At the beginning of February 2016 our group has started a new ESA project in the framework of Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions (SEOM) S2-4Sci Land and Water. S2GLC  is an international project implemented by consortium led by CBK PAN with three European partners: IABG mbH, EOXPLORE UG and Friedrich-Schiller-Universität University.

The goal of this project is to establish a scientific basis for the development of future global land cover maps based on Sentinel-2 optical imagery. The capabilities of this novel sensor related to land cover science will be developed, tested, and experimentally verified. In order to achieve this, the experiences, lessons learned, and conclusions from other land cover projects will be used to support this study.

The first phase of the project focuses on a state-of-the-art review and critical analysis of existing GLC databases such as the CCI-LC, GlobCover, and GLC2000, with special attention given to the map legends. The results of this review will be used for the definition of the technical requirements for new Sentinel-2 GLC maps (S2GLC) with high spatial resolution.

Based on our extensive scientific review, the most promising classification approaches including. pixel/object/contextual, supervised/unsupervised/semi-supervised approaches, will be tested. The proposed implementation will allow parameter tuning and code evolution during the algorithm benchmarking process based on subsets identified a priori within the test regions. A training data selection and validation methodology will be developed after the analysis based on a review of existing GLC validation approaches, available reference datasets (e.g. LUCAS), and project requirements. Extensive testing will result in the selection of the most suitable methods to prepare validated prototype GLC products for all five test sites (Germany, Italy, Colombia, Namibia and China).

Project duration: 1.02.2016 – 31.01.2018