March 1999 - Number 37
Editor : Dr. Ir. L.L.F. Janssen, Associate Professor
: Mme. M. Godefroy, EARSeL
2.2 Special Interest Groups
2.3 Reports from National Representatives
2.4 The Earsel Web Server
2.5 Vallodolid Symposium
3 NEWS FROM THE EC, ESA AND THE CEO
3.2 News update from the CEO Programme
3.3 Earth Observation Data Policy (EOPOLE)
4 NEWS FROM OTHER ORGANISATIONS
4.2 UNESCO/ITC Call for Applications
4.5 Dundee Summer School
5 RS DATA, PRODUCTS AND PROJECTS
5.2 Unesco Bilko project
5.4 FAO and ORSTOM study
5.5 1998 technology award for DERA
5.6 EOS and DERA into Danish Slick Monitoring
6 REVIEWS, PUBLICATIONS AND REPORTS
6.2 Encyclopaedia of Hydrology and Water Resources
6.3 Climatology interdisciplinary data collection on CD-ROM
6.4 Report 5th High-Mountain RS Cartography Symposium
In February I visited the International Film Festival in Rotterdam. One of the most impressive and touching movies I visited was "Last Night" by the Canadian director Don McKellar. The movie shows how some people spend their last hours in a world that will stop to exist at 24:00. Original for the script is that there is hardly any panic and that no "star wars" like actions are being taken; people just accept the fact that it will be over and come out on the street to be together. The question not answered in the movie is the origin of the ending of the world. The only thing we observe is that light and temperature are increasing during the night. Now, from reading Wim Bakker's contribution in this Newsletter, I found out: it should have been a Gamma Ray Burst: a burst of energy caused by some type of supernova. Also today we are faced with this phenomenon, however, in very light and non destructive ways.
What more do we have to offer in this Newsletter ? The EARSeL Bureau and the Council met in Paris and reports, including those of national representatives, are given in Chapter 2. With respect to organisation much is going on. In section 3.1 Preben Gudmandsen reports on the ESA programmes. In May there will be a ministerial Council meeting to discuss and decide on the future structure and financing of ESA based space activities; at this moment, at the national level the member countries are preparing for this conference. We do not need to forget: Earth Observation only being one of the activities in space. Since part of the proposal of ESA regarding EO addresses a 10 year time period programme the result of the conference (either way) will have significant implications for role and position of European in the international space 'market'.
During the EARSeL Council meeting in Paris, Jacques Megier gave an overview of the changes incurred by the 5th framework programme for the JRC Space Application Institute: in the next period the focus will be much more on delivering information for policy making to the DG's. The JRC SAI has been regrouped in terms of units and projects: there are 6 units and 11 projects remaining. In section 3.2. the effect of the 5th framework programme related to the work of the CEO (JRC) is shortly explained. This is followed by project description of a CEO-sponsered project on data policy: EOPOLE. I think that within ESA the item of data policy still does not get the attention it should have: it can make all the difference for data being intensively used or stored in the cupboard.
And then, there is the usual bits and pieces on developments in other organisations, new projects and new publications. At this moment I already want to let you know that the December Issue of EARSeL will be dealing with distance learning and Remote Sensing (either dealing with CD-ROM or Web-based methods). If you are involved in such activity and you are interested to shortly present your project or operational service: you are welcome to do so. Please let me know - deadline for submission of the December Issue: 1 November.
2.1 EARSeL Bureau and Council meetings - Paris, 14-15 January 1999
These regular meetings
were attended by the Bureau and the national representatives of Austria
(Dr. E. Mondre), the Czech Republic (Dr. T. Benes), Denmark (Prof. (em.)
P. Gudmandsen, France (Dr. G. Bégni, Chairman of the S.F.P.T.), Germany
(Prof. Dr. G. Konecny), Hungary (Dr. P. Winkler), Italy (Prof. S. Vetrella)
, Netherlands (Dr. L. Janssen), Sweden (Prof. B. Lundén), Switzerland (Prof.
Dr. E. Parlow) and the United Kingdom (Dr. Kathie Bowden, Chairman of The
Remote Sensing Society). The European Space Agency was represented by Mr.Guy
Duchossois, the European Commission/Joint Research Centre by Dr. Jacques
Mégier and UNESCO by Mr. Robert Missotten of the Earth Sciences Division
of that organisation. Invited guests were Dr. Mario Gomarasca of the Italian
Remote Sensing Soiety and Dr. C. Chenez, Secretary-General of EUROGI.
2.2 EARSeL Special Interest Groups
2.2.1 Geological Applications (SIG-GEO)
EARSeL's Special Interest
Group "Geological Applications" is a new Special Interest Group formed recently
to act as a forum for international discussion amongst Earth scientists.
