain models were used for analysis. The DTM’s were generated from orthophotos and laser data in order to derive the horizontal distribution and height of relevant vegetation classes. The remote sensing data delivers key figures such as the amount of substrate (grass and wood) and energy content that can be fed into a GIS. A demonstrator has already been realised within a WebGIS. These key figures based on remote sensing data allow site recommendations for biomass conversion plants together with investment cost estimates and the calculation of potential for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The perspective is obvious. With BiomassMon, forecasts can be made to plan and conduct harvest and conservation campaigns more systematically.
18.11.2015 Energy landscape Münsterland.EFTAS presents WebGIS for monitoring of hedges at the 2nd Innovation forum. read more
18.11.2015Energy landscape Münsterland.
EFTAS presents WebGIS for monitoring of hedges at the 2nd Innovation forum.
Of course, the stronger use of renewable energy sources will have its impact on the landscape.
At the ‘Gut Havichhorst’ near Münster a vision for the Münsterland was presented. The meeting was initialized by the ‘Lebenswerte Landschaft‘ (precious landscape) foundation, and it was informative as well as exiting. Controversies were not avoided. As usual very lively was the discussion on the possibilities of extraction of natural gas in the Münsterland.
The strong opinions and emotions on both sides made it clear that objective information is needed. Current geo information can deliver an objective input. Innovative GeoIT concepts are welcome.
At the exhibitioners desk EFTAS presented his BiomassMon-WebGIS-Prototype. It demonstrates how on the basis of satellite imagery , the energy potential of wood from hedges, a typical element of the Münsterland, can be determined. With objective information at hand it is much easier to combine the goals for energy, ecology and landscape quality.
Homepage und Bildquelle:
15.10.2015Find your own route.„Erlebnis Naturerbe“: a routing system based on App and web portal. read more
15.10.2015Find your own route.
„Erlebnis Naturerbe“: a routing system based on App and web portal.
Nature tourists in the municipality of Coesfeld are not guided within fixed tours and themes. The “Erlebnis Naturerbe”, a routing system based on an App and web portal, allows the visitor or tourist to plan their own and individual routes to explore the nature and the landscape of one of the largest districts of Westphalia. Whether by foot or by bike, visitors and tourists can explore conservation areas and nature reserves as well as other cultural highlights. Places of interest are equipped with information boards providing interesting and detailed background data on local flora and fauna as well as the European dimension of these protected areas. Within the system „Erlebnis Naturerbe“, conservation-related topics are processed and integrated into the routing and information portal.
By choosing “points of interest” (POI), the user can select specific topics and add them to his or her own individual route planning.
The development of the App as well as the technical implementation of the web portal was realized by EFTAS.
The data basis for the system includes specialised geodata from the North-Rhine Westphalia State Agency for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection (LANUV NRW) as well as regional and local data from the nature conservation centre of the municipality of Coesfeld e.V. The data basis for the routing includes official geodata from the bicycle route planner of North-Rhine Westphalia as well as local information on walking trails.
Data management was realised by expanding the semantic model and exchange format „XErleben“, a data base containing information on leisure activities. As a result, the compatibility with state touristic data is guaranteed. “XErleben” is based on a data model developed by the Land Survey Office, containing a registry of leisure activities. The model consists of a GML application diagram and a catalogue of signatures. The diagram allows the provision of data via OGC-compliant web mapping and web feature services. The categorisation of POI’s follows a hierarchical thesaurus. The data storage of POI’s and the routing network follows a database solution based on PostgreSQL/PostGIS. The provision of data for visualisation and route calculation is managed via a REST interface (HTTP-based web-service interface).
To visualise nature themes within the App and web portal, the user is offered a visual network of themes which can be changed and explored intuitively via touchscreen. The network’s nodes provide thematic profiles. Desired themes can be used as parameters in future route calculations. The structure of the network (nodes, neighbours, describing text) is defined by a configurable XML file.
To enable data maintenance and update of the POI’s and routing data, an online geo-editor was established. This editor provides the nature conservation centre Coesfeld as system operator with a user-friendly possibility to update POI’s and routes via web browser. By temporarily closing individual sections of the route, visitor or tourist movements can be influenced, f. ex. to avoid disturbance to nesting birds.
For a practical example, please go to: http://www.erlebnis-naturerbe.de/.
13.11.2015 Copernicus-Forum 2015.We were there. read more
We were there.
The title of the forum „Copernicus Erfolgreich Nutzen“ emphasizes the use of Copernicus data and services for science, economy and management. Further potential applications of the data were presented. This is what can be taken from the website d-copernicus.de. The forum is in fact getting more relevant every year.
The DLR has invited interested parties in cooperation with BMVI, BMI, BMUB and BMEL. The value of remote sensing and geo informatics for management purposes is recognized more and more.
