You are using an outdated browser that does not fully support the intranda viewer.
As a result, some pages may not be displayed correctly.

We recommend you use one of the following browsers:

Full text

Proceedings of the Symposium on Global and Environmental Monitoring

M. Sharman
Agriculture Project
Institute for Remote Sensing Applications
Joint Research Centre, Ispra Establishment, Italy
ISPRS Commission Number VII
The Pilot Project of Remote Sensing applied to
Agricultural Statistics (EEC) has been
established to demonstrate a methodology for
monitoring crop acreages and yields in Europe by
remote sensing. One of the Actions of this
project (Action 4) involves the visual
interpretation of high-resolution (SPOT and TM)
images for real-time monitoring and estimation of
changes in crop acreages. The estimates are made
from images collected repeatedly over sample
sites scattered throughout Europe, of which there
will be 50 at the end of the demonstration phase.
Although ground data are collected at the sample
sites, they are not made available to the image
interpreters until the end of the cultural year.
Estimates must therefore be made in the absence
of current ground data, and operational
requirements demand that results are available
within two or three weeks of image acquisitions.
The sampling strategy and the methodology of
image interpretation assisted by software are
discussed. Preliminary results are presented and
the significance of these results to the wider
aims of the Pilot Project, and the means by which
they are to be integrated into an Advanced
Agricultural Information System are pointed out.
Key Words:
Agricultural Monitoring, High resolution. Multi-
temporal. Image interpretation
The Directorate General VI (Agriculture) needs
precise and accurate information on agricultural
statistics in order to direct the common
agricultural policy of the European Economic
Community. The data it requires include: (1) the
areas under various crops of economic importance,
(2) the production of those crops, and, if
possible, (3) a forecast of EEC production, and
if possible (4) a forecast of foreign production.
Such data are also required by the Statistical
Office of the European Communities (SOEC).
The Commission has therefore set up the Pilot
Project for Remote Sensing Applied to
Agricultural Statistics, which uses both remote
sensing and agro-meteorological modelling to
achieve its aims (Meyer-Roux 1987). The project
is directed by the Joint Research Centre under
the supervision of the DG VI and the OSCE.
Financed for 5 years, its work is carried out
largely by means of contracts with national and
private organisations throughout the European
Community. For convenience, the project is
normally referred to as the "Agriculture
Amongst its many activities,
undertaking the ambitious task
resolution satellite imagery
estimates of changes in area,
the project is
of using high-
to provide rapid
from one year to
the next, of a number of selected crops. As a
secondary aim, the images are to be used to
provide estimates of the potential yields of
those crops. The imagery is to be interpreted
visually by experts assisted by computer.
Called Action 4 in the nomenclature of the
project, the high-resolution monitoring is
designed to give results purely at the European
scale; that is, it is not intended to provide
accurate statistics at a more local level. It is
also intended to lead to the definition of a
refined and improved methodology for high-
resolution monitoring of agriculture.
Action 4 has two distinct parts; the first being
the ground work carried out for validation, and
the second, which forms the main subject of this
paper, being the image interpretation. The
remote sensing part of Action 4 is undertaken by
a consortium headed by a French consulting firm
called "Services de Consultation de l'Observation
de la Terre" (S.C.O.T.), a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the Centre National des Etudes
Spatiales (CNES). The remainder of the
consortium is made up of the Service Central des
Enquêtes et Etudes Statistiques (SCEES), a
software house called Geosys, and SGS Qualitest.
It is associated by convention with the LERTS.
It is here referred to for convenience as
S.C.O.T. Based at Toulouse in south-west France,
the consortium benefits from its situation at the
heart of the European industry of space-related
research .
t o
Clearly it is out of the question to attempt
monitor all of the 2.25 million square kilometers
of the EEC with high-resolution imagery. The
cost and volume of data make it necessary to use
a method based on a set of sample sites. The
project will demonstrate Action 4 on 50 sample
sites throughout the European Community, but will
work up to that number over several years
described below. Each site is 40 km on a side,
and can therefore be covered completely by a
single SPOT (60 x 60 km) scene or TM (90 x 90 km)
quarter scene.
', SMI