European Built-up Areas Mapped Homogeneously for the First Time

  • EEA officially recognizes quality of delivered mapping product
  • Infoterra GmbH leads European Service provider network

Friedrichshafen, March 24, 2009 – A homogeneous map of high resolution core land cover data for built-up areas, including degree of soil sealing, for 38 countries in Europe has now been completed and delivered to the European Environment Agency (EEA).

In line with the project schedule, a European service provider network led by Infoterra GmbH, Germany, submitted the last of the datasets in late 2008. The products have passed the intensive checks by EEA and the respective user organisations with very good results:

"We are extremely satisfied with the results of this project", states Chris Steenmans, Head of Programme Shared Environmental Information System Support at the EEA. "The quality and accuracy of the final mapping product as well as its timely delivery, along with a reliable compliance with our specifications and deadlines, fully meet our expectations. We are convinced that a great number of public authorities across Europe – on both national and European level – will significantly benefit from these data in their daily work."

The product comprises raster datasets of built-up and non built-up areas including degree of soil sealing in full spatial resolution (20m x 20m) for 5.8 mio square kilometres across Europe, the reference year being 2006. The datasets will be made available to users on all administrative levels.

"Our concept of gathering essential expertise from all over Europe has proven successful and although the task was challenging, the cooperation has been extremely pleasurable", explains Marek Tinz, responsible project manager at Infoterra. The service provider network consists of GeoVille GmbH (Austria), GISAT s.r.o. (Czech Republic), Metria (Sweden), Planetek Italia srl. (Italy), Tragsatec SA (Spain), and Infoterra GmbH (Germany).

An element of the “fast track service precursor on land monitoring 2006-2008”, this project is among the first operational geo-information services within the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative of the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA).

About Infoterra

Infoterra GmbH, Germany, provides a broad portfolio of geo-information products and services, based on both radar data and remote sensing data acquired by other spaceborne sensors, complete the portfolio: Infoterra provides reliable and timely knowledge to customers in versatile fields of application around the globe.

The company holds the exclusive commercial exploitation rights for the new German radar satellite TerraSAR-X, launched on June 15th, 2007 – enabling the company to provide weather-independent, high-resolution, new-quality radar data as well as reliable data access services.

Infoterra has been a coordinator of development and validation of European GMES services for several years now. The company has established a strong expertise in geo-information services for land monitoring, water quality assessment, and spatial planning applications. Within GMES, Infoterra GmbH coordinates major development and implementation projects.

Infoterra GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of EADS Astrium, Europe's leading space systems and services specialist. Infoterra GmbH is part of the Infoterra Group, which also comprises companies in France, Hungary, Spain, and the United Kingdom with more than 350 employees and a turnover of over 60 Mio Euro in 2007.


Mareike Doepke
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