Research Project

LandSense: A Citizen Observatory and Innovation Marketplace for Land Use and Land Cover Monitoring


The overall aim of the LandSense project is to build an innovative citizen observatory in the field of LandUse LandCover(LULC), which collects data both actively (through citizens) and passively (from authoritative, open access, and other citizen-based initiatives) and integrates them into an open platform that provides valuable quality-assured in-situ data for SMEs, larger businesses, government agencies, NGOs and researchers. There is currently no single marketplace that brings together the demand for such in-situ data (i.e. ground-based data collection coupled with interpretation of remotely-sensed data) for LULC monitoring, and could potentially attract a vast community of users across numerous disciplines and sectors. LandSense will also provide multiple pathways for citizen empowerment that go beyond simple data collection by providing a range of engagement tools that will allow the voices of citizens to be heard.

The taks of GIScience Heidelberg will mostly deal with realizing the following objectives
  • To implement the LandSense Citizen Observatory and its services in demonstration cases such as cost reduction and data conflation in monitoring land change
  • To acquire and consolidate feedback from citizens and user-groups for the demonstration cases
  • To evaluate (lessons learned and guidelines) on the uptake and engagement of citizens and determine upscaling potential of the demonstration cases
  • To assess the quality control/assurance methods available for the demonstration cases,
  • To source and process authoritative data for each demonstration case for validation purposes including authoritative ground reference data against which citizen-contributed data can be compared
  • To source and process additional, complementary crowdsourced data streams from citizens (e.g. Flickr, OpenStreetMap) using openly available data mining methods, which could benefit each demonstration case
  • To adapt and advance the COBWEB quality assurance service and quality workflows to fit the requirements of the demonstration cases
  • To apply and iteratively refine the LandSense quality control and assurance service in order to validate citizen contributed data arising from the three demonstration cases
  • To establish operational workflows for integrating data contributed by citizens into authoritative systems
  • To establish protocols and benchmarking standards for quality assurance of citizen-contributed data in the area of LULC monitoring

EU Horizon 2020 Citizen Observatory Call

  • Project Duration 2016-2020
Project Partner

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis*; Austria
Birdlife International; UK
Sinergise; Slovenia
University of Nottingham; UK
InoSens doo; Serbia
GeoVille Information Systems GmbH; Austria
Environment Agency Austria; Austria
Institut National de l’Information Géographique et Forestière; France
European Citizen Science Association; Germany
StZ Felis; Germany
University of Heidelberg, GIScience Research Group; Germany
Wageningen University; The Netherlands
VU University Amsterdam; The Netherlands
Joint Research Centre; Italy
Secure Dimensions Germany
Friends of the Earth/Global 2000; Austria
City of Heidelberg; Germany
KriticalMass Ltd.; UK

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