Forest map for Europe based on NOAA-AVHRR data and forest inventory statistics

A project entitled Combining Geographically Referenced earth Observation data and Forest Statistics for Deriving a Forest Map for Europe (JRC Contract No. 15237-1999-08 FIEDISPFI) was implemented in 1999/2000. It studied the options of combining information from both remote sensing and forest inventory statistics. Forest inventory statistics provide for officially accepted information and remote sensing data allows for visualising a geographical distribution of information over the region within the scope of a particular statistic.

In 2000/2001 a follow-up study Forest tree groupings database of the EU-15 and pan-European area derived from NOAA-AVHRR data (Contract No. 17223-2000-12 FISC ISP FI) was carried out by a consortium of University of Joensuu, VTT Information Technology and the European Forest Institute for the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. In this study a calibration method was used for the pan-European area, including the Russian Federation up to the Ural Mountains. The percentage forest proportion was estimated for each AVHRR pixel, using CORINE land-use classification (CLC 2000) as training data to establish the link between five classes (forest, other wooded land, and within the forest class, coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forest classes) and AVHRR spectral response. These forest share estimates were later calibrated to fit with regional and national forest inventory statistics.

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