Of course the Copernicus program takes advantage of the fact that the first operative Sentinel satellites make the possibilities for application more concrete. That’s also what the many visitors in Berlin noticed.
That is also what made our presence rewarding . We presented some of our Copernicus projects - BiomassMon, DLM-Update, Natura2000 Monitoring and GMES4mining- and became some constructive comment.
Quelle Bild und Homepage „Copernicus in Deutschland“: http://www.d-copernicus.de/
ContactDr. Bodo Bernsdorf
15.10.201551 km of river Aa.An App for bike tourism around the area of Isselburg, Bocholt, Rhede, Borken and Velen. read more
15.10.201551 km of river Aa.
An App for bike tourism around the area of Isselburg, Bocholt, Rhede, Borken and Velen.
The Bocholt Aa is a small river in the western part of the Münsterland region. Being the result of three rivers meeting in Velen, the river Aa takes another 51 km before meeting the Dutch river Issel in the city of Ulft. The bike route of the same name follows the Bocholt Aa the whole way. This bike route, which is particularly scenic and touristically well developed, runs through the middle of the „Münsterländische Parklandschaft“ (Münsterland park landscape) and nature park “Hohe Mark”. Wide open fields alternate with small forestry areas and river meadows. Along the way, Cafés and little quaint villages invite the tourist to stay.
The App „Bocholter Aa“ which was developed by EFTAS, now involves the entire region surrounding the Bocholter Aa into bike tourism.
With the help of this App, tourists and day visitors can easily plan their own individual route through the region Bocholter Aa. The App turns the Smartphone into a navigation tool and travel guide at the same time. The above bike route is obviously the core element of the App, but alternative routes such as a combination with thematic routes like the 100 castle route or flamingo route are also possible while the App provides valuable and practical information on regions and cities all the time. What else is important for the tour rider?Restaurants, accommodation, public transport, camp sites, bike rental or e-Bike charging stations?
You will find everything in the App “Bocholter Aa”! Please find out for yourself!
01.10.2015Piling up.Anthropogenic deposits and the extraction of recyclable materials contained therein. read more
Anthropogenic deposits and the extraction of recyclable materials contained therein.
Blast furnace slag, converter dust and toxic gas sludge. Old waste dumps still hold a lot of useful recyclable material. Process-related it is mainly iron. For a while, phosphate-rich sludge was also stored in waste dumps. With increasing prices for raw materials it is becoming economically interesting to develop these resources in the near future.
With regard to economic feasibility studies, the resource volumes in smelter heaps must also be known. What methods are best suited to recover these resources? The question arising is: Where are these waste dumps? The aim of the project „REStrateGIS“ was to establish a national resource land register for smelter heaps. This cadastre gives an overview on the location of waste dumps, stockpiles and other landfills. Ideally, it also provides information on the content.
Through automatic analysis of satellite data, EFTAS could detect possible locations of heaps. Elevation data was derived and analysed, texture and structure analyses were conducted, spectral indices of potential recyclable materials were identified and data on vegetation succession was used as an indicator for acid or iron-rich soils.
The results were combined with research data from the Fraunhofer institute UMSICHT.
As part of the project „REStrateGIS“, national archives and land registries on contaminated sites were checked and archives of mining authorities and companies analysed. In future, it will be possible with a click to bring up the desired deposit in large format. Additional data on historic and current aerial photographs, photos with information on heap bodies and their substances will also be available.
One of the heaps served as a model case and was examined in more detail. Following expert interviews, screening of historic documents and inspection of the area, the samples underwent chemical analysis. As a result, the substances could be accurately listed. With the help of a reflection spectrometer, the spectral fingerprint of different materials could be measured and stored in a database. This database enables a targeted search in unknown heaps to gain first information on the materials that can be found at this location.
„REStrateGIS“ was developed in close cooperation with Fraunhofer UMSICHT, the Faculty of Geosciences and Geography of the University of Halle, the FEhS (Institut für Baustoff-Forschung e.V.) and EFTAS. Jochen Nühlen, one of the scientist of Fraunhofer Umsicht who was significantly involved in the project, assesses the perspective of “REStrateGIS“ as follows: „In future, it might even be possible to use the method to conduct detections of heaps worldwide – also in areas where the archives contain little data”.
01.10.2015No sign of data reduction.Data-Mining with geodata for non-police hazard defence and energy industry. read more
01.10.2015No sign of data reduction.
Data-Mining with geodata for non-police hazard defence and energy industry.
The Office of Technology Assessment at the German Parliament (TAB) views the innovative technology of data mining as a socio-political and legal challenge. As a consequence, expert reports were commissioned. EFTAS contributed with a case study on data mining with geodata.
