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Use case demonstrations

During the main phase of the project that ended in July 2023, ten use case demonstrations were conducted (Austria, Catalonia, Europe, Extremadura, Finland, Galicia, Ireland, Peru, Romania and Styria). In the project continuation, the Catalonia and Europe demonstrations are developed further and additional use case demonstrations are established in Norway, in Colombia and in another tropical location (to be revealed later).

The demonstrations can be grouped into three different categories:

  • Local level demonstrations designed to meet private company requirements, and other stakeholders focusing their activities on small areas.
  • Provincial to national level demonstrations aimed primarily at administrative agencies helping to meet their monitoring and reporting requirements, often utilizing National Forest Inventory field sample plots as an integral part of the methodology. Large scale REDD+ projects also fall into this category.
  • Continental level demonstration in Europe, aiming to meet the needs of international organizations and other communities requiring continental level information.
Demonstration areas

The main EO datasets in use are ESA’s Sentinel-1 C-band radar and Sentinel-2 optical satellite data, supported by auxiliary datasets (e.g. digital elevation models, weather data etc.). In addition, JAXA PALSAR-2 L-band radar yearly mosaics have been used in the European wide demonstration as well as in Peru. New datasets will be incorporated into the system during the project continuation.

The characteristics of the demonstrations are provided below, with links to openly available prototype output products. The main goals of the ongoing demonstrations are also summarized.

Local level demonstrations

  • Locations: Extremadura (Spain), Ireland, Galicia (Spain), Romania and Styria (Austria)
  • Methods: k-NN or Probability, Autochange and PREBAS
  • Reference data: Field sample plots measured by the users
  • Outputs: User defined selection of forest structure maps, biomass and growth maps and forest change maps for three time-steps with yearly interval (expect in Extremadura 2017 and 2022, and in Styria 2015-2018-2021)
  • Example to the right: Sentinel-2 imagery and above ground biomass estimates in Galicia. Change product 2020-2021, with cleared areas in red. 

Styria prototype output products can be viewed at the ESA Green Transition Information Factory portal.

Local demo example

Provincial to national level demonstrations

regional demo example
  • Locations: Austria, Catalonia (Spain), Colombia, Finland, Madre de Dios (Peru) and Norway
  • Methods: k-NN, Probability, Unet, Autochange, PREBAS and Joanneum Researh NRT change detection method (Austria)
  • Reference data: National Forest Inventories and other large scale field plot measurement campaigns. Two stage sampling (field + VHR) in Colombia.
  • Outputs: Selected forest structure and biomass maps (varying between demonstrations) and forest change maps for two years. Near-real-time change mapping in Austria
  • Example to the left: Growing stock volume map for Catalonia 2020.

Catalonia and Finland prototype output products can be viewed and downloaded at the FCM output product portal. Austria outputs can be viewed at the ESA Green Transition Information Factory portal.

The two new use case demonstration areas in Colombia and Norway implemented in the project continuation (lasting until Nov 2025) enable development and demonstration of new approaches.

The Norway use case, involved with compliance carbon monitoring, allows evaluation of a novel forest structure mapping approach (UNet model transfer), improved accuracy assessment approaches and small area estimation accuracy evaluation. Data assimilation approach for a 6-year time frame is also evaluated in the area that covers the Southern part of Norway, south of Trøndelag region (inclusive).

The Colombia use case, involved with voluntary carbon markets, enables showcasing a two-stage sampling approach supported by forest stratification. The objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of the FCM approaches for REDD+ projects. The demonstration area covers an ongoing REDD+ project and is over 3,7 Mha in size.

Continental demonstration

  • Location: Europe (extended EU)
  • Methods: BIOMASAR and Autochange
  • Reference data: Opportunistic sample of publicly available National Forest Inventory sample plots, supported by LiDAR estimates in selected locations.
  • Outputs: Growing stock volume, above and below ground biomass as well as forest change maps for 2020 and 2021
  • Example to the right: European wide above ground biomass map for 2020, in 20 m spatial resolution. 

Output products can be viewed and downloaded at the FCM output product portal.

During the project continuation, the European demonstration is extended to include a series of four biomass maps (2017-2020-2021-2023). This allows evaluation of the feasibility of the mapping in varying time steps and comparison to other contemporary map products.

Europe demo example