Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Use of remote sensing to support the common agricultural policy of the European Community

A project has been established to define and demonstrate how remote sensing could be used operationally to supplement, interpret and standardize agricultural statistical data provided by conventional techniques. Using the methodology of computer assisted photointerpretation, the work was directed towards analysis at a field level, so meeting the requirements of individual declarations verifications. Control zones were defined either as squares of 50 by 50 km or circles with a radius of 25 km so as to be compatible with a single systeme probatoire d'observation de la terre (SPOT) image. Usually, 3 dates for the acquisition of multispectral images are defined during the crop year (September/October, April/May, June/July). A panchromatic image is also acquired in April. Field boundaries from the farmers' crop plans are digitized either from cadastral or topographic maps, from aerial photos or directly on screen from satellite images. Computer assisted photointerpretation has always been used for classification of the land use within each digitized parcel. Automatic classification has now been introduced. Each dossier is classified as conforming to declaration, nonconforming or doubtful. Nonconforming and doubtful dossiers are selected and an image hard copy with the boundaries of problematic plots provided to field controllers. Remote sensing techniques optimize efficiency by guiding field controllers to nonconforming sites, thus reducing the time (and cost) of on the spot checks as only certain fields have to be measured.

Reported by

Joint Research Centre, Ispra
21020 Ispra
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