Varna valley Sentinel image

Remote sensing and forest landscapes

Landscape surface change can provide important information to land management organisations and conservationists, relating to environmental impacts of various types of land uses and landscape patterns, including forest landscapes.

In general, in landscape research and planning, the most commonly used remote sensing datasets are aerial and satellite images. High resolution Remote Sensing has the potential to Improve landscape monitoring and research.

Remote sensing capabilities have dramatically improved in recent years, in terms of their spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions. Airborne imaging has also improved offering very high spatial resolutions and hyper-spectral capabilities. It has thus become a very important tool to help map, and monitor the earth surface land uses.Sentinel image Italy

Data has been made increasingly available through rom state-of-the-art European initiatives like the Copernicus Open Access initiative and the processing capabilities such as Sentinel Hub..In parallel there have been signifiant breakthroughs in Cloud Computing, machine learning, data processing and software engineering which have made Earth observation data applicable to landscape monitoring as they offer powerful capabilities to assess landscape changes at different scales and investigate environmental relationships.

Forest monitoring is one such area that has benefited from improving Earth observation systems. Understanding ecological processes at these scales is key to many critical issues in forest planning, conservation and environmental design. Rigorous and innovative strategies are being applied for analysing remote sensing data and linking with other ground-based and non-spatial information.

European Union agencies and member states need to have access to the best-possible data, from multiple (public and private) data sources to enable the state of Europe’s forests to be assessed and its overall biodiversity researched. With the implementation of the EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Forest Strategy, it can be argued that landscape monitoring education as devised by the GEOLAND Project has never been so important.

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