European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL) workshops and conferences in 2011

earsel logoEARSeL is a scientific network of about 250 academic and commercial European remote sensing institutes. Its work includes Earth observation related remote sensing training and education, application-oriented research and the development of new sensors, and the coordination and support of a network of experts and expertise.

A non-governmental agency, it was founded in 1977 by the European Space Agency, the Council of Europe and the Europe