LPISQA Legacy/ETS/Inspections

From Wikicap - European Commission

Why re-digitize a parcel that appears unchanged on the imagery?

Formally, re-digitizing of the reference parcel boundaries is not requested. What is required is the delineation -via the various land cover features present on site-, of the agriculture land, which can be eligible inside the LUI. This mapping procedure provides not only a total area measurement value but also more detailed information on the nature and abundance of the eligible land contained within the reference parcel.

Fundamentally, the digitizing process is the default procedure to collect an independent observation and measurement on a parcel. Random variations of the observed values are an element for the probability statistics that are the basis for the acceptance decisions. Mixing “copy/pasted” and observed data in the sample can create a heterogeneous sample that does not allow a robust conclusion of the results as long as there is no rule to ensure that “copy/pasted” area/boundary is really “true”. As a result, the current method does allow visual inspection, but only in cases where the recorded maximum eligible area or correctness of the boundary cannot be challenged.

Why map the land cover and not simply map eligibility? (QE 1)

The scope of the LPIS QA is to provide an overview of the full system. The Commission services request the collection of this detailed information during the inspection, in order to enable analysis of the nature, source, and reasons of anomalies, when found. The RP inspection at appropriate land cover level provides more evidences during screening since:

  • Land cover is independent from aid scheme. This information is becoming of prime importance in the near future in context of cross-compliance and second pillar of CAP.
  • The land cover classes are explicitly defined in Art 2 of 22009R1120 or by the Member State by way of its own GAEC legislation.
  • Unlike eligibility, land cover is stable over time and independent from member state. This allows a robust and uniform inspection method common to all member states.

To cope with an alleged extra cost of delineating land cover classes (as compared to producing a single eligibility mask during inspection), the Commission services:

  • encourage using automated detection and delineation methods that give the necessary guarantees to correct interpretation
  • clarify that, unless coupled payments or pro-rata classes are applicable, the delineation key should NOT address the agricultural parcel level details, but SOLELY reflect "aggregated" land cover classes defined in R 1120/2009 art 2 and R 73/2009 art 124. These are “arable”, “grass”, “natural grass”, “permanent tree crop”, “permanent scrub crop”, “greenhouse”, “irrigated rice”, “short coppice plantation” and “kitchen garden”.
  • stress that the delineation of appropriate land cover classes is required only for the LPIS QA inspection. It does not require the LPIS reference parcels to differentiate this way neither graphically nor alphanumerically.

Can we use a clear crop boundary of the same land cover as a boundary to identify the LUI?

Yes. Point VI.1 of Annex II clearly states "To check if the LUI can be inspected, perform a visual verification to ascertain all reference parcel boundaries match distinctive land features or follow well identifiable limits of land cover and/or land use".

How to decide whether a LUI is measurable?

There is no "golden rule". ETS operator should use "common sense" based on the ground information available, local conditions, his knowledge and expertise, as well as relevant ancillary data.

In most of the cases, the position and shape reference parcel boundary with respect to the land cover/land use features available on the ground will easily reveal whether the parcel boundary is inappropriately positioned or the boundary can be assumed to be correctly located although it's not visible. An “un-measurable LUI boundary or perimeter” arises only when a doubtful segment of the LUI is located over agriculture land and the CAPI method cannot be used. In case when invisible segments are located only over non-agriculture land, it is obvious that the reference parcel boundaries are not correctly located and the agricultural land cover delineation should follow the border of the closest agriculture feature part of the LUI. Such parcels are obviously still fit for mapping as all their agricultural land is delineable.


NOTE: in ETS, the notion of error is linked to a particular cause of an observed non-conformity. The concept "minor error" is not defined.

Ineligible feature in proximity of the perimeter of a LUI

The perimeter of a LUI, or a part of it, can be obscured by the present land use, which prevents mapping. In order to addresses the ambiguity in the absolute positional accuracy stemming from both the orthoimage used for the LPIS QA and the LPIS the 5-meter buffer rule is applied over the entire perimeter.


NOTE 1: When a straight line section of a LUI perimeter is obscured, but the beginning and the end of the straight line are identifiable that portion should be mapped.


