Mapping by means of field surveys is
the traditional technique for land cover studies, but Remote
Sensing (RS), either from aircrafts or satellites, has long
become the most common tool for this kind of exercise.
Several worldwide land cover datasets are available for
analysis at regional and global scale. The best spatial resolution
of such datasets is presently around 1km. GlobalLandCover2000
produced by the Joint Research Centre of the European Union
is one of the most relevant items and provides both worldwide
and regional datasets, including the product over Africa.
To a similar resolution is also available MODIS Land Cover,
by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which utilizes the MODIS
sensor on-board the Terra satellite operated by NASA. The
most promising upgrade and update in the domain of global
land cover products is GLOBCOVER, a European Space Agency
initiative in collaboration with several organization among
which FAO and UNEP. The objective of GLOBCOVER is to produce
a global land-cover map for the year 2005, using as main source
of data the 300 m resolution MERIS sensor on-board ENVISAT
satellite. In the context of Trypanosomosis control, the
available and upcoming global datasets can be useful in supporting
the decision makers in the identification of priority areas
for intervention. They could also contribute to the depiction
of more accurate distribution and abundance maps of the numerous
tsetse species on a regional and African scale.
The planning and deployment of tsetse and Trypanosomosis
control strategies often requires land cover and land use
maps with a higher spatial detail and greater geometric accuracy.
Africover (FAO) is the most relevant project aimed at creation
of a multipurpose databases on environmental resources for
African countries. The major output of the project is the
production of land cover maps on a scale of 1:200.000 and
1:100.000 for large or small countries respectively. The maps
are derived from 30 meters resolution Landsat TM satellite
images and are presently available for 10 countries, among
which are eight out of the 37 tsetse infested sub-Saharan
countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda,
Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Other Africover modules
for Magreb, Sahel, Southern Africa have been formulated and
are under discussion with donors.