News > Results of revised land cover map of Urmia Lake basin presented


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Results of revised land cover map of Urmia Lake basin presented

In the presence of FAO experts (Douglas Muchoney, Senior Environmental Officers and Head of CBDS, and Gianluca Franceschini, senior GIS\RS International Consultant), Tarbiat Modares University -the assigned national partner for this work- presented on 28 November 2018 the results of the fine-tuned land cover map of the Urmia Lake basin to the stakeholders of FAO-ULRP joint project. This map will be used for water accounting calculations to evaluate the evapotranspiration information for each type of the land cover classification.

The Water Engineering Research Institute (WERI) team of Tarbiat Modares University has been working on generating land cover maps for the year 2015 using multi-temporal Landsat-8 OLI imageries. A total number of nine monthly-mosaicked imageries, from September 2014 to January 2015, were classified through an Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA) approach. The revised land cover mapping focused on delineating six categories of land cover critical from the perspective of Urmia Lake restoration. These are: (i) orchards; (ii) irrigated summery crops (iii) irrigated wheat and barley; (iv) rainfed agriculture, (v) man-made water bodies, and (vi) natural water bodies.

During this meeting, FAO experts also introduced the SEPAL – “System for earth observations, data access, processing & analysis for land monitoring” to the participants. SEPAL allows users to query and process satellite data quickly and efficiently, tailor their products for local needs, and produce sophisticated and relevant geospatial analyses quickly. Harnessing cloud-based supercomputers and modern geospatial data infrastructures (e.g. Google Earth Engine), SEPAL also enables access and processing of historical satellite data as well as newer data from Landsat and higher-resolution data from Europe's Copernicus programme.

To access this system, please visit

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