A classification framework for habitat status reporting with remote sensing methods  (HABISTAT)

Start-End 01/12/2006 -  30/06/2011
Programme STEREO 2
Contract SR/00/103

Timely and accurate habitat reportage is vital to monitoring the biodiversity and ecological quality of our environment.  Remote sensing methods can be utilized to this end but existing data and classification methods fall short of the purposes of habitat reportage in several aspects: Airborne hyperspectral data are suitable but coverage is inadequate; Existing methods have not addressed the issue of habitat structure which are most important for assessing habitat quality; Most existing remote sensing methodologies have not been tested vigorously for operational purposes.

The objective of this project is to provide a tool that allows better status reporting on habitats using remote sensing data.  For this, an enhanced state-of-the-art classification framework will be designed and modelling techniques will be used.


Three study areas will be covered by satellite data, airborne hyperspectral data: Kalmthoutse heide, Dijle valley and Veluwe (NL).  The areas contain relevant habitat types and well studied by the partners in the past.  During this project, new field work will be performed.  This will provide new reference data, required for training and validating the classification framework. 

Both spectral and (spatial) contextual information will be combined.  In addition, ensemble classifiers will increase the accuracy of the vegetation maps.  Image enhancement techniques (superresolution) will be applied to increase the applicability of remote sensing data for habitat status reporting.  The vegetation condition will also be assessed using model inversion.

Result 6 peer reviewed journal papers; classification framework for habistat status reporting; integrated processing chain for SR image reconstruction including classification framework; internationl workshops.
Website link
Team Member: CANTERS Frank VUB - Cartography and GIS
Team Member: PAELINCKX Desiré INBO (Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek)
Team Member: SCHEUNDERS Paul UA - Vision Lab
Team Member: MUCHER Sander Universiteit Wageningen - Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra)
Project Leader: HAEST Birgen VITO (Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek)
Location Dijle catchment (Belgium)
Kalmthoutse heide (Belgium)
Veluwe  (Netherlands)
Sensors used OSA
Applications Data/service policy
Forest & natural vegetation
Image Processing
Land planning & infrastructures
Policy & legislation
Related presentations HABISTAT - A classification framework for habitat status reporting with remote sensing methods
APEX for heathland and coastal vegetation monitoring applications: first results and ongoing activities
HABISTAT - From hyperspectral images to NATURA 2000 habitat patch and quality indicator maps:
Related publications
Datasets used IKONOS-2 - OSA - 10/06/2008
IKONOS-2 - OSA - 10/06/2008
IKONOS-2 - OSA - 08/06/2008
IKONOS-2 - OSA - 08/06/2008