About the SIG
The EARSeL SIG LULC has been founded to bring together scientists and agencies working on monitoring and quantifying land use and land cover by the means of remote sensing. In this regard, a fundamental field in this domain has been both the continuous improvement of algorithms for classification of land cover and land use as well as quantifying changes to allow for the support of ecological and climate monitoring as well as to provide decision-support for land managers. For this purpose, the SIG is open to all kinds of sensors such as optical, thermal, microwave or LiDAR and also welcomes remote sensing from different remote sensing platforms, such as satellite, airborne and UAV.
Our vision 2021-2024
Since 2021, we have the honor to be appointed as chairpersons and aim to continue the valuable work done by the previous leaders to bring the effort forward enlarging the EARSeL network and connecting it with the major efforts at the regional and global scales as well as cooperate with relevant LCLUC regional and international programs, primarily the NASA LCLUC. For the actual period (2021-2024), our vision and overall aim is twofold:
• Enhance Open and Reproducible EO Science in the context of Data Cubes
• Integrate Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) into LULC(C) research and consistency assessment
Our first main objective for this SIG is to enhance and strengthen Open and Reproducible EO Science. Indeed, Open Science is increasingly advocated for making scientific research more accessible and usable by different categories of users. However, Earth Observations Open Science is still undervalued, and different challenges remain (e.g., socio-cultural, technological, political, organizational, economic and legal) to achieve the vision of transforming EO data into actionable knowledge by lowering the entry barrier to massive-use Big Earth Data analysis and derived information products. Consequently, it is crucial to support the development of effective means to build socially robust, transparent, accessible, replicable, and reusable knowledge, to generate decision-ready products based on Land Use & Land Cover data. In this regard, we think that the Data Cube technology together with dense time-series (e.g., Landsat and Sentinel) in Europe will improve LCLUC monitoring.
The second main objective is dedicated to the thematic expansion/intensification of ECVs and their impact assessment of LULCC, which could be worth considering for several reasons. The current situation is that research on the intercomparison of diverse ECVs is still at its infancy while impact assessment of LULCC regarding biogeophysical effects using ECVs is gaining importance to assess and understand global change. As satellite derived ECVs become more available, they will also be used to analyze LULCC effects. Therefore, knowledge and integration of the uncertainties of individual ECVS will be of great importance. In this regard, EARSEL’s SIGs on various ECVs (i.e., forest fire, land ice and snow, thermal remote sensing) offer great potential for collaboration. We want to stimulate particularly research both in the field of ECV intercomparison studies and LULCC impact assessment. The workshops of the SIG should serve as platforms to foster regional research across institutes, accounting for the diversity of LULC types.
Ultimately, LULC remote sensing is critical to contribute to applied research using powerful geospatial and statistical analyses in environmental sciences with the objective to serve as a source of “actionable” and timely early warnings of emerging issues and environmental change, and related multi- scale assessments, based on scientific data, indicators, and real-time information, and help to catalyze “evidence-based” responses. To reach this objective, we think that a paradigm shift is essential moving from traditional data-centric approaches to information- and knowledge-centric approaches. To fully realize the value chain of EO data, the Data- Information-Knowledge-Wisdom (DIKW) paradigm can facilitate evidence-based decision-making processes and inform us about Earth’s limits. Therefore, exploring how best to apply DIKW on LCLUC would be valuable.
Thanks to an initiative in 2011 during the 4th SIG Workshop in Prague the members and chairmen of the SIG managed to launch in March 2014 the “Land Use and Land Cover Mapping in Europe – Practices & Trends“ Book within the EARSeL Book Series, Springer Verlag. Topics covered include:
A. Framework conditions
B. Operational European Mapping and monitoring services:
C. State of the art mapping methods
D. National practice examples
E. Multi-temporal monitoring in support of decision making and implementation at regional, national and local scale
Thanks to all contributors (authors, reviewers, co-editors, Book Series editors) and their Institutes, EARSeL, and Springer Verlag.
The Special Interest Group (SIG) organizes regular workshops on a bi-annual basis. The workshops are organized with invited oral presentations and posters, with plenty of time for discussions and exchange. Additional sessions on the SIG topics are proposed within the annual EARSeL symposium.
We intend to hold the next workshop for early 2023 with the title “Land use and land cover change – effects on climate and biodiversity” in Göttingen, GER or Geneva, CH.
Recent stand-alone workshops were held in:
Gregory Giuliani, Dr.
University of Geneva/Institute for Environmental Sciences
66 Boulevard Carl-Vogt
phone: +49 (0)22 370 07 09
e-mail: gregory.giuliani (at) unige.ch
Birgitta Putzenlechner, Dr.
Georg-August-University Göttingen, Institute of Geography/ Department Cartography, GIS and Remote Sensing
phone: +49 (0)551/39-28003
e-mail: birgitta.putzenlechner (at) uni-goettingen.de
If you wish to be part of the SIG and exchange with other European colleagues, then just please mail to one (or both) of the chair person (details are provided above in the Contact section).