Data mining does not deal with the generation of new data, but with the extraction of relevant knowledge from large databases (big data), also called “Knowledge Discovery in Databases“. The goal is to find regularities, laws and hidden connections.
The search for patterns that display new and nontrivial information – the essential feature of data mining – has always been a central element of GeoIT and remote sensing. Therefore, data mining with geodata has a certain tradition.
This longstanding development was compiled into a study by an expert team at EFTAS. The study examines many individual subjects in connection with data mining with geodata. Definitions, data sources, processes, infrastructures, legal and ethical requirements and business models. These individual topics are illustrated with examples such as the emergency mapping in the context of non-police hazard defence and grid management in the energy industry.
EFTAS could demonstrate with this study that there is a potential for future-oriented application options with data mining on the basis of geodata and that the number of operational applications will rise in the future.
In future, more and more data with spatial reference will be available. However, we will also have to deal with unsafe data sources, data gaps or qualitatively inferior data. Data mining will be capable to extract valuable knowledge from this data and therefore become a key technology in the future.
01.10.2015Sustainable tourism.Web portal & App for the nature tourism in the Rheinaue region. read more
Web portal & App for the nature tourism in the Rheinaue region.
Low-impact tourism, sustainable and contemporary. A nice concept that is applicable wherever the landscape is ecologically as well as touristically valuable. A prerequisite to achieve this concept is a certain control of visitor movement which accommodates nature conservation, recreation and environmental education.
This was the intention of the pilot project “Rheinaue erleben” which was sponsored and promoted by the EU and the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. The municipality of Kleve has several conservation areas of European significance („Natura 2000“ ) with endangered animal and plant species as well as unique habitats.
With the help of modern GIS, GPS and communication technologies, these landscapes can be developed for tourism in a sustainable way. To achieve this goal, individual and theme-oriented tours are offered for hikers and cyclists.
In close cooperation with the nature conservation centre of the municipality of Kleve, EFTAS realised a concept based on a web information portal and routing App. The web information portal is meant to be used for the planning of holidays “from home”, the information and routing App “on site”.
The internet portal www.rheinaue-erleben.de and the associated App help to plan hiking or bicycle routes along the Rheinaue between Emmerich, Rees and Kalkar and offer information on natural and cultural aspects at the same time. Interactive maps provide detailed information on nature, cultural characteristics and gastronomy. Interesting points along the way are featured with text, photos and fascinating stories, so-called listening experiences.
Visitors not only learn about conservation areas and their endangered animal and plant species but also about the Rhine, castles and palaces along the way.
The individual route can already be planned at home on the computer. Based on the themes and additional requirements such as time and distance, the portal calculates a route which is perfectly tailored to the visitor’s needs. New is the possibility to calculate A to B routes as well as round trips.
The route is then followed via App. All routes can be transferred to the smart phone and then retrieved en route. The application displays local information on nature conservation themes supported by multimedia such as film, video, text and photos. However, spontaneous route calculations are also possible. The navigation function keeps the visitor on track and offers information on the next point of interest.
"The map portal with associated App has helped us to successfully market our natural values between Emmerich, Rees und Kalkar to our visitors in a modern way. At the same time we can now guide our visitors on predetermined routes to the highlights of the region in an environmentally sustainable way".
Melanie Brinkmann, Project Manager Nature Conservation Centre Kleve.
01.10.2015Hiking in former mining areas.Theme routes and mountain trails in the northern Ruhr area. read more
01.10.2015Hiking in former mining areas.
Theme routes and mountain trails in the northern Ruhr area.
Several mining dumps in Vest Recklinghausen bear witness of the significant past of mining in this area. The municipality of Recklinghausen came up with the idea to realise the value of these reminders of mining activity in the northern Ruhr area for tourists by developing a smartphone App for iOS and Android.
As a consequence, EFTAS developed the so-called “Halden-Hügel-Navi“, an App that guides smartphone users via 12 theme routes and 150 “story-telling-stations” through the mining areas of the Vest.
The App delivers information on times of pre-industrialisation with castle complexes and swamp forests to the peak phase with rapid industrialisation and development of waste heaps as well as the massive structural change with phases of renaturation and conversion. The tourist experiences the present situation by taking the tour.
Because classical signage with information boards and signs is prone to bad weather or destruction, the municipality of Recklinghausen decided to implement a purely mobile routing system which is offered to tourists in the form of a smartphone App free of charge. Tourists are guided via visual and acoustic navigation – it also works if there is no mobile reception!
It is important to mention that you cannot use the App on your sofa at home to digitally explore the highlights of the region as most of the interesting information only becomes available when reaching the corresponding point of interest in the field. In the App, hikers can tick off the mining heaps reached on their tour and then participate in raffles with their virtual stamp booklet.
