ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume V-3-2021
17 Jun 2021
 | 17 Jun 2021


P. Knoefel, D. Herrmann, M. Sindram, and M. Hovenbitzer

Keywords: Copernicus, Sentinel-2, change detection, monitoring, spatio-temporal features, web application, fully automatic

Abstract. The research and development project named Landscape Change Detection Service (German abbreviation: LaVerDi) was initiated by the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (BKG). Within the scope of the project a monitoring service for landscape changes was developed and implemented using free Copernicus satellite data for an automated derivation of potential land cover change. This change indication is meant to be used to update or continue BKG in-house products, such as the Digital Land Cover Model Germany (LBM-DE), in a comprehensive and uniform quality. The results can be further used for numerous applications or as change information for administration and planning, and for the compilation of spatial statistics. It satisfies the users' need for a national service for open data on land cover changes and thus represents the first automatic and verified national satellite product for land cover changes in Germany. As input data the service uses pre-processed Sentinel-2 data from the European Copernicus satellite program, as well as an image segmentation approach to extract change objects. Using an improved cloud mask algorithm, Sentinel-2 tiles with up to maximum cloud coverage of 60% can be used for analysis. The service (data processing, change detection, visualisation) runs on the German “Copernicus Data and Utilization Platform” (CODE-DE). As of December 2020, the INSPIRE-compliant LaVerDi web service is operational. The thematic accuracy of the generated change layers is above the given requirements (minimum of 80%), considering the 95% confidence interval for all relevant land cover classes in certain test areas. The transferability of the methodology has been successfully shown by a prototypic nationwide demonstrator in early 2020 and is therefore expected to reliably detect both long-term and seasonal changes.