The Scientific Expertise Centre for land cover (OSO SEC) aims to define and develop automatic algorithms to produce land cover maps using satellite imagery.

Main characteristics of the OSO product

Production of national maps (mainland France then Europe?)

  • Nomenclature of 15 to 20 classes
  • Spatial resolution of between 10 and 20 metres
  • Annual updating
  • Very short production/provision period (“fresh”)
  • (e.g. provide the annual 2016 map from December 2016)

Input data

  • Series of multi-temporal high resolution optical images (Sentinel 2, etc.),
    + in the medium term: addition of radar images from Spot 6/7, Pleiades, etc. (Sentinel 1)
  • auxiliary reference data (land, learning, etc.):
    – to calibrate methods (supervised methods),
    – to validate products.

OSO = surface biophysical cover (notion of land cover)

  • The use may be deduced in certain cases (or cross-referenced with other data)
  • Many indicators and analyses may be performed by various business areas (geomatics, etc.)
  • Various composite classes (mixed deciduous/conifer forest, etc.) may be generated by combining the basic classes on variable-size objects.

The type of product described here has no equal in terms of scale in space or in time (update frequency).

  • Corine Land Cover has a much lower update frequency
  • The Copernicus products have simplified nomenclatures (High Resolution Layers) or limited geographical stretches (Urban Atlas)


Jordi_Inglada CESBIO

Jordi Inglada