The App is further supplemented with the integration of additional points of interest such as gastronomy, accommodation, the possibility to download maps and information on public transport including stops and timetable information.
„The terms of reference for the App were challenging: the App was meant to provide mobile access to the content of all theme routes as well as touristic information. At the same time it was requested that the App provides clear navigation along the theme routes without signposting in the landscape as well as the possibility to be used offline. Both requests have been achieved – the App is technically well thought through and easy to use. “
Sven Ahrens, Project Manager Municipality of Recklinghausen.
30.09.2015Good luck!Hyperspectral and earth movement monitoring of mining areas. read more
Hyperspectral and earth movement monitoring of mining areas.
Prospection, exploration, production and recultivation of abandoned mining areas are the main phases of mining operations. These phases all need geoinformation. Remote sensing methods are becoming increasingly part of the relevant processes.
As a result of the project GMES4Mining, EFTAS has developed two methods as services to Copernicus, the European Programme for the establishment of a European capacity for Earth Observation: the search for deposits by defining mineral reserves and the detection of earth movements through continuous earth observation. The search for metal ores, rare earths as well as raw materials of all kinds is of great significance. Each material reflects the sunlight in a quite specific way.
Humans perceive this as different colours. Even within the non-visible radiation ranges, different reflections occur. This is used by bees for orientation purposes within the UV spectrum and by snakes to detect thermal infrared radiation. So called hyperspectral sensors are able to break down reflection values into more than 100 individual units of information.
Under laboratory conditions, materials can be described by their characteristic spectral signature which is then used to find these materials in the field with the help of hyperspectral remote sensing. The GMES4Mining practical test in Australia produced some very promising results with regard to the detection of different ores and minerals.
From exploration to production.The extraction of mineral resources usually involves the movement of large volumes of upper earth crust material. Not all of these earth movements are wanted. Subsidence, landslides and open pit mines cause problems during production as well as rehabilitation of former mining areas.
The methodology developed by EFTAS within the GMES4Mining project is based on the analysis of airborne and satellite imagery and allows the detection of first signs of subsidence and lowering of the groundwater table. Indicators are values like soil moisture and signs of water logging within vegetated areas.
01.09.2015Every 6 years!Remote sensing based field data for an efficient FFH monitoring. read more
01.09.2015Every 6 years!
Remote sensing based field data for an efficient FFH monitoring.
The military training area Senne in East-Westphalia is a quiet piece of earth, unless there is a military maneuver. Nature has been able to develop here almost undisturbed which is why this training area has protection status. It fulfils the criteria of the European Flora-Fauna-Habitat Directive (FFH-RL in Germany).
FFH areas accommodate animal and plant species and habitats that are threatened European-wide. In total, the FFH Directive
lists 231 habitat types and more than 1.000 animal and plant species. The Directive defines that the conservation status of FFH areas has to be regularly checked and monitored. This has to happen every 6 years. Traditionally, these habitat areas were mapped by surveyors in the field. However, this is expensive and time-consuming. In the case of the military training area of Senne, habitat types on an area close to the size of 17.000 soccer fields have to be monitored in one run.
EFTAS has developed a more efficient approach.
For this purpose, remote sensing methods are implemented in preparation of the field surveys. Geometries of habitat types are exactly delineated on the basis of satellite and aerial images. This happens to a large extent automatically. Additional data from forestry maps and biotope mappings are also included in the analysis.
The geometry information generated is used by the surveyor in the field, who then has considerably less work to do. The experience from NLU, who is responsible for the field surveys and a long term cooperation partner of EFTAS, shows that 9 out of 10 habitat or biotope types can be correctly delineated geometrically with remote sensing methods. This allows the surveyor to concentrate on what he can do best: identify and collect conservation relevant data for the typification of biotopes and habitats.
The client benefits from better results and faster processing times. In case of the military training area Senne it is the Federal Authority for Real Property Administration (Bundesanstalt für Immobilienaufgaben).
01.09.2015Know your local area.Visitor information system and management tool „Tourenplaner Münsterland“. read more
01.09.2015Know your local area.
Visitor information system and management tool „Tourenplaner Münsterland“.
The Münsterland region is a popular holiday and recreation area located between the Netherlands, the Teutoburg Forest and the Ruhr district. Cyclists and equestrians in particular find a large choice of routes through an interesting and varied park landscape.
According to specifications of the customer, a web portal incl. App was developed to inform guests in advance as well as serve as a consulting and management tool for the local tourist information Münsterland e.V.
EFTAS has realised this idea with the “Tourenplaner Münsterland“.
