Potential applications

Meeting multiple needs

The social, economic and environmental impacts of farming are of strategic importance for the vast majority of the world's nations today. As a result, crop mapping and monitoring are finding applications in such areas as inventorying annual broadacre crops and perennial fruit crops, forecasting crop yields for more effective stock management and food security, managing cultural practices within individual field parcels using precision agriculture techniques, and checking and monitoring farming subsidies within a regulatory framework.

Mapping and monitoring pastures
In the Zorn valley and along the publicly owned stretch of the Ill river in Alsace, north-east France, SPOT 5 data have been evaluated to determine their usefulness in applying and monitoring agro-environmental measures designed to sustain and encourage a return to livestock farming on natural pastures.

Example of cadastral map draped over 2.5-metre colour data to generate field survey documents at 1:5 000. Field survey documents must provide information such as parcel registration numbers and cadastral boundaries for administrative identification purposes.


SPOT 5 as an alternative or complement to aerial photography for field survey documents
Colour data at resolutions of 2.5 metres or 5 metres enable production of field survey documents at 1:5 000 and 1:2 500 with comparable results to aerial photography. And besides their excellent geometric quality, SPOT 5 data do not call for complex mosaicking and brightness matching.


Identifying and monitoring pastures
SPOT 5 data enable better identification of pastures and can discriminate different types of grassland. SPOT 5 2.5-metre black-and-white imagery also highlights trees and hedgerows bordering fields and water courses, and makes it easier to pick out small parcels under crop within pasture areas.

Automatic classification of 2.5-metre colour data of pasture areas.
Data at scales up to 1:5 000 make it easier to map these sensitive areas, even where the landscape is made up of scattered farmland parcels.



Managing and protecting oilseed crops:
The advantages of 2.5-metre black-and-white data were tested on a project called Olisig initiated by ONIOL, France's national agency for growers of oilseed, high-protein and textile crops. This project aimed to manage olive growers' subsidy claims.

Olive trees are currently counted automatically from one-metre-resolution aerial photographs, then counts are validated by photo-interpreters.




Result of current counting method using aerial photographs. Zooming 2.5-metre black-and-white data to 1.25 metres and enhancing them by deconvolution and high-pass filtering yielded very good results with the same counting method (less than two per cent error with respect to reference values).


SPOT 5 imagery enables the same kind of automatic counting as with photo-interpretation and accuracy is excellent.

Errors with respect to reference, in per cent (1-metre aerial photo)
Zoomed SPOT 5 image + high-pass filter 3,9
Zoomed SPOT 5 image + deconvolution 7,1
Zoomed SPOT 5 image + deconvolution + high-pass filter 1,8
Zoomed SPOT 5 image + deconvolution + high-pass filter 3, 3




Checking agricultural subsidy claims:
This operational activity involves comparing farmers' claim forms against crop acreage and land usage data derived from satellite images. The method is based on merging information provided by farmers with satellite data and draping it over a cadastral basemap. Analysts then determine whether to send out field inspectors from ONIC, the French Ministry of Agriculture's national cereals agency.


Comparison of SPOT 4 20-metre XS scene and SPOT 5 10-metre colour and 2.5-metre black-and-white scenes.

SPOT 5 improves crop identification
Colour images with a spatial resolution of 10 metres enable very accurate crop identification.
SPOT 5 improves boundary detection
Lanes, paths, hedgerows, trees, houses and other non-farmland features are easy to identify and digitize on 2.5-metre black-and-white images.

The rich thematic content and very high resolution of SPOT 5 imagery facilitate data processing and allow faster and more reliable analysis.


SPOT 5 - sustaining continuity and innovation in agriculture

Operating in tandem with the VEGETATION instrument to monitor crop status

HRG instrument (High Resolution Geometric)

Finer spatial resolution and optimized spectral bands

- Finer ground resolution in black-and-white mode: 2.5 metres and 5 metres (instead of 10 metres).
- Finer resolution in colour mode: 10 metres (instead of 20 metres) in the three visible and near-infrared spectral bands. The 20-metre short-wave infrared (SWIR) band is essential for studying vegetation.

A wide picture for keeping track of vast areas
Like all their predecessors, each SPOT 5 instrument covers a 60-kilometre swath.

High revisit rate for monitoring crop growth stages
Oblique viewing makes it possible to revisit the same area frequently



SPOT 5 Preparatory Programme: