Managing, controlling and monitoring the adoption, the implementation and the achievements of the Agri-Environmental Programs and their compliance with EC Rural Development Regulations is a very geomatics oriented exercise with a substantial spatial/geographic GIS and image component. Two pilot projects were undertaken, one in Italy and one in England to evaluate the control of Agri-Environmental Measures (AEMs) using Remote Sensing and GIS methodology. This paper concentrates primarily on the Italian project but will include comparative issues between the two. In Italy, a test site was defined on the western side of Lago di Garda, in Northern Italy. A strategy was applied for the selection of measures based on the Regional implementation of the EC Regulation 2078/92 (e.g. input reduction, arable reversion to grassland, farmland conservation). A GIS was set up requiring particular efforts regarding the acquisition, quality checks, georeferencing and harmonization of the several information layers. Different Computer Assisted Photo Interpretation (CAPI) methods (e.g. small-scale landscape features: hedgerows, tree rows; arable farming practices: crop rotation.) were applied in relation to the specific AEMs to be controlled. Hints to the feasibility of controlling selected AEMs, limiting factors of CAPI methods and their impact on the identification/control of the measure are discussed.
The paper describes the development of a remote sensing instrument manufactured utilizing CCD sensors. The main peculiarity of the DARWIN (digital aircraft resources and wildlife imaging) is that it is assembled with commercial electronic components. Consequently it is low cost to produce and easy to maintain and to find the spare parts. The first prototype is presented, named QSM (quick sensing machine), it was developed in the period 1987/90, then a later prototype named DARWIN is presented and the foreseen up grading of the instrument consequent to the managing of the first two prototypes and to the availability on the market of new and more up-dated electronic components. The instrument has four channels and the spectral band of each channel can be selected changing the optical filter mounted in front of each sensor. For its lightweight and its low power consumption it can also be installed on an ultralight platform (ULM). Also a simple, economic and flexible system is described composed by the DARWIN, an ULM with GPS and a software able to manage the images, based on a PC. Finally, a market survey and the possible users are indicated.