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Spatial information mining for local and regional authorities on the basis of very-high-resolution data (SPIDER)

Research project S0/00/002 (Research action S0)

Persons :

Description :

Topic and context

The project lies within the scope of the "Land management, environmental planning and cartography" research field.

It is only recently that VHR data have become available for commercial use. Given the various commercial assignments planned for the near future, access to this type of data will increase rapidly over the next two to three years. The availability of satellite data at a resolution of 1m or less offers the potential to extend the use of earth observation technology to a whole series of new application fields that until fairly recently were still beyond the reach of those developing solutions based on earth observation. This is certainly the case in local and regional decision-making. Indeed, for many applications at regional or local level, the spatial resolution of conventional high-resolution satellite data from sensors such as Landsat’s TM and SPOT’s HRV appears to be limited. However, many questions remain unanswered regarding how and to what extent the use of VHR sensor data may contribute to the ever-increasing spatial data requirements of local and regional authorities.

This project contains both a technical as well as a user-oriented section. The research’s technical section will propose and investigate new strategies involving data mining for the benefit of local and regional authorities. The methods put forward will be based both on the use of VHR data as well as on the combined use of VHR data with other data sources, including lower-resolution sensor data and more conventional data (vector cards, statistics zone, etc.).

The research’s technical portion will examine three topics that are separate, but closely related:

a) use of VHR data to produce accurate topographical reference data;
b) automatic mining of topic-specific, surface-related information from VHR data in urban and suburban environments;
c) definition of multi-resolution strategies that combine HR and VHR data use for the purpose of data mining over large areas.

Depending on results from the project’s technical section and from the assessment of the real information requirements of users, the research will focus subsequently on the definition and development of a number of basic data products that will make possible a range of potentially beneficial applications in the area of urban and regional decision-making. In order to describe these data products and their supporting applications with clarity, various workshops will be organised in collaboration with the target user groups. Although the development of operational applications for a specific end user is not an explicit project goal in this particular case, efforts will be made to demonstrate how the products may be used in practice.


The aim of this project is to investigate how earth observation technology may be used as a policy-supporting component for local and regional authorities in Belgium and, conversely, for the development of prototype versions of products with value added catering for the spatial information requirements of these authorities.

The most important objectives of this project are:

a. Definition of optimal methods for improved spatial information mining from high and very-high resolution data, with innovative processing techniques providing the basis
b. Identification of useful earth observation applications at the local and regional decision-making levels, made possible through application of the developed data mining methods
c. Definition and development of data products with value added that support these applications and may be consulted via user-friendly, widely distributed IT help resources (CD-ROM, internet, etc.).

Documentation :

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