Land Use and Coverage Area frame Survey (LUCAS)


During the 2018 summer, over 700 land surveyors across Europe will be undertaking the LUCAS survey. LUCAS stands for the Land Use and Coverage Area frame Survey. Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU), has commissioned this survey every three years since 2006 to identify land use and land coverage change in the EU.

A major element of each LUCAS campaign is hosting and supporting the centralised, cloud based software to enter the 330,000 LUCAS survey data points selected for the 2018 LUCAS campaign across Europe, and to receive and store the millions of photographs associated with these points.


In late 2017, we were successful in winning the Lot 7 LUCAS hosting and support contract. Our first job was to architect and build the required IT infrastructure on Amazon Web Services to host the data entry software and upload the data collected.

Since then we have been making continual improvements to the software to increase efficiency. A key message we took away from our project kick off meeting in Luxembourg was if we could save one click of the mouse per LUCAS point, we would save 330,000 clicks!

In February 2018 we spent a week in Lisbon, Portugal undergoing intensive training to understand the LUCAS survey. As part of the training we hosted two, one-day workshops on the data entry software.

In late March 2018, the data collection commenced and so far, all 28 European Union member states have provided data. To date we have received over 10% of LUCAS point data, which equates to over 200,000 photographs and answered over 400 support tickets.

We will hand over the data collected, together with the improved data entry software, to Eurostat in September 2019.


The project outputs provide harmonised and comparable statistics on land use and land cover across the whole of the EU’s territory – a total area of just under 4.5 million square kilometres (km²). The survey has become a key tool for policymakers and statisticians alike, with increasing amounts of data on different forms of land use and land cover in the EU.

Want to know more?

For more information on this project email Stuart Wallace. You can also find out more about the LUCAS project on the Eurostat website and can download the 2015 data for your own analysis. The 2018 data will be published in late 2019.

Find out more about the other systems, software and data work we undertake on our web pages.

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