15 Jun 2022
15 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

LUCAS Cover photos 2006–2018 over the EU: 874,646 spatially distributed geo-tagged close-up photos with land cover and plant species label

Raphaël d'Andrimont1, Momchil Yordanov1, Laura Martinez-Sanchez1, Peter Haub2, Oliver Buck3, Carsten Haub3, Beatrice Eiselt4, and Marijn van der Velde1 Raphaël d'Andrimont et al.
  • 1European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy
  • 2Imaging Consulting, Altlussheim, Germany
  • 3EFTAS, EFTAS Fernerkundung Technologietransfer GmbH, Münster, Germany
  • 4European Commission, Eurostat (ESTAT), Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Abstract. In the European Union, a tri-annual surveyed sample collects land cover and land use information under the Land Use/Cover Area frame Survey since 2006. A total of 1,351,293 observations at 651,780 unique locations for 106 variables along with 5.4 million landscape and point photos were collected during five LUCAS surveys. In addition to these photos, a set of previously unpublished LUCAS Cover photos were also taken, i.e. following the protocol, a close-up view of the tree, crop, and plant species. These photos contain more details so that tree, crop, and plant species should be identifiable. Between 2006 and 2018, 875,661 LUCAS Cover photos that show the relevant land cover in its entirety were collected. Due to surveyor differences, the images sometimes display elements that require a two-stage deep learning anonymisation process, after which 346 photos were removed before publication. This paper summarizes the collection of LUCAS Cover photos, the filtering for mandatory privacy issues, and provides links to download the data along with the photo metadata, and cross-links to the corresponding LUCAS harmonised survey data. Moreover, after presenting the final public and open dataset consisting in 874,646 photos, potential applications relying on recent advances in geo-spatial analysis and statistical learning such as large scale biodiversity monitoring are discussed.

Raphaël d'Andrimont et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2022-117', Anonymous Referee #1, 24 Jun 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2022-117', Anonymous Referee #2, 11 Jul 2022

Raphaël d'Andrimont et al.

Data sets

LUCAS Cover 2006-2018 European Commission, Joint Research Centre

Raphaël d'Andrimont et al.


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Short summary
Between 2006 and 2018, 875,661 LUCAS Cover (i.e. close-up) photos were taken over a systematic sampling over the European Union. This geo-located photo dataset has been curated and is being made available along with the surveyed label data including land cover and plant species.