ABU DHABI, UAE, and BRISTOL, U.K.Proteus, a provider of satellite-derived mapping and classification services, has been contracted by Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) to deliver fine-scale terrestrial and marine land use/land cover (LULC) and habitat maps for the entire Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The multi-million dollar project will include 60,000 sq. km. of land area and the coastal marine environment down to the 15 m contour

“The LULC and habitat maps created in this multi-year project will serve as the primary baseline ecological dataset supporting EAD’s environmental preservation activities for the next decade,” said David Critchley, Proteus CEO.

EAD is a government agency tasked with protecting, managing and conserving the environment, as well as promoting sustainable development, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. EAD released a competitive request for proposals and awarded the contract to the team led by Proteus, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. Partners in the project include DigitalGlobe Inc., GMV and EOMAP GmbH

“We selected the Proteus-led team because of the quality of their proposal and expertise the consortium brings to the project, which involves advanced satellite image processing and extensive ground truthing,” said Anil Kumar, director, Environment Information Management, EAD.

Locally in the Emirate, Proteus will receive support for the project from Nautica Environmental Associates of Abu Dhabi, which will provide ecological consultancy, field survey and ground truthing services in both the onshore and offshore environments.

The project calls for extraction of LULC and habitat features from high-resolution multispectral satellite imagery. In the offshore mapping, highly accurate bathymetric and seabed classifications to depths of 15-20 meters in the Persian Gulf will be extracted.

The project will be completed in three phases, and the deliverables will include:

  • Bathymetric analysis
  • Orthorectified mosaic
  • LULC/Habitat classification maps for land and marine ecologies
  • Geospatial models for GIS input
  • Published maps at multiple scales
  • Knowledge transfer

“We will deliver geospatial data sets following the Brown and Boer habitat classification methodology for terrestrial ecology and the CMRECS protocol for marine seabed delineation, which are the current standards used by EAD,” said Critchley.