Scopes

Bulgarie, Macédoine

Environnement, gestion des ressources

Sept. 2001 – août 2003

Projet SCOPES- Fonds national :

Modern geomatics technology for land improvement and crop management

Partenaire en Bulgarie

Organisme: Higher Institute of Agriculture
Département: Department of Irrigation, Drainage and Land Surveying
Adresse:

12, Mendeleev Str., BG-4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Tél.: 00359 (32) 633 232
Fax: 00359 (32) 633 157
Responsable: Dr. Zhulieta H. Arnaudova

Partenaire en Macédoine

Organisme: University Ss Cyril and Methodius
Département: Faculty of Agriculture
Det of Soil Science and Land Reclamation
Adresse:

Bul. Aleksandar Makedonski BB,
P.O Box 297, MK-1000 Skopje, Macedonia

Tél.: 00389 -2- 115 277
Fax: 00389 -2- 134 310
Responsable: Prof. Dr. Ordan D. Cukaliev

EPFL

Institut:

Institut du développement territorial (INTER)

Laboratoire de topométrie (TOPO)

Faculté: Environnement naturel, architectural et construit (ENAC)
Adresse:

EPFL – Bât. GR
Ecublens, 1015 Lausanne, Suisse

Tél.: + 41 21 – 693 27 55
Fax: + 41-21 – 693 57 40
Responsable: Prof. Bertrand Merminod
Collaborateur: Pierre-Yves Gilliéron
Nadia Longhini

Abstract

The common interest of the three partners focuses on the management of spatial data for land improvement and crop management. Traditionally, this has been done with paper maps, whereby various people read and report the relevant information. However, topographic maps are renewed approximately once per decade and cadastral plans approximately once per century. Furthermore, they do not contain the information relevant for land and crop management, such as soil characteristics, amount of fertilizers used, succession of crops, all of which must be updated frequently.

The classical approach entails several problems, which modern geomatics technology can help to alleviate.

i) Localisation in the field.

It is not obvious to determine one’s position precisely. The proper use of optical instruments for terrestrial land survey requires specific skills, thus restricting the application of this technology to projects involving construction works. The advent of satellite positioning technology has made localisation to within a few meters available to virtually everyone.

ii) Localisation on the map.

Due to the scale of the maps available for land management, reading a position from the map or drawing a feature on it can not be done with much precision. There is always a conflict between the amount of details and the size of the map. Digital cartography has brought a change, as the same map can be shown at various scales with the appropriate level of information.

iii) Selection of the map content.

Land management involves many people, all of whom expect different information from the map. Furthermore, each partner tends to add specific information on the map, which is not available to others. Moving to a digital database for the storage of the information does not solve the need for coordination among partners, but it allows for flexible updates and for the provision of a database extract according to specific requirements. Of course, a database extract may take the form of a printed map.

iv) Update of the map content in the field.

By combining positioning technology with cartography software running on a portable computer, it is possible to display and to update the spatial information directly in the field. The transfer of data between the main storage and a mobile computing device, and the subsequent update of the main database are some of the main features of modern cartography software. Apart from the so-called « precision farming », such technology is already used for forest management and for the maintenance of natural reservations.

v) Realistic basis for planning land improvement.

While the privatization of land has motivated surveying operations in several Eastern countries, most efforts have been devoted to planimetry, in particular to property boundaries. However, any surface irrigation scheme or construction work requires altimetric information. Without proper contours (or digital elevation model), it is not possible to design a water network with an appropriate slope, or a road that fits neatly in the landscape. Typically, straight rural roads designed on the sole basis of a purely planimetric cadastral plan, with no attention paid to the morphology of the terrain, cause a marked degradation of the landscape.

Satellite positioning, digital cartography and mobile computing become widely available. However, their implementation for any purpose, in particular for farming, requires a sound background in geomatics. For countries where the agriculture is a major component of the economy and faces crucial changes, the spreading of geomatics skills through the establishment of appropriate courses and tutorials is particularly relevant. This is precisely the aim of the intended partnership.