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GeoVille > Focus Copernicus

Focus Copernicus


tl_files/test_gmes/gmes_logo.png Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), represents a concentrated effort to bring data and information providers together with users, so they can better understand each other and make environmental and security-related information available to the people who need it through new enhanced services.

Copernicus is the next flagship initiative for space in Europe after Galileo, contributing to establish a European capac-ity for global monitoring for environment and security. GeoVille has been playing a key role in Copernicus services for land applications, related to both land cover production as well as downstream services in the spatial planning domain.


Copernicus Operations


Semi-natural and natural grassland provide high biodiversity and a range of ecosystem services. Agricultural intensification and grassland management, land abandonment, shrub encroachment, afforestation, changing population structure and related processes (such as urbanisation) increasingly threaten these valuable, species-rich grassland plant communities and lead to a noticeable decline of the extent and quality of semi-natural grasslands. Hence, the aim of the project "Copernicus Initial Operations 2011-2013 Land Monitoring Service Local Component: LC/LU Mapping of a selection of Natura 2000 sites" was to assess whether grassland relevant Natura2000 sites are preserved effectively and whether a decline of certain grassland habitat types is halted. The sites were analysed for the 2006 and 2012 reference years including a 2 km buffer zone.

As part of a European service provider network build by GAF AG, Metria, Indra and GeoVille, GeoVille was re-sponsible for land cover/land use mapping of selected Natura 2000 sites for 2006 and 2012.

Additionally, GeoVille conducted a pressure and threats analysis to identify human activities that have a negative or positive effect on the welfare of Natura 2000 sites. This comprised the identification of urbanisation, agricultural intensification, drainage, deforestation, abandonment, and afforestation as well as their relaxations.

The product can be accessed via the Copernicus website.

Copyright © European Environment Agency, GeoVille


As part of a European service provider network for the "Copernicus Initial Operations 2011-2013 Land Monitoring Service Local Component: Riparian Zones", GeoVille was responsible for the mapping and delineation of green linear elements (GLEs) within European riparian buffer zones (approx. 555.000 km²). GLEs are ecologically significant, structural landscape elements which act as important vectors of biodiversity and provide vital habitats and ecosystem services. Hedgerows and tree groups are linked to landscape richness and fragmentation of habitats with a direct potential for restoration while also contributing to hazards protection and green infrastructure, amongst others. GLEs are an elementary part of a landscape’s green infrastructure and are therefore addressed through a range of policies and directives.

The overall project aim was to support the objectives of several European legal acts and policy initiatives, such as the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, the Habitats and Birds Directives and the Water Framework Directive.

The product can be accessed via the Copernicus website.

Copyright © European Environment Agency, GeoVille


The aim of the GMES Initial Operations (GIO) Land Monitoring Services of the European Environmental Agency (EEA) is the operational land monitoring of Europe. 5 High Resolution pan-European Layers (HRL), i.e. Imperviousness, Forests, Grassland, Wetlands and Permanent Water Bodies were established by different consortia build by European EO companies.

GeoVille was responsible for the production of the HR layers Imperviousness and Forest (Tree Cover Density and Forest Type) in Turkey (783.562 km²) and 5 of the West and Central Mediterranean countries (161.332 km²), as well as the HR layer Imperviousness in 3 Scandinavian countries and the Baltic states (940.380 km²).

All products can be accessed via the Copernicus website.

Copyright © European Environment Agency, GeoVille, 2012

In the first operational GMES application for land monitoring, GeoVille was part of a service provider network to map built-up areas and soil sealing for Europe. A consistent high-resolution land cover data base covering 5.8 million square kilometres was made available.

GeoVille has been responsible for mapping of 12 countries, for the set-up of the processing chain, for the training of the consortium partners comprising GISAT s.r.o. (CZ), Infoterra GmbH (DE; Prime), Metria (SE), Planetek srl. (IT), Tragsatec SA (ES) and acted as thematic and scientific advisor to the European Environment Agency (EEA). GeoVille was also involved in the subsequent upgrade and update for 2009, implemented within the framework of Geoland 2.

Copyright © European Environment Agency, GeoVille, 2006


Since 2007 GeoVille has implemented several Corine mapping projects: CLC2006 for Luxembourg, CLC2006 for Albania, and a CLC-type map in the context of the Egnatia motorway project.

In addition GeoVille has managed the implementation of CLC2006 in six Western Balkan Countries (Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo).

Data is available via the EEA website.

Copyright © European Environment Agency, GeoVille

ESA publishes a series of "Copernicus Briefs", each presenting a concrete application of the Earth monitoring programme. Together with ESA, GeoVille identifies current, late-breaking topics and presents the potential of the new European Sentinel satellites in a brief.

