About the Client:

EcoRecord is the Local Environmental Record Centre for Birmingham and the Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall & Wolverhampton).

They collect and make available information about the wildlife, wildlife sites and habitats in the area.

Client's request to Spottitt:

Begin 2020, Spottitt delivered a sub-meter resolution Level II+ habitat classification for 1800 square km of both rural and urban landscape across the West Midlands Combined Authority. 

This small-budget but large-scale technology trial was a success at many levels.

Still, it did highlight some areas where further algorithm development to improve some existing classes and add new classes would add value assuming that suitable training data could be sourced. 

EcoRecord Birmingham and the Black Country Habitat classification

Project description:

The project aimed to upgrade the current algorithm using relevant training data shared by EcoRecord, and roll out those upgrades across Birmingham and the Black Country.

The area of interest: 875 square km area.

Scope: Delivery of an upgraded sub-meter resolution Level II habitat classification (with selected experimental Level III classes)

Satellite imagery:

Pleiades 50cm resolution optical imagery, by Airbus Defence and Space, taken between April 2018 and Sept 2018.

The project made use of access to free imagery from the Space of Smarter Government Program, a strategic, national programme established in 2014, led and funded by the UK Space Agency, to drive the uptake and use of space products, data and services across government departments

EcoRecord Birmingham and the Black Country Habitat classification2

Project outcomes:

  • Successfully added the Level II class Heath and Scrub 
  • Significant improvement in accuracy of cropland classification to >80% with other classes achieving >90% accuracy
  • Overall classification accuracy increased to >85%
  • Provision of analysis outputs in a more user-friendly format