Last updated
December 1, 2000
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Open use. Must provide the source. Use for commercial purposes requires permission of the data owner.


In 1990, the Swiss Federal Statistical Office requested the support of the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich to assess the feasibility of satellite remote sensing for land use statistics. This first research contract was followed by another four until 1997. This publication provides an overview of the methods used and developed and the results achieved during the five project phases. A general introduction is followed by an outline of the development and application potential of remote sensing, the description of the satellite systems and data used for the research areas of Beckenried and Yverdon during the project, and the presentation of the base data set from the Swiss land use statistics. A discussion on the optimal season of satellite image exposure and on the availability of cloud-free satellite scenes of Switzerland winds up the second chapter. The main part of the publication identifies the methods which were tested and developed for preprocessing and classification of satellite data within the framework of the project. Next to a synoptical description of the major established methodical approaches, the procedures involved are documented extensively, and the results achieved with their help presented and evaluated. The results chapter illustrates some examples of land use classifications achieved with different methods, in different areas, and targeted at different categories.


Additional information

Issued date
December 1, 2000
Modified date
Contact points
  • English
  • German
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Landing page
Temporal coverage
January 1, 1990 - December 31, 1997
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