The tourist is addressed through an integrated visitor information system with map portal and individual thematic routes. They can plan their own bicycle or equestrian routes upfront and receive recommendations for round routes that are perfectly matching their own personal wishes – the corresponding App helps the user to navigate on site.
Cyclists and equestrians can choose from a variety of qualified routes such as the 100-Castle-Route or the Flamingo-Route. Moreover, they can plan their own individual routes matching their requirements. Whether family outing or sophisticated racing bike route – the routing engine calculates a varied A-to-B route or round trip depending on desired duration or driving profile. Previously chosen priority themes and interests are also taken into account.
To be successful, a visitor information system constantly needs up-to-date and high quality data – from opening hours or entrance fees to perfectly accessible bike paths. The management tool “Tourenplaner Münsterland“ concentrates all relevant information in one central place. The management of all this data is done with XErleben, an object-based model for INSPIRE-compliant standardised data exchange in administration, tourism and economy.
Timeliness of the data is ensured through online editor functions and image analysis techniques: touristic scouts can make modifications directly to the web portal. These are immediately published online or released after having been checked by a quality controller, depending on the rights of the user. New routes can be added, existing routes can be changed and information on places of interest can be edited.
„The Tourenplaner Münsterland is our central platform for all relevant information concerning the Münsterland region. Information is continuously updated via online editor and image analysis techniques. On the basis of this latest information, tourists are able to plan their tailor-made bike tours and horse rides to the highlights of our beautiful holiday region“.
Hans-Joachim Gerdemann, Project Consultant Münsterland e.V.
15.08.2015AgroSurvey.ArcGIS extension for the control of agricultural subsidies. read more
ArcGIS extension for the control of agricultural subsidies.
For the farmer the agricultural parcel is a uniformly cultivated piece of land. European farmers can apply for EU agricultural subsidies for their agricultural parcels. However, a significant number of aid applications are controlled. In Germany, EFTAS is the leading service provider for these controls. The applications are evaluated directly on the screen, assisted by a GIS (Geographical Information System) and on the basis of airborne and satellite imagery. A great amount of geoinformation is needed in order to conduct these controls precisely.
EFTAS employees, who evaluate the applications for agricultural subsidies, have to incorporate data from different sources: airborne and satellite imagery, application data, cadastral information, valuation codes and much more. To achieve this, EFTAS uses an in-house developed GIS extension for ArcGIS Desktop by ESRI.
This EFTAS solution is called AgroSurvey.
This GIS extension allows users to organise and link existing applications, cadastral data and the geometry of training fields as well as attribute data in geographic databases. It also structures the operational process and enables an efficient processing via intelligent entry masks.
The agricultural parcels of land to be evaluated are selected from the data window. By selecting the Personal Ident (PI) of the farmer and the Parcel ID, the visible map section is centred on the area including the agricultural parcel to be evaluated. Information on size, land use and number of involved fields as the key identification data of the cadastral unit are also provided.
Following the interpretation of the imagery and the comparison of evaluated data with the application data, the geometry of the agricultural parcel is adjusted if needed according to the limits of utilisation.
To support the interpretation of land use, training areas with known land use including photos can be accessed.
Finally, the interpretation results are specifically coded and integrated into a database for further analysis.
01.08.2015Something for careerists.Travel guide App „Platzhirsch“ for a modern tourism marketing including crowdsourcing. read more
01.08.2015Something for careerists.
Travel guide App „Platzhirsch“ for a modern tourism marketing including crowdsourcing.
Each of us knows such a case: if we are not familiar with a place, we tend to use our smart phone to find the right way. And we are also familiar with the following case: before making any purchase decision, we study internet ratings, tips and recommendations. What could be more reasonable than picking up these two trends to combine them into an App for travellers? Especially in tourism, insider knowledge and experiences of other travellers play a huge role when choosing holiday destination, places of interest or a restaurant.
What we obviously need are: geodata and content.
With “Platzhirsch”, administrative geospatial or specialist data are integrated into the App’s universal data structure through standardised interfaces. Subsequently, the application for iOS, Android & Co. is created almost with a simple push of a button. Advantage: the information update is conducted by the relevant agencies and the data is automatically and centrally visualised in the new application. Positive side effect: this simple „push of a button“ makes the processing cost-effective. As a consequence, the system is affordable for small and medium-sized destinations.
„Platzhirsch“ also allows the user to add popular insider tips and comments. Via crowdsourcing. Registered users can rate the existing content or add further tourist services and products. Therefore, “Platzhirsch“ is both a rating and marketing platform.
„Platzhirsch“ was developed in close cooperation with the technical college Münster and the district of Warendorf, which, in its role as a pilot user, participated in the definition of data structure and operating concept.
