The European Environment Agency (EEA) is the authority of the European Union devoted to the monitoring of European environment.
Many initiative have been taken with this aim by EEA, and, one of the more recent is GIO-land, an operational project with the aim to produce several land cover dataset using satellite images. In framework of the pan-European component of the project, in 2011 it started the production of five high resolution layers (HRL) regarding five land cover classes on 39 European countries (32 EEA members countries plus six Balkan countries and Turkey).
Artificial surfaces, forest areas, agricultural areas (permanent grasslands), wetlands, and water bodies are the five land cover classes to be mapped. The output is composed by a series of raster maps related to these classes.
Planetek Italia leads a consortium formed by Geoville and Planetek Hellas for the production of the Lot 4: Imperviousness and forest in Southern Europe, partim West and Central Mediterranean region (1.202.046 km2)”. This lot includes the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Kosovo under the UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99, Montenegro, Malta, Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira), Spain (including Baleares and Canaries).
The Copernicus services are considered as “public goods” thus a full and open access to the five HRLs will be organized at the end of the project which is foreseen for the end of year 2014.