Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Soil Sealing Identification and Monitoring System – project kick off

On 24 September 2021, the SIMS (Soil Sealing Identification and Monitoring System) project held its kick-off meeting at the University of Salzburg with participants from the academic partner (University of Salzburg, Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS), industry partner, Spatial Services GmbH, and Austrian research promotion agency, FFG. The project is funded through the FFG’s Austrian Space Application Programme (ASAP) and runs until 2023.


The SIMS project builds upon the semantic EO data cube for Austria, called Sen2Cube.at. It aims to engage users in incorporating information derived from free and open Copernicus EO data towards a proof-of-concept implementation to detect and monitor soil sealing in Austria.

The project will implement a prototypical service in close collaboration with users from local and national authorities involved in regional planning and the environment.

 SIMS aims to:

  • Supplement very high resolution satellite images available to public authorities that are updated once every couple of years with dynamic information from Sentinel-2 images, which have alower spatial resolution, but much more frequent acquisitions every 3-5 days.
  • Detect and monitor sealed soils using prototypical reproducible and transferable ad-hoc semantic queries of enriched EO data. 
  •  Enable Austrian regional and national public authorities to begin using free and open multi-temporal Copernicus Sentinel-2 imagery as analysis-ready-data in daily workflows

This approach aims to meet pressing needs for monitoring, reporting, decision making spatial planning tools. SIMS will provide Web-browser-based access to a graphical user interface for interested users to monitor land cover changes without requiring programming skills, focusing first on soil sealing. Non-EO-experts will be able to develop and conduct custom multi-temporal (inter-and intra-annual) analyses using user-friendly interfaces. Core users will be included from the beginning and trained to use the SIMS prototype. The results will include condensed hot-spot map information products and the project will provide additional tools for seamless GIS integration, giving non-EO experts access to thousands of Copernicus data sets to  better inform reporting and decision making.



Initial ad hoc hot spot analysis of vegetation loss in Sen2Cube.at for Hallein detecting vegetated land cover changes between 2019 and 2020 based on over 150 free and open Sentinel-2 satellite images with a 10m spatial resolution. The right shows very high resolution commercial Pleiades images validating the hotspot detection


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