ERDAS Solutions to Map Greece’s National Forests

Posted by GIS talk On Thursday, June 12, 2008
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Geoinformation SA announces a new three-year collaboration with WWF Greece, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Forestry and Natural Environment and the Lab of Forest Management and Remote Sensing. This project will map the forests of Greece at a national scale, using Landsat satellite imagery acquired during the summer of 2007. For this project, the team will utilize two ERDAS IMAGINE® add-on modules, IMAGINE DeltaCue and the Beta release of IMAGINE Objective.

IMAGINE Objective is a solution for building and maintaining accurate geospatial content, with object based multi-scale image classification and feature extraction technology. With IMAGINE Objective, imagery and geospatial data of all kinds can be analyzed to produce GIS-ready maps. IMAGINE Objective transforms data from remotely sensed imagery (whether airborne or satellite-based). IMAGINE Deltacue simplifies the complexity of the change detection process, using project-based workflows to manage preprocessing and change filtering. Custom viewers are provided for change results viewing, interpretation and filtering based on type of change.

Geoinformation SA is ERDAS’ sole reseller in Greece & Cyprus, and an ISO 9001:2000 Standard certified company and member of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Geoinformatics and Geographic Information Systems constitute the domains in which the company operates. Geoinformation SA is a leading Geographical Information Services (GIS) and Earth Observation consultancy company, reselling, processing and managing QuickBird, Ikonos, Worldview-1, CartoSat-1, ALOS, ASTER and Landsat geospatial data. The company also undertakes the planning and development of GIS applications.

Constantinos Liarikos, WWF Greece Conservation Director describes this as, “A very ambitious project that encompasses the monitoring of land-use and forest coverage changes, in order to facilitate the monitoring of forest parameters, as well as to enable mitigating activities where abrupt land-use changes take place.”

The project will unfold in three phases: phase one regards the mapping of forest coverage for the year 2007, phase two establishes the same data for years 1987 and 1997, while phase three includes the assemblage of forest coverage maps annually from 2008 forward. In addition, the team will also work on near-real time fire mapping, using imagery acquired close to a forest fire event for summer periods 2008 and 2009. “This project is included under a much broader program, termed ‘Forests for the Future’, implemented in 2008,” continued Constantinos Liarikos “Within this overall program we strive to establish and utilize broad partnerships with the academia and the R&D sector, while we remain indebted to our sponsors who include the J.Latsis, A.J. Leventis & Bodosakis foundations.”

“We are excited about this collaboration, and the opportunity to communicate ERDAS’ Earth to Business concept,” said Dr Ioannis Gitas, Aristotle University Lecturer. “ERDAS is a leader in the geospatial industry. The use of ERDAS IMAGINE 9.2, and especially IMAGINE Objective incorporates non-geospatial data (spectral and template libraries) and exploits all visual identification cues for this specific project. We are developing a model that can be used in future projects, post fire impact assessments and regenerating mapping results.”

The final product is expected to be a transferable product-service to all Forest Service Departments, as well as other Greek Governmental Organizations.

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