NOTE 2: The ambiguity in the positional accuracies is most frequently expressed in the misalignment of the orthoimagery and the LPIS vector data.


NOTE 3: This rule is particularly important for topographical or physical block systems.

RPs based on cadastre: why a LUI not identifiable on the image is considered as not suitable for measurement?

ETS doesn't use the terms "not suitable for measurements", but the term "non-measurable" which is strictly applied and valid within the CAPI context. A RP LUI that doesn't follow well identifiable limits of land cover and/or land use on the orthoimage, and thus is flagged as non-measurable with CAPI, can however be fully measurable in the ground. This is perfectly valid also for cadastral parcels boundaries.


NOTE: the category "non-measurable" does not mean the parcel has a problem, only that during inspection, no independent measurement could be made by CAPI.

RP based on cadastre: insufficient delineable borders?

The high percentage of reference parcels “not suitable for measurement” may lead have to a smaller sample and may increase the probability of LPIS to meet quality expectations.

However, introducing field inspection and optional field activities, as well as the last modification of the ETS should effectively address this situation, ensuring valid sample sizes by ISO2859-2 for all QE.

Reporting the occurrence of the non-agriculture land cover features (measure 10105)

The procedure for reporting non-agriculture land cover features is as follows:

  • Step 1: report all single non-agriculture land cover features, with area bigger than or equal to 0.1 ha. Each feature is reported separately.
  • Step 2: report all non-agriculture land cover features of a GIVEN TYPE, with area smaller than 0.1 ha, which if summed up, exceeds 3% of the reference area. One occurrence par type should be reported.
  • Step 3: report all single non-agriculture land cover features of type “Artificial sealed surface” and “Water bodies”, larger than or equal to 0.01 ha.


EXAMPLE 1: A LUI, which belongs to a given RF contains the non-agricultural land cover types listed in the first column. The items to be reported are listed in the 3 column. Please note that the action to be taken depend on the properties listed in column 2.

Land cover instances Size Reported items
3 patches of forest >0,1 ha each 3 patches of forest
1 water body >0,1 ha 1 water body
10 artificial surfaces <0,01 ha each,

but >than the 3% of the RP area in total

1 occurrence of artificial surface
3 artificial surfaces >0,01 but < 0,1 ha 3 occurrences of artificial surface (since in total artificial surfaces cover more than 3% of the RP)
2 bare surfaces < 0,1 ha each, but in total less than the 3% of the RP area They are omitted
Total reported items 3 forests

4 artificial lands 1 water body



NOTE: Within your GIS environment you may decide (or be forced) to keep the non-agriculture features as graphical objects in order to perform the relevant spatial analysis easier. These delineation are an intermediate step, which does not need to be reported; i.e. they are not part of the GML of the ETS package.

Do we need to make field inspection for all RPs with unclear LUI?

Not at all. You need to perform field inspections only for the sequentially determined reference parcels where CAPI failed, until you reach a sufficient sample to complete the QE2. Please follow the instructions given in Field Inspection and optional field activities 2012.

What is the difference incomplete and erroneous processing

The difference lies in cause of the problem. In case of incomplete processing (category 3) the data are supposed to be included in the LPIS, but they have not been.


EXAMPLE 1: Lands with permanent crop from (olives) that were not part of the support scheme in a specific period (SPS/SAPS in 2003), were not introduced in the LPIS after the regulation had changed.


EXAMPLE 2: Some parts of the territory were not mapped because nobody has claimed. In case of erroneous processing (category 4) errors occur due to human decisions or inaccurate work.


EXAMPLE 3: The operator has made a mistake digitizing a road centreline instead of a land cover boundary.

If a parcel contains several critical defects how many times it should be counted?

Although LQ was defined as "number of non-conforming items", so the parcel is counted only once, there is a clear need to look into that parcel in depth.

As a result, in case of more than one critical defect is occurring for a given reference parcels, all critical defects should be reported, starting from the top and going down to the bottom of the pre-defined list. See the field "DQ_EvalMethodDesc" of TABLE 7: RP Critical defects (10106) of Annex II. We stress again, multiple reporting does not alter the score!