EEA – Copernicus EAGLE

European Environment Agency (EEA) - Copernicus EAGLE

The EAGLE (Eionet Action Group on Land monitoring in Europe) consortium is an open working group composed of EIONET NRC land cover experts which has been set up as response to the growing need to discuss solutions for better integration and harmonization of national mapping activities within European land monitoring initiatives (i.e. CLC). The conceptual work is done at a technical level, independently from any political or industry preferences, following the concept of a bottom-up approach. 

Stefan Kleeschulte and space4environment are members of the EAGLE working group from the very beginning. Having started as voluntary cooperation of representatives of different national institutions (environment agencies, research organisations and private companies), the EAGLE working group has evolved into an expert group contracted by EEA to support the development of a future oriented land monitoring concept.

The EAGLE concept is based on the separate mapping of land cover and land use and rather a description of landscape objects (by land cover components, land use attributes and other characteristics) than their classification by a fixed nomenclature.

The consortium led by space4environment has been appointed by the EEA with the methodological and technical elaboration of the EAGLE concept as:

  • a framework for the integration of LC / LU information from various data sets in one single data model; 
  • a vehicle for comparison and semantic translation between different LC/LU nomenclatures, and data exchange; 
  • a LC / LU data collection standard for national land monitoring initiatives.

Some EAGLE use cases can be found here in the Copernicus land web site.

Recently, members of the EAGLE working group supported the EEA in the development of a second generation Corine Land Cover – so-called CLC+. The CLC+ concept aims at overcoming the classical shortcomings of CLC, i.e. the minimum mapping unit or the limited number of classes, by making use of the full resolution of Sentinel-2 satellite data and by applying the EAGLE concept to allow the integration of information from different sources and a flexible, demand-driven legends, based on database queries.

The main products of the EAGLE concept so far are:

  • the EAGLE matrix, a tool for semantic comparison between the class definitions of different classification systems by decomposing them to land cover components, land use attributes and further landscape characteristics; 
  • the EAGLE data model, a UML model representation of the conceptual data model, visualized in the form of a graphical UML chart. It follows the ISO standard 19109 (Geographic information -- Rules for application schema) likewise applied for INSPIRE


Image credits: Stephan Arnold