The SIG-GEO promotes geologic remote sensing and Earth observation and tries
to bridge the gap between technology and applications by bringing together
experts from universities, institutes and commercial enterprises at scientific
meetings. Furthermore, the SIG-GEO supports exchange of views through in-depth
workshops and tutorials on topics related to geological remote sensing.
The SIG-GEO has just
started its mission in January 1999! As a consequence, there are no events
that can be listed here. We do hope that in the coming years the SIG-GEO
will contribute to major scientific meetings promoting its activities in-line
with the objectives. Initiatives and suggestions for topics of future events
are strongly encouraged. At present, the SIG-GEO is constructing its webpages
which will be posted on the EARSeL general homepage shortly. Thereafter
by means of a mailing and a announcement in the EARSeL Newsletter the SIG-GEO
will start to promote its activities and solicit members to join the group.
For more information or to register as a member of the Special Interest
Group please contact your chairperson or the EARSeL Secretariat.
2.2.2 Forest Fires (RSFF-SIG)
Report by Patrick J.
Vaughan (Secretary of the EARSeL RSFF-SIG).
2.2.3 Forestry and Land-Use
Chairperson: Prof. Dr.
Barbara Koch. This group will participate in the joint EARSeL/ISPRS Workshop
on "Fusion of Sensor Data, Knowledge Sources and Algorithms for extraction
and classification of topographic objects", which takes place 3-4 June in
Valladolid, and also in the conference on "Remote Sensing and Forest Monitoring
" to be held in Rogow, near Warsaw, Poland, from 1-3 June.
2.2.4 Land Ice and Snow
This group has a new
chairperson, Dr. Stefan Wunderle, who is now heading the Remote Sensing
Research Group at the Department of Physical Geography at the University
of Bern, Switzerland. He will be assisted by Dr. Thomas Nägler of the Institute
of Meteorology and Geophysics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.
2.3 Reports to Council from national representatives
Those national representatives members present at the regular January Council meeting gave an overview of recent and future activities in the field of Earth Observation in their respective countries. Some members submitted these in written form, so that we can reproduce them here. All reports will be published in the Annual Report 1998/1999 following the General Assembly at the beginning of June.
2.4 The EARSeL Web Server (by Lucien Wald, Web master)
The EARSeL Web server <www.earsel.org> is slowly but surely developing towards providing a better service to the EARSeL membership. Efforts have recently focused on two items: the Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and the Invitations to Tender.
Special Interest Groups: the structure has completely changed. The server now has one page introducing the SIGs as a whole and listing the current ones. SIG convenors have now established their own server for presenting their SIG, its activities and documents, and links have been set up in the EARSeL server directing readers to the SIG server. This decentralised structure allows better development of the Web as a working tool for the SIGs. It helps in fostering co-operation between members of a SIG, it increases the efficiency of the co-operation, it attracts new members and enhances dissemination of the outcomes of SIG events, increasing its visibility among the Earth Observation community.
Invitations to Tender: taking into account that most of its members are obliged to partly fund their activities by seeking support on a competitive basis, EARSeL has decided to help in advertising invitations to tender issued by ESA, the European Union (including the European Commission), Eumetsat and other bodies (e.g. CNES, DLR, NASA, etc.).
Of present interest is the establishment by the European Commission, DG XII, of the list of experts who may be selected by the Commission for the assessment of the proposals received with the 5th R&D Framework Programme. This list is constantly updated and applications can be received at any time. Though only applications received before February 1 1999 will be retained for the assessment of the proposals received in 1999, in response to the calls issued by DG XII during this year, EARSeL members (including non-European Union members) are encouraged to submit now for the years to come. Experts may belong to research institutes, companies, institutional bodies, etc.
2.5 EARSeL Symposium in Valladolid, 31 May - 2 June 1999
EARSeL is initiating a series of tutorials introducing PhD or MSc students, engineers and researchers to topics at the leading edge of research in Earth observation. These tutorials will be held as part of the annual EARSeL Symposium each year. They will be delivered by EARSeL members who are experts in the particular field of the chosen tutorial. These tutorials will be open to anyone who has registered in due time. They will be free for students (student card mandatory), EARSeL members and to members of any co-organising societies.
The first tutorial will be given in Valladolid on Tuesday 1st June 1999 by L. Wald and will last two hours. A text will be provided in English (a French version is also available upon request). The tutorial is entitled "Introduction to Data Fusion". It aims at introducing data fusion, setting a clear picture of what data fusion is. The first part will be devoted to fundamentals (definitions, terms of reference, alignment of data, properties, architectures, including many examples). The second part will focus on one aspect of data fusion: merging images of different spatial resolutions. Common tools will be presented and analysed (IHS and PCA methods; the relative spectral contributions method, including the CNES "P+XS" method; the ARSIS concept, including several wavelet-based methods and the HPF method).
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