The Copernicus briefs are available under the Copernicus webpage.

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Copyrights © ESA, EC, GeoVille

Copernicus R&D (ESA and EU)


The EC-FP7 funded geoland2 aimed to organise a qualified production network and demonstrate operational processing lines. GeoVille was responsible for the production of the core mapping products (CMS) for the GMES Land Monitoring Core Service (LMCS), namely the HR Imperviousness layer update as well as the Land Cover Change 2006-2009. Another emphasis within the project was the management of the core information service for Spatial Planning (CIS).

Copyright © European Environment Agency, GeoVille, 2009

The BOSS4GMES project provided the technical, finan-cial and contractual foundations enabling the transition of GMES from a concept to an effective, operational programme.

As such BOSS4GMES links GMES with key political deci-sion makers, a broader sphere of users and the wider public.

GeoVille provided substantial input for operationalis-ing the validation of land information services.


The ambition of EC-FP6 funded project geoland 1 was to develop and demonstrate a range of European geo information services for supporting the implementation of European directives and policies related to land cover as well as vegetation.

GeoVille served as Manager of the Spatial Planning Observatory.

GeoVille signed a 4-year framework contract with the European Environment Agency for the provision of data services. Through this framework contract the EEA procures external data sets (e.g. Eurogeographics products) as well as related services.

Copyright © Eurogeographics


GNU intended to initiate a structuring of the GMES demand side by setting up an independent platform that will become the focal point and mouthpiece of European GMES user needs, and, likewise will foster a systematic dialogue between the stakeholder communities.

GeoVille supported the project in the future design of a land monitoring core service.

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The "Service for the Provision of Advanced Geo-Information on Environmental Pressure and State" (SAGE) offers a comprehensive product portfolio to serve the demands from the European Water and Soil Framework Directives.

GeoVille acted in this ESA-GSE Stage 1 Project as Task Manager of SoilSAGE.


GSE Land Information Services aimed at delivering geo information services, which are harmonised and standardised for cross-border applications.

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

GeoVille was in this ESA GSE Stage 2 project task manager on the "Impervious areas and sealing levels" and responsible for service implementation in 10 European countries.

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Copernicus in Austria


Land cover is constantly changing at all scales. To detect changes in the landscape and understand its causes and consequences timely analysis and documentation is needed. New satellite systems such as the European Sentinel-2 mission provide the potential to move from static mapping in 3 to 5 year cycles to continuous monitoring. GeoVille develops advanced processing algorithms for phenological time series analyses to support the efficient and periodically repeatable production of future European land monitoring products. This will allow to capture landscape changes in Europe and Austria effectively at high detail.

Copyrights © FFG, GeoVille (intermediate product)

With the growing global population, also the need for timely and efficient information on agricultural land use and its changes is growing. Earth observation provides objective, timely and consistent information on agricultural activities from local to global scales. This includes the determination of acreage, the respective crop and its seasonal changes. The European Sentinel-2 satellite will benefit in particular the agricultural sector, providing frequent, detailed information over large areas. GeoVille is developing operational processing chains for Sentinel-2 data to derive crop type, status, and its changes over time. Such observations can also be used in crop growth models to predict crop yields and eventually grain prices. Quantitative agricultural information supports the sustainable development of Austrian, European and global agriculture, a prerequisite to feed the world in the future.

Copyrights © FFG, GeoVille (intermediate product)


GMES initiative of the Austrian Space Application Programme (ASAP). The Land Information System should provide current and detailed geospatial information of the status and development of land cover and land use in Austria to public authorities and the private sector. LISA reduces the existing lack of information of different special fields such as spatial planning, forestry, agriculture, water and natural hazard management, as well as environmental protection and conservation.

GeoVille was project leader and responsible for the full cycle development and implementation of a standardised Land Information System for Austria.

A successive project was CadasterENV, which is fol-lowed by GSE CadasterENV. These projects aimed to enlarge the land cover mapping by using new satellite data and detect geographical areas with frequent changes of land covers.

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Copyright © LISA, GeoVille


The aim of NEOS-QUICK was to explore the capabilities and limitations of novel EO systems for mapping Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) parame-ters as specified by the reporting standards of the Kyo-to Protocol.

GeoVille has been the co-ordinator of this project fi-nanced by the FFG/BMVIT via the Austrian National Space Programme (ASAP).

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The Austrian Cluster for GMES (Global Monitoring of Environment and Security) combines the forces of in-dustry, applied research, university institutes and user organisations to develop sustainable Earth Observation (EO) based services in the settlement and alpine envi-ronment context.

GeoVille was the project co-ordinator of this project financed by the FFG/BMVIT via the Austrian National Space Programme (ASAP).