„Platzhirsch“ is a cost-effective ready-to-use product for an individual mobile travel guide for municipalities, cities and regions of every size. A win-win situation for both well informed travellers and those responsible for the effective marketing of destinations.
15.07.2015Malawi is eager to know.Yield forecast with field survey and remote sensing. read more
15.07.2015Malawi is eager to know.
Yield forecast with field survey and remote sensing.
Corn, tobacco, cotton, rice, soy, sweet potato, manioc, peanuts and tea. It is common knowledge that these are the main crops grown in Malawi. However, the aim for the future is to have more reliable data on where in the country the crops are grown and what the expected yield will be.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture initiated a country-wide survey of agricultural parcels, which was conducted by EFTAS under the lead of Consorzio ITA.
To achieve this, an innovative combination of field survey and remote sensing was chosen. Within a couple of weeks in 2014 and 2015, 25.000 sample points were surveyed by means of air photo interpretation and field survey. This data was used to calculate informative statistical analyses.
Malawi has shown that yield forecasts can be achieved on an operational level through a combination of field survey and remote sensing. In 2015, Consorzio ITA and EFTAS conducted the random sample stratification, the field survey including preparation, training and management as well as the data analysis.
However, it would be desirable, if further campaigns could be increasingly conducted by the local authorities themselves.
15.07.2015Seeds instead of steppe?Land management for the Western Siberian Grain Belt under a changing climate. read more
15.07.2015Seeds instead of steppe?
Land management for the Western Siberian Grain Belt under a changing climate.
We are in Western Siberia. North of Tyumen. Grain fields as far as the eye can see. This is not a snapshot, this is a future scenario. Scientists are currently investigating whether the “Western Siberian Grain Belt“ will expand to the north due to climate change. Momentarily, uncultivated swamps and forests can be found in the transition zone between forest steppe and Pre-Taiga.
This transition zone between forest steppe and the northern boreal forest in Western Siberia is of global significance in terms of food production, carbon sequestration and biodiversity. Therefore, the previously mentioned scenario is probably not the ideal future. It is desirable to preserve biodiversity and productivity of agricultural ecosystems as well as semi-natural areas, which are scattered among the agricultural landscape. The question arises whether it would be possible to increase productivity on these already cultivated areas through sustainable intensification without causing negative environmental impacts?
The aim of the interdisciplinary joint project SASCHA is to analyse and evaluate different forms and intensities of land use on ecosystem goods and services in the Tyumen province. The purpose is to develop sustainable adaptation strategies to climate change and appropriate management tools.
It all starts with observation. With “SASCHA MS”, the SASCHA monitoring system, EFTAS has developed a software prototype to constantly update land cover data. One of the key functions of this monitoring system is the quantification of agricultural changes. The system development takes into account local requirements and conditions. It is able to support local decision makers in terms of large scale environmental monitoring.
SASCHA is part of the BMBF-funded measure “Sustainable Land Management“ Module A "Interaction between Land Management, Climate Change and Ecosystem Services". All activities with regard to research, development and implementation are conducted in close cooperation with Russian partners from science, industry and administration.
10.06.2015Taking new paths.Geoinformation for traffic infrastructure planning. read more
10.06.2015Taking new paths.
Geoinformation for traffic infrastructure planning.
Distances, heights and spatial volume. These are important parameters on every large traffic route construction site. These angle and distance measurements are recorded by surveyors with their theodolites. Right from the design phase, precise 3D terrain data is needed for these construction projects. To evaluate alternative routes, to plan construction works and to prepare process logistics.
EFTAS prepares planning documents for the design process of traffic route projects.
In case of large-scale projects, the application of remote sensing and GeoIT is an economically sensible approach. This is also known to the relevant authorities in North-Rhine Westphalia. The state is large and has a high motorway density. Therefore, remote sensing based geoinformation is often used in building projects. EFTAS has already provided this type of information for a variety of projects. It is a well-established process to take aerial photographs, convert them into stereo orthophotos which can then be used to derive 3D geoinformation through photogrammetric methods.
The most important processing steps are the planning of the aerial survey, the signalization and the determination of control points as well as the orientation through aerial triangulation. In the course of data collection, all relevant object types receive information on height and position. Objects, that cannot be clearly identified, are checked in the field. The stereo orthophotos are also used to produce a digital terrain model (DTM). The original data is delivered digitally and in all GIS and data formats.
EFTAS produces planning documents for an immediate use of the data: orthophoto maps derived from a superimposition of aerial photographs, ancillary and client data as well as classic line plans. Both data can be delivered in printed format or as a pdf-document.
As an add-on, EFTAS also collects information on noise-relevant objects and processes this data for the use in noise calculation programs. Due to legal requirements, the construction of new roads and the reconstruction of existing roads have to comply to limit values of traffic noise. Therefore, information on neighbouring houses like eaves and ridge height, roof windows, balconies, verandas and other objects like traffic lights, car parks and bridges is also of high relevance.
