Producing land cover and land use data in CORINE Land Cover 2012 project in Finland

Finnish Corine Land Cover 2012-project has produced a satellite image mosaic, both raster and vector land cover databases and land cover changes databases. Databases will represent the land cover of the year 2012, and the changes databases comparing 2012 land cover with 2006 land cover. Corine Land Cover is part of Copernicus/GIO land program.

Background and objectives

European wide CORINE projects have been executed three times before, in the beginning of the 1990's and in 2000 and 2006. Finland did not participate in the first project, but it has been involved since 2000. In most of the European countries updating has been done by visual interpretation of the satellite images.

In Finland the primary objective of the project was to create an up-to-date raster land cover database and produce raster land cover changes database covering years from 2006 to 2012. Vector databases that meet EEA requirements were produced in both land cover and land cover changes. Finnish CLC2012 land cover data was produced by integrating automatically interpreted satellite images and spatial datasets. The changes between 2006 and 2012 were created by comparing CLC2006 and CLC2012 land cover datasets.

Pan-European high resolution layers of artificial surfaces, forest areas, grasslands, wetlands and small water bodies has been produced as a part of the project. The layers cover the whole Europe and are produced by service providers for EEA. Verification and enhancement of these layers in Finland has been carried out as collaboration between SYKE, Finnish Forest Research Institute and Finnish Geodetic Institute.

Data and Methods

In SYKE the method for producing Corine Land Cover 2012 relies on data integration. Automatic satellite image interpretation is used to find for example forest changes and gravel pits. Some classes are digitized by hand with the help of satellite images. Most of the classes have been composed from existing geographic data, like Building and dwelling register, Topographic database, National Forest Inventory and Land parcel information system. From all of the input data a raster database with pixel size 20 by 20 meters was produced. The vector database for European use was generalized from that raster database.


The outputs of the project are a national satellite image mosaic (IMAGE2012), raster land cover database with 20 m pixel size, raster land cover changes database with minimum mapping unit of 0,5 hectares, vector land cover database with minimum mapping unit of 25 hectares and vector land cover changes database with minimum mapping unit of 5 hectares. The latter two are for European use.

The Vector databases and satellite images has been combined in  EEA to form European wide digital land cover, land cover change and satellite imagery databases.

High Resolution Layers

The High Resolution Layers are raster datasets with 20 m pixel and they are produced with automatic satellite image interpretation. Production was centralized and the layers cover the whole Europe. Both validation and enhancement were done nationally.

High Resolution Layers:

  • Degree of Impervoiusness
  • Forest Type
  • Tree Cover Density
  • Permanent Grassland
  • Wetlands
  • Permanent Water Bodies

Funding and co-operation partners

Project was co-funded by EU and Finland. Nationally the project was funded by SYKE and the Ministry of Environment. European Union has funded most of the project and has supervised the results.

SYKE has been responsible for the data production in Finland. Along with SYKE, Finnish Forest Research Institute and Finnish Geodetic Institute were taking part in the verification and enhancement of the high resolution layers. National Land Survey, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Population Register Center have provided the data that was used in the CLC2012 production.

Further information

Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Data and Information Centre, Geoinformatics Division
P.O. Box 140, 00251 Helsinki

Pekka Härmä, puh. +358 400 148 738 [pekka harma]
Riitta Teiniranta, puh. +358 40 739 9081 [riitta teiniranta]
Markus Törmä, puh. +358 400 148 755 [markus torma]
Minna Kallio, puh. +358 400 148 741 [minna kallio]
Suvi Hatunen, puh. +358 40 740 8033 [suvi hatunen]
Elise Järvenpää, puh +358 40 701 6650 [elise jarvenpaa]

Final report

Published 2013-04-24 at 10:38, updated 2015-04-15 at 15:22

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