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Small liner features

Development of EO derived information services for EEA

Development of services for monitoring landscape

Project duration: 2011 to 2013

Project manager: Tomáš Soukup

Technical lead: Lukáš Brodský

Small linear landscape features (SLF) play a crucial role in landscape. They include roadside vegetation, hedgerows, stone walls, scattered trees, riparian vegetation, field borders and greenways. Linear vegetation features serve as natural habitats or biocorridors in intensively used open landscapes. They provide important ecosystem and cultural functions. They regulate the local climate conditions, protect the soil against erosion or help to purify the surface water. The SLF patches are important structural landscape elements functioning as windbreaks, facilitating connectivity, but they also provide habitats for biodiversity and increase the genetic diversity of the ecosystem.

The object like SLF patches are also addressed by Art. 34(3) of the EC Regulation R.1122/2009 and include features that are part of the good agricultural and environmental condition obligations or the statutory management requirements like hedges, drainage ditches and small woods according to the local regulations.

The objective of the project was to design, implement and test innovative remote sensing based services for SLF monitoring and demonstrate and validate their utility for the work of European Environmental Agency (EEA). This agency has specific needs related to ecosystem mapping and assessment, land and ecosystem accounts, green infrastructures and regional environmental characterization.

During the project, we characterized the SLF on the pan-European level with use of the high resolution EO data provided by ESA in the GMES data warehouse (IMAGE2000, IMAGE2006 and IMAGE2009). The methods were developed with perspective of future operational use of consolidated long-term EO data archives as well as ongoing Sentinel-2 data streams.

The project was funded by ESA, supported by EEA and it has been completed in collaboration of GeoVille Environmental Services Sàrl (lead), GISAT s.r.o. and GeoVille Information Systems GmbH.More information can be seen here.


The company was founded in 1990 as a first Czech company providing geoinformation services in the area of remote sensing. Gisat is oriented on remote sensing and GIS applications including satellite data retail. The wide scope of services is based on partnerships with all major Earth observation satellite data providers. Gisat has extensive long-term experiences with leadership of international projects, as well as a solid knowledge of the specific situation in countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Its clients are both public administration bodies and companies from commercial and industrial sector.

What would you name as main benefits of the project to your company?

“For us, it was very beneficial to develop and test methodologies taking into account all advantages as well as related challenges for new generation of operational services that utilize the huge EO data volumes, which are coming soon with Sentinels constellations. EO data based services have a great potential and opportunity to provide operational streams of up-to-date environmental data for land and ecosystem capital accounts. Here, the SLF project has contributed and exploited the continentwide EO data archives.”