01.06.2015Level-up.A global agricultural monitoring network for the sustainable increase of food production. read more
A global agricultural monitoring network for the sustainable increase of food production.
Worldwide, agriculture plays a huge role. It is the basis for food production for a steadily increasing world population and also responsible for cultivation and conservation of our cultural landscapes. In coming years, the food production needs to reach a more productive level especially in developing and emerging countries without affecting cultural assets and natural areas.
Besides traditional crops, new methods of cultivation as well as new crops can help achieve this goal. However, introducing new crops and new methods is not without risks. Due to their historical development, traditional crops have adapted well to the natural environment. Therefore, the introduction of innovative cultivation methods needs to be closely monitored. What is their influence on the ecosystem, what is their influence on productivity?
Remote sensing methods for global agricultural monitoring are already available. There are various individual projects. The aim of SIGMA (Stimulating Innovation for Global Monitoring of Agriculture) was to create an international network of experts to consolidate different monitoring methods (evaluation of methods, comparison of results etc.).
Capacities from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the United Nations are involved in the project. SIGMA is part of Europe’s contribution to the GEOGLAM (Global Agricultural Geo-Monitoring) initiative, which is a key component of GEO (Group on Earth Observation).
This initiative was launched by the G20 group of states and aims to strengthen the worldwide collection and coordination of spatially relevant data.
EFTAS has contributed with its expertise by developing a standardised process called „data collection & validation protocol“.
This process describes the professional collection of field data to ensure a reliable accuracy assessment of remote sensing data. It also delivers guidelines for standardised field data formats incl. instruments, manuals and training materials.
In order to determine the influence of new crops or new farming techniques on the ecosystem and productivity, agricultural areas and crops as well as their impact on the environment are analysed with satellite imagery.
01.06.2015Trust is good but control is better!Sampling inspection of European agricultural direct payments by means of remote sensing. read more
01.06.2015Trust is good but control is better!
Sampling inspection of European agricultural direct payments by means of remote sensing.
There is help available for European farmers. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) allows planning security through income and risk protection. Direct payments that are independent from production represent the core element of the EU agricultural support.
They soften fluctuations of agricultural prices and also recompense the services provided by farmers to society by maintaining cultural landscapes and natural resources. Approximately 16 million km2 of Europe are eligible agricultural area. This is twice the size of Australia. Obviously, there are some farmers that claim more from the fund than they are entitled to. Therefore, controls are carried out.
In Germany this is done through the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) with the support of GeoIT.
ContactDr. Cordt Büker
Since 1994, EFTAS has been commissioned every year to check claims by means of remote sensing. On average this has been done for 6 non-city states. EFTAS also coordinates the recording and processing of required aerial and satellite imagery. The latter form the basis for the visual interpretation of those agricultural parcels for which aid is claimed.
This is done following a differentiated key within the GIS and partly through on-site checks. The results are passed back to the agricultural administrations for legal assessment.
01.06.2015Ortho. . .what?Benin – geoinformation based on airborne and satellite imagery. read more
01.06.2015Ortho. . .what?
Benin – geoinformation based on airborne and satellite imagery.
Benin is a disadvantaged country. Just like other African countries, Benin is confronted with the traditional challenges dominating its development: supply of water and food security for a growing population.
However, the farming sector has development potential. Large areas of the country have the potential for cultivation, but only one-sixth of the total land area has been utilized so far. An environmentally sustainable land management should be pursued in order to prevent a further worsening of already existing environmental problems such as increasing deforestation.
EFTAS has created an up-to-date map series at a scale of 1:5000 as a basis for sustainable land management. The basic geoinformation for this map series was derived from the analysis of satellite imagery.
Airborne and satellite imagery have to be available in a distortion-free and true to scale orthophoto format in order to be usable for surveying and planning projects. To achieve this, satellite imagery is projected onto a georeferenced 3D-terrain model.
In Benin, EFTAS produced such a 3D terrain model from older aerial photographs.
In order to create such a 3D terrain model every point on the earth’s surface has to be recorded from at least two different perspectives. This enables the calculation of 3D models. Within the discipline of photogrammetry this is also named stereographic processing. In principle, the human eye follows the same concept.
For the production of these satellite imagery based maps, a variety of satellite systems like Quickbird, GeoEye or WorldView 2 were used. Objects of 50 cm in size can be differentiated on the Earth’s surface. Therefore, single landmarks like intersections, corners or other obvious structures are visible.
To generate these landmarks, point coordinates were collected on the ground using precise GPS measurements. These point coordinates were then used to project the satellite imagery onto the corresponding points in the 3D model. As a result, satellite images in orthogonal projection were created.
