Forest Cover Map - 2006


Brief Description

The Forest Cover Map 2006 map is 25m spatial resolution raster  Pan-European Forest / Non Forest Map with target year 2006 derived from LISS  III and SPOT 4/5  imagery and Corine Land Cover 2006 data. It includes the classes: forest, non-forest, clouds/snow and no data. The map was produced exploiting an automatic classification technique based on a Neural Network clustrering algorithm. The map covers the EU27 countries plus BA, HR, MK, LI, RS, ME, AL, NO, CH, TR, IS


Input Data

Satellite Imagery 

Spatial Resolution Original 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 2005-2006

Ancillary Data 

Land Cover Data CORINE Land Cover 2006 (seamless Vector layer converted to 25m raster)

 Input Data used for the production of the Forest Cover 2006 Map


For producing the Forest/Non-Forest map 2006 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. For further info, see the reported references.


A picture of the final Forest Cover 2006 Map is shown below. The map is still under final development, but can be downloaded from our page as a 25 m resolution raster image.

The Forest Cover 2006 final Map

Map Characteristics

The forest class of the Forest Cover 2006 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 2006 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



Kempeneers, P., Sedano, F., Seebach, L., Strobl, P., San-Miguel-Ayanz, J. (2011) Data Fusion of Different Spatial Resolution Remote Sensing Images Applied to Forest-Type Mapping. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 49 (12), pp. 4977-4986


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