Forest Cover Map - 2000


Brief Description

The Forest Cover Map 2000 map is 25m spatial resolution raster  Pan-European Forest / Non Forest Map with target year 2000 derived from Landsat ETM+ imagery and Corine Land Cover 2000 data. It includes the classes: forest, non-forest, clouds/snow and no data. The map was produced exploiting an automatic classification technique based on an in-house developed clustering algorithm. The map covers the EU25 countries, plus BA, BG, HR and MK.


Input Data

Satellite Imagery 


Landsat ETM+

Spatial Resolution

Original 30m resolution resampled to 25m (proposed INSPIRE Grid Standard)

Geometric Accuracy

RMS(95%) error less than 25m

Geometric Reference System

ETRS89 Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area (ETRS-LAEA)

Acquisition Date


Ancillary Data 

Land Cover Data

CORINE Land Cover 2000 (seamless Vector layer converted to 25m raster)

Elevation Data

SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) Digital Elevation Model

 Input Data used for the production of the Forest Cover 2000 Map


For producing the Forest/Non-Forest map 2000 we developed and applied a fully automatic image processing methodology. In order to avoid problems linked to phenological differences between images and related problems such as equalising the radiometric content of all images, the processing was based on a scene by scene approach. The basic workflow of the algorithm is shown below. For further info, see the reported references.

Flow chart of the algorithm used for producing the Forest Cover 2000 Map


A picture of f the final Forest Cover 2000 Map is shown below. The map can be downloaded from our page as a 25 m resolution raster image.

The Forest Cover 2000 final Map

Map Characteristics

The forest class of the Forest Cover 2000 map should be considered as a forest cover class rather than a forest use class. The areas cloassified as forest are therefore the ones occupied by forest and woodlands with a vegetation pattern composed of native or exotic coniferous and/or broad-leaved trees, at the moment of the Landsat images acquisition.
The following land use categories are therefore not classified as forests in the Forest Cover Map 2000 map:

  • Forest roads
  • Forest nurseries and regeneration area (with canopy closure less than 30%)
  • Burnt areas
  • Woodlands with trees smaller than 5 m height
  • Temporarily unstocked areas will not be classified as forest.

Furthermore, due to the similarity of spectral signatures, the following land use classes are difficult to separate and may in certain cases also be classified as forest, as a function of tree density and background reflectance:

  •     Wooded parks
  •     Parts of olive groves
  •     Fruit tree plantations (e.g. orchards of apple trees)
  •     Agro-forestry areas
  •     Transitional woodlands



Pekkarinen, A., Reithmaier, L. & Strobl, P. 2009. Pan-European forest/non-forest mapping with Landsat ETM+ and CORINE Land Cover 2000 data. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 64: 171-183.


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