Sucess Stories

Habitat monitoring in the egnatia (greece) motorway project

The Egnatia Motorway was one of the first large-scale public works in Greece to apply a system of environmental management, i.e. a method of organising and implementing environmental protection measures in the design, construction, and operation of all stages of the project. The European Investment Bank (EIB) has supported the development of the Egnatia Motorway by provision of loans for a total of EUR 1.6 Billion Euro, a little more than a quarter of the total investment.

Service provider: GeoVille Information Systems GmbH
User/Customer: European Investment Bank
EOservice: Land cover maps
If you are interested in finding out more about this service please click here for more information.
Source: EASRC, Geoville

ESA, as part of its Earth Observation Market Development (EOMD) program, has been interacting with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and their stakeholders to understand their working environment and information requirements in particular for EO services. This process has resulted in service specifications which have been put out for tender. The main purpose of this procurement, called “Exploitation of Earth Observations services in support of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) within the Investment Banking and Steel industry” is to demonstrate and validate the utility of currently available EO information services in support of selected EIB projects. The EIB finances projects that help directly improve the environment, promoting not only EU environmental policy in general, but in particular the Sixth Environmental Action Programme. GeoVille was awarded a contract for service trial #2 “Habitat monitoring in the Egnatia motorway project”, aiming at the collection and procurement of r

The Egnatia Motorway runs through Greek mountainous and plain landscapes of exquisite beauty and ecological importance. Its alignment follows the Ancient Roman Via Egnatia. Along this ancient route, within an approximately 1 km wide zone, 270 sites of historical interest have been identified, while in its further vicinity, significant archaeological sites and natural resources of critical importance are located.
The successive natural and man-made environments along the project are exceptionally diverse, both through the mountains of Pindos and Western Macedonia, and the plains of Central / Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Along the route of the highway one can find: 17 Natural Habitat Areas protected under the European "Natura 2000" Network, 4 Wetlands protected under the Ramsar Convention, 70 wildlife conservation areas and 270 sites and monuments of historical interest.

The EO service provides three Corine Land Cover style status maps for the years 2000, 2008 and a simulated map for the land cover status after the end of the construction (20XX) as well as change maps (with a minimum change unit of 0.5 ha) between those years.

The three land cover maps were used for the calculation of different landscape fragmentation indicators to assess the impact of road during and after the end of its construction on the surrounding habitats.

Additionally to the CLC type maps, a very high resolution land cover map (0.5 ha minimum mapping unit) was created using a nomenclature with the highest level of thematic detail on forests and semi-natural classes. The very high resolution land cover map will overcome the spatial limitations of the existing CLC based maps and provide the geometric basis for future mapping of the area beyond 2008.

The production methodology is based on well established, standard EO mapping technology employing semi-automated land cover classification and change detection. This is achieved by the application of GeoVille’s industry awarded processing chain RegioCover© in a “moving window” change detection approach.

RegioCover© is a highly-automated land cover and land use mapping solution that transforms satellite imagery from optical and radar data into intelligent geoinformation. RegioCover has received the Definiens/ESA/EC GMES Innovation & Research Award 2007 for its innovative and outstanding geo-information processing.

Earth Observation (EO) imagery is the only information source that provides the opportunity to perform synoptic and periodic progress monitoring of large construction projects. The use of EO data for monitoring purposes reduces the need for on-site field visits to cases in which some anomalies are detected in the EO data.

EO provides an unrivalled contribution to a fast and cost-efficient monitoring strategy.

In 2009 alone the EIB approved more than 100.000 projects for funding: 90% in EU Member States and 10% in partner countries. For each project the EIB carries out a project monitoring across all project phases from the signature via the implementation until the loan is paid back. In particular, the Bank checks that the funds are being used in line with the objectives.

Project progress is normally reported by the promoter and independently verified by external reviewers on site. EO based progress monitoring offers an efficient way for reducing on site work by obtaining objective and unbiased information about the local situation which can be combined – when necessary – with in-situ observations in those cases where anomalies are detected.

EO based monitoring helps the EIB to more efficiently monitor and verify one of its central concerns: the protection and improvement of the environment as one of its own internal procedures...