In the case of Benin, EFTAS generated maps for 10 rural communities at a scale of 1:5000 based on 14,000 km² of orthophotos.
01.05.2015Sustainable development.Development cooperation for food security in Sudan. read more
Development cooperation for food security in Sudan.
The subject of food security remains a continuous challenge in Africa. In order to timely assess yield and food security, basic information is often missing: how large is the area under cultivation? Which arable crops are cultivated where? How is the stage of development of these crops?
GeoIT-based monitoring services can provide important answers to these questions. These services allow systematic crop monitoring services in order to develop early warning systems. The European Space Agency (ESA) established the so called Global Monitoring for Food Security (GMFS) program which aims to provide earth observation and GIS based services within the framework of food security. Several African states were selected for pilot projects.
Sudan is a good example for the successful transfer of technology. For EFTAS, the aim of the development cooperation with the Sudanese Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation was to implement Geo-IT methods through external experts and as well as enable local authorities to independently apply Geo-IT methods for food security on a continuous and operational basis.
To realise this technology transfer, a wide range of applications was put together: the combined use of medium and high resolution remote sensing data, the integration of optical and radar data and the integration of agricultural field spot checks.
For all processes, EFTAS conducted professional in-house and field trainings with customised training material.
EFTAS also accompanied the cooperation with great commitment until Earth Observation and GIS based services in Sudan were working on an operational level. A genuine success for all parties involved and a good example for the rest of Africa.
As other African countries would like to follow the example of Sudan, ESA and other development cooperation organisations are investigating possibilities to expand this form of effective and practically-oriented technology transfer.
01.02.2015Where, when and how much?GeoIT in the energy sector. read more
01.02.2015Where, when and how much?
GeoIT in the energy sector.
Smart grids play an important role for the decentralized power supply of the future. They act as the essential link between production, usage and storage. To ensure grid stability and intelligent power management, geoinformation is needed. How much energy is produced or stored where and when? Knowing just when, where and how much energy is flowing through the power lines means that the energy flow can be optimised. The energy sector is undergoing radical change due to the energy transition („Energiewende“).
There are new processes, new players and new demands. But how much GeoIT is needed where and when? The answer lies in a continuous cross-industry exchange.
EFTAS strongly engages in this dialogue and promotes the establishment of a network between technology and business. The development projects geonetNRW and geonet 2.0 evaluated these interfaces between energy sector and GeoIT.
Core processes, trends and application potentials were analysed and discussed among experts of both fields. The results of these geonet projects are documented in studies and can be accessed barrier-free.
01.01.2015Breakage and throw after the storm.Detection of storm-damaged timber with CIR aerial photographs. read more
01.01.2015Breakage and throw after the storm.
Detection of storm-damaged timber with CIR aerial photographs.
Strong wind incidents are becoming more frequent. Widespread windfall and wind throws in forests have become more common. Storm-damaged timber needs to be taken out of forests as quick as possible. The longer it takes to remove the deadwood, the higher the colonisation by insects and fungi will be. This minimises the economic yield expectations and maximises the probability for forest pests.
EFTAS recorded the areas of damage caused to forests with remote sensing techniques and established a basis for timber haulage logistics.
An example: During the night of 18th to 19th of January 2007, the storm “Kyrill” struck Germany. It caused considerable damage also in the forests of North-Rhine Westphalia. According to the ad-hoc assessment by the responsible State Forestry and Timber Agency (Landesbetrieb Wald und Holz NRW), more than half of the forest areas were affected. This area was too large for a short-term terrestrial survey of the detailed damage situation.
ContactDr. Andreas Müterthies
Therefore, EFTAS was commissioned to assess the exact dimension of damage on 38 % of the total area of North-Rhine Westphalia. This was done for the regions of Niederrhein, Eifel and Sauerland. The prevailing weather conditions with persisting cloud cover prevented the assessment of these damages with satellite remote sensing. As a consequence, CIR aerial photographs (CIR = Colour infrared) were taken during short cloud free time windows. Via red colouration, CIR aerial photographs visualise reflection values of vegetation in the Near Infrared.
These reflection values are very useful for the interpretation of vegetation. The aerial photographs were processed by EFTAS and combined with topographic maps and digital information on forest tracks into a Geographic Information System (GIS) in order to digitally detect storm damage.
For a fast entry, the areas with wind throw were highlighted as POI’s (Points of Interest) with ID-number, height above sea level, exposition and name and number of forestry office. In the end, the system contained 22.000 points. This data served as the basis for the establishment of the timber haulage logistics: the forest officials could prioritise the forthcoming forestry work and the truck drivers were automatically directed to the POI’s in ideal sequence.