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International cooperation and technology transfer
Fras, Mojca Kosmatin

programme consists in activities aiming at
awareness raising of statisticians and the different
user groups, in studies on statistical methods and in
operational activities. Most of these activities are
carried out within the framework of technical and
methodological support to Eurostat.
2.1 Awareness raising activities
Objective of activities such as seminars, workshops
and publications is to raise the awareness of the
different players in the field for the various problems
regarding land cover and land use information.
Conferences and workshops bring together
researchers and experts from different disciplines
with practitioners and statisticians and enable
discussions from the different view angles. The
exchange of information of the problems and the
solutions applied by the different groups and in the
different countries supports the development
towards compatible procedures and accepted best
practise. Publications contribute to the debate by
setting the scene and provoking reactions from the
concerned target audience.
2.1.1 Organisation of seminars and workshops
In the framework of the support to Eurostat,
international conferences were organised to discuss
about The impact of remote sensing on the
European statistical information system': a first one
in 1992 in Bad Neuenahr (Germany) and a follow-up
seminar in Rome 1995. As conclusion of the Bad
Neuenahr seminar, Eurostat defined a work
programme on remote sensing and statistics. CESD
was entrusted with its execution.
The Esquilino seminar held 1995 in Rome
presented the results of this work programme,
including presentations of pilot project activities
using remote sensing in conjunction with other
sources to derive data on land use. One of the
conference conclusions drawn by Eurostat was to
focus now on land cover / land use statistics in
Two workshops focussed on the use of new
technologies such as remote sensing and
geographic information systems for statistical
purposes: a workshop held 1995 in Porto was
concentrated on agriculture and forestry statistics
and another one held in 1996 in Lille on spatial
planning and urban statistics.
The most recent conference with participation of
national and international experts in the field of
agriculture, the environment, regional planning,
remote sensing from operational institutions and
research organisations was organised in 1998 in
Luxembourg at the premises of Eurostat. Concrete
conclusions of the discussions were to create an
inter-institutional working group with the members
from different services of the European
Commission, the EEA and the DG JRC, to produce
a 'Manual of concepts' on land use information and
to maintain and further elaborate the database
containing meta-information on land use information
systems in Europe. CESD-LU is entrusted with the
work on the Manual of Concepts and the meta
2.1.2 The LANES concerted action
In the framework of the European Commission's 4 th
programme on research and development, CESD
LU carried out a concerted action on the
'Development of a harmonised framework for multi
purpose land cover / land use information systems
derived from earth observation data - LANES'. A
network of 26 European organisations representing
different user groups of EO data (from universities
and the private sector) and data producers (space
agencies and the EO industry) as well as statistical
services has been organised by CESD LU. Working
papers on the problems of nomenclatures and data
integration have been produced and discussed
during 2 workshops, held in Luxembourg and Rome.
Conclusions and recommendations consist in the
development of a common terminology on land
cover and land use information, the development of
a Best Practice guide for data integration,
development of the classifier approach for
comparing existing nomenclatures and to continue
the multi-disciplinary dialogue that was launched
with LANES. The conference organised by Eurostat
in Luxembourg in 1998 resulted by that
2.1.3 Manual of concepts
The discussions held in conferences and workshops
recommended to work on the problem of
understanding the terminology used by different
expert groups. A 'Manual of Concepts on land cover
and land use information' contributes to that
objective. CESD LU produces this document that
will be presented and discussed at the next Eurostat
working party on land use statistics, foreseen in May
2.1.4 Inventory of existing information systems:
As mentioned above many information systems
concerned with information about land cover and
land use exist in Europe. To enable assessment of
the potential for harmonisation and eventual
integration of data the conceptual and technical
specifications of the different system have to be
analysed in detail. The first step in such an analysis
is to gather information about the information
systems - so-called meta data. In 1996 the
collection of meta data about information systems in
Europe started and has been continued up to now.
The meta data is stored in a database implemented