Category Archives: GIA

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Data acquisition for landscape monitoring and assessment

Landscape monitoring and assessment involves many different disciplines from the ecological to the social and cultural.Copernicus web site

Innovative methods for data acquisition on landscape and land management have been established due to significant advances in remote sensing and geospatial information science, for example from the EU Copernicus programme.

These include sensor data acquisition, cloud computing and rapid high quality image processing capabilities using tools such as uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs or ‘drones’), satellite and airborne-based sensors, as well as Lidar with high spatial, spectral, radiometric and temporal resolutions.

Automatic image orientation, surface reconstruction, scene analysis, change detection, classification and automatic feature extraction with the help of artificial intelligence, spatial statistics and machine learning are also being developed for use with the management of land developments and land use planning.olive trees photo

EU satellites reveal how bio-fertiliser can protect the olive groves of southern Italy

The bacterium Xylella fastidiosa (Xfp) has attacked olive trees in Italy since 2013, with severe impacts. Researchers have used Sentinel-2 satellite data to show that bio-fertiliser is proving effective in restoring the agro-ecosystem where since 2013 the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa (Xfp) has attacked olive trees in Italy,

Sentinel-2 data is part of the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation programme, which monitors land and marine environments, atmosphere, climate change, emergency response and security to support EU policy. Find out more 

Non-native species assessment 

Remote sensing can help monitor the colonisation of natural habitats by non-native species. These cause substantial ecological and economic damage. Research in Spain suggests monitoring and response efforts need to be prioritised as the removal of established alien species populations is costly and rarely successful.

The EU’s Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Regulation includes measures to manage established invasive alien species and to reduce the number of Red List species that they threaten by 50% by 2030. Find out more

Using satellite remote sensing to monitor biodiversity richnessforest photo

The presence and abundance of European aspen is a useful indicator of boreal forest biodiversity. The species richness and community composition of epiphytic lichens provide information about the influencing factors in their environment (humidity, tree density and age, light availability and more).

However, intensive forestry practices are causing aspen populations to decline, leading to a subsequent loss of lichen habitat. Find out more

The use of remote sensing methods is increasingly being used to reliably detect patterns and trends in biodiversity, with ‘light detection and ranging’ (LiDAR) and hyperspectral imaging to explore diversity in habitats, plant species and plant characteristics.

Remote sensing was more effective at predicting lichen communities than traditional field methods characterising the suitability of individual trees for lichen growth in Europe’s protected areas and to provide a more efficient way to map possible biodiversity hotspots. Natura 2000 sites map

Summary

Monitoring landscapes is a crucial action especially in times when the impacts of climate change are so significant.

There is a need for expertise in landscape monitoring which is derived from a range of disciplines including geology, ecology, environment, geography, economics, sociology, psychology and history.

These interconnections should be considered essential for monitoring the progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Landscape highlighted in Bulgarian event

ruse imageA recent project event, part of a series of successful seminars, was held on Wednesday October 13, 2023 in Ruse, Bulgaria by GEOLAND partners from Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The GEOLAND project was celebrated with e dedicated seminar about “The role of technology in the protection of the Bulgarian landscape, in line with the mission of the project. Educators, teachers, students and citizens had the opportunity to learn more about how it is possible to implement GIS technology in education, services, conservation of our nature and cultural heritage and influence policy developments.

Ruse workshop imageMr. Ayri Memishev, coordinator of the GEOLAND project for on behalf of RCCI, kicked-off the event by presenting the project and the products developed so far. The participants were informed about the specialised handbook for the protection of the landscape and objects of Natura 2000, through GIS technologies and the available e-platform for collecting geographic (and not only) data for the exploitation of various spatial objects.

Distinguished guest speakers also joined the event to talk facilitate the discussion on how technology contributes to many areas of landscape preservation:

• Mr. Nikolay Kutinchev, Head of the IT Department in Ruse Municipality, who presented the new and innovative GIS portal service and the currently available services for citizens. Mr. Kutinchev informed that soon there is active work on the implementation of numerous data from the presence of waste containers and their location, to pollutants and even abandoned cars within the municipality.IS image

• Mr. Georgi Vladov, from Esri Bulgaria, who talked about the countless possibilities of using ArcGIS and the educational initiatives available for Bulgarian schools and universities. Mr. Vladov expressed his readiness to support the schools in Ruse to use the available (and free) Esri products, as well as their inclusion in the national competition “We study the world with GIS“, supported by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria.

• Prof. Georgi Hristov, from “Angel Kanchev” University of Ruse, who demonstrated how thanks to modern technologies such as drones, digital twins and photogrammetry, existing objects of culture can be preserved, including objects and places are yet to be discovered during infrastructural changes and planning.Ruse workshop image

• Mrs. Reni Petrova, chief expert at the Regional Environmental and Water Inspection -Ruse, who showed the sites of Natura2000 in the Ruse region requiring attention, as well as some of the educational initiatives in which students and teachers can be involved. Mrs. Petrova informed the participants that soon we can expect to have a specialised unit that will deal only with issues related to the directive and future educational programs in this regard.

The event was attended by 25 participants, who rated it of high interest and quality, while recognising the wider application of GIS technologies and the importance of landscape preservation.

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Landscape Policies Case Study: Flanders

The European Landscape Convention seeks to encourage citizens and public authoritieslandscape convention logo to implement policies and measures at local, regional, national and international level for protecting, managing and planning landscapes throughout Europe.

GEOLAND aims to provide resources for to Higher Education students to study how European Landscape Convention (ELC) is implemented and adopted in different EU countries.

This case study examines the national, regional and local issues concerning landscape policy in the Flanders Region of Belgium.

Find out more about the Belgian Landscape Awards of the Council of Europe

A report on European Landscape policy has been produced. Find out about the European Policy Report

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Landscape Policies Case Study: Spain and Aragon

The European Landscape Convention seeks to encourage citizens and public authoritieslandscape convention logo to implement policies and measures at local, regional, national and international level for protecting, managing and planning landscapes throughout Europe.

GEOLAND aims to provide resources for to Higher Education students to study how European Landscape Convention (ELC) is implemented and adopted in different EU countries.

This case study examines the national, regional and local issues concerning landscape policy in Spain and the Aragon Region.

Find out more about the Spanish Landscape Awards of the Council of Europe

A report on European Landscape policy has been produced. Find out about the European Policy Report

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GEOLAND Handbook and Technical Annex available in 6 languages

The GEOLAND project seeks to improve and promote the engagement of Higher Education (HE) institutions, professors and students, in monitoring actions leading to effective decision-making for the implementation of the European Landscape Convention (ELC).handbook cover image

With this in mind the project has published an Educational Handbook and Technical Annex in English, Bulgarian, Dutch, Greek, Italian and Spanish.

These are available for download from https://www.geolandproject.eu/outputs/.

The Handbook includes state-of-the-art information and materials on learning and teaching perspectives, methodologies including citizen science, and Landscape Character Assessment related to the European Landscape Convention.

The Technical Annex complements the Handbook in order to provide details of the five methodological stages important for Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) by using GIS and public participation.

The five stages offer information, advice, resources and tools to carry out a Landscape Character Assessment for Natura 2000 or other sites of interest, are:
i) Purpose definition
ii) Desk-based data collection
iii) Field-based data collection
iv) Classification and
v) Overall evaluation

Training resources are now being developed to support university teachers and academics to implement the approach with their students.