You are here

The Copernicus land monitoring service provides geographical information on land cover and on variables related, for instance, to the vegetation state or the water cycle.

It supports applications in a variety of domains such as spatial planning, forest management, water management, agriculture and food security, etc.


The service became operational in 2012.



It consists of three main components:


  • A global component;
  • A Pan-European component;
  • A local component.



The global component is coordinated by the European Commission DG Joint Research Centre (JRC). It produces data across a wide range of biophysical variables at a global scale (i.e. worldwide), which describe the state of vegetation (e.g. leaf area index, fraction of green vegetation cover, vegetation condition index), the energy budget (e.g. albedo, land surface temperature, top of canopy reflectance) and the water cycle (e.g. soil water index, water bodies). Read more...


The Pan-European component is coordinated by the European Environment Agency and will produce 5 high resolution data sets describing the main land cover types: artificial surfaces (e.g. roads and paved areas), forest areas, agricultural areas (grasslands), wetlands, and small water bodies. The pan-European component is also updating the Corine Land Cover dataset to the reference year 2012. Read more...


The local component is coordinated by the European Environment Agency and aims to provide specific and more detailed information that is complementary to the information obtained through the Pan-European component. It focuses on "hotspots" which are prone to specific environmental challenges. The local component provides detailed land cover and land used information (over major European cities, which are the first type of "hotspots".  This is the so-called Urban Atlas. Besides an update of the Urban Atlas, the next local component will address biodiversity in areas around rivers (riparian areas). Read more...



In December 2014, the European Commission signed a Delegation Agreement with the European Environment Agency for the implementation of the Pan-European and Local component. The Technical Annex of this agreement is available in the Document Repository (under Technical Documents) available on this website.


In addition to the above-mentioned components, the service also supports the generation of Pan-European hydrographic and elevation reference datasets (respectively called EU-hydro and EU-DEM).


More information on the Copernicus land monitoring service is available on the webpage.