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  • Product Sheet: Agricultural Land

Agricultural land & status


Rice acreage map, Prey Veng, Cambodia 2011 (Source: GeoVille/ESA/WorldBank)




Component products

Land Cover

Land Use

  • N/A



  • Environmental monitoring – Continuous monitoring of changes throughout the lifecycle

Geo-information requirements

  • Detailed land cover information
  • Detailed land use information


The product exploits high resolution radar and optical multispectral satellite imagery combined with field data to generate maps depicting the acreage of crop cultivation areas and crop types. Additional parameters comprise cropping systems (rainfed / irrigated), crop health, crop cycles, date of emergence and harvest, and crop yield.

Crop type and status is important for planning land access for seismic surveys, as well as to evaluate potential impacts and compensation payments. The product can help to assess the damage and moderate the actual payment.

Agricultural crop type identification can also support environmental impact assessment, resettlement action plans, and the land acquisition process during development. Compensation payments may be linked to actual crop types.

In addition, such products can be used for mapping and monitoring changes in crop cultivation patterns and crop yields, and to evaluate the impacts of hazards such as floods and droughts. Other key parameters are irrigation water demand estimates for sustainable agriculture, which has particular significance in water scarce regions.

This product delivers PDF maps or vector digital files that delineate and identify:

  • Depicting the acreage of crop cultivation areas and crop types
  • Cropping systems (rainfed / irrigated)
  • Crop health
  • Crop cycles, date of emergence and harvest
  • Crop yield

Known restrictions / limitations

In the inner and outer tropics frequent cloud cover can be an issue for gathering information from optical satellite data.  This can be mitigated by using radar satellite images.

Some parameters, for example crop health, are strongly dependent on the level of supporting in-situ information.

The achievable size of mapped objects is dependent on the sensor used and its resolution.

Example: Mapping of small parcels with 15 m Landsat-8 data (HR2) is possible up to a parcel size of 0.5 ha. For smaller field structures, VHR1 to HR1 data with a resolution below 10 m are needed.

Lifecycle stage and demand











All lifecycle stages:

  • Baseline information on crop type and health assessment is required in all stages of the lifecycle to understand what is being planted to ensure correct/fair compensation to local farmers, thereby supporting decision-making. 

Geographic coverage and demand

Demand and coverage is global.


OTM:028 Land use mapping to detect the social impact of O&G developments

OTM:033 Mapping of environmental degradation

OTM:039 Selection of development sites

OTM:062 Monitoring re-vegetation

OTM:063 Resettlement assessment


HC:1208 Identify optimal seasonal land use to reduce permitting costs - in particular commercial and subsistence farming practices

HC:1209 Identify land parcel boundaries for impact compensation

HC:1210 Identify soft ground to reduce environmental impacts

HC:4103 Social baseline information to support compensation and/or resettlement

HC:4205 Remediation monitoring related to agriculture impacts


Input data sources

Optical: VHR1, VHR2, HR1, HR2

Radar: VHR1, VHR2, HR1, HR2

Supporting data:

  • In-situ information on land use and major crop types

Spatial resolution and coverage

Spatial resolution: 0.5-30 m pixel size

Minimum Mapping Unit (MMU)

Between 0.05 and 0.1 ha for 5 m input data.

Accuracy / constraints

Thematic accuracy: 80-90%.

Spatial accuracy: The goal would be one pixel, but depends on reference data

Accuracy assessment approach & quality control measures

Stratified random points sampling approach utilizing VHR reference or other geospatial in-situ data.

Frequency / timeliness

Observation frequency: The frequency is constrained by satellite revisit and acquisition and processing requirements. While the maximum frequency is technically driven by the revisit cycle of the satellite, the minimum frequency is defined be the customer. Depending on the requirements of the customer the most suitable satellite sensor has to be chosen, considering spatial / spectral resolution as well as revisit frequency.

Timeliness of deliverable: Depends on the size of the mapped area, resolution, MMU and number of mapped classes; usually in the order of a few weeks depending on the customer’s priority requirements


Freely available or commercially acquired depending on the sensor selected.

Delivery / output format

Data type:

  • Vector formats
  • Raster formats (depending on customer needs)

File format:

  • Geotiff or shapefile (standard - any other OGC standard file formats)

Download Product Sheet

Lead Author:GeoVille
Peer Reviewer:Hatfield Consultants


Maria Lemper, Jan Militzer

Document Title:

Agricultural land & status

# of Pages:



Internal – Project consortium and science partners


External – ESA



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