The Plan4business project (2012-2014) has identified a gap in land use data availability, especially outside big cities, in suburban and rural areas. The Urban Atlas of the European Environmental Agency covers only cities above 100,000 inhabitants. So for example in the Czech Republic, only 13 cities are covered. For the rest, there is the Corine Land Cover, which can be used only for regional and national analysis.
The lack of land use data on local level led to an idea of combining data from various sources and of different levels of detail into a seamless map. This idea has been picked up by the SDI4Apps project and turned into a pilot application (Pilot IV: Open Land Use Map through Volunteered Geographic Information). The innovative aspect of the pilot is not only in the methodology of combining data into a seamless database, but also in using crowdsourcing for data collection and update. An important aspect is that data are available as open data.
The methodology is simple:
- All available open data from a certain territory are collected and stored in a database.
- These data are harmonised into a common data model based on the INSPIRE data specifications on land use and using the same HILUCS classification.
- Data of the highest level of detail (usually not covering the entire territory) are combined with data with second highest level of detail and so on (see the figure below).
- Data are published for download and as a WMS service.
- Data are updated through crowdsourcing, either online based on remote sensing images or directly in the field through a mobile application (not yet implemented).
The aim is to cover the entire Europe and then extend it to a global dataset. The first country that is now completed is the Czech Republic where the following open data sources were used:
- Digital cadastre data (RUIAN, highest level of detail)
- Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS)
- Urban Atlas
- CORINE Land Cover
The steps undertaken for combining the data are shown in the following figure.
The Open Land Use Map in the Czech Republic can be accessed at http://sdi4apps.eu/open_land_use/. There you can find more information about the dataset and links for data download. The map can be also inserted into any HTML websites as an embedded object (iframe) as you can see below.
Th next country to be covered is Latvia. Stay tuned and follow our news through this channel.