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March 25th, 2009
European Built-up Areas Mapped Homogeneously for the First Time

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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).
 

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