Land monitoring in the EU
European authorities develop a strategy to coordinate their data on land cover and land use
Information about land cover and land cover change is important for the purpose of spatial planning, nature conservation and the protection of river basins. Data are collected via land monitoring, with experts watching over the quality of land and its current use, and changes thereof, over extended periods of time. The aim of the HELM (Harmonised European Land Monitoring) network, which started in January 2011, is to develop a harmonised, efficient European system for land monitoring which is also designed to support EU reporting obligations. The network consists of authorities from all over Europe, which collect, update and evaluate data on national land use and land consumption.
In order to enhance the quality of European land monitoring and to encourage better use of available resources, HELM aims at ensuring continuous knowledge transfer between national, regional and European authorities. Coordinated data collection and harmonised data interpretation enable alignment of national systems and provide the basis for a lasting integration and combination of data across all levels of administration.
Focus on land development
Geodata are based on surveys, aerial images, satellite images and other sources. They are continuously updated and made available as thematic maps. They give information about land use, land use change and the state of the environment and thus provide the basis for an environmentally sound, resource-efficient and sustainable use of the Earth’s surface.
Further information: Dr. Herbert Haubold, Herbert.Haubold@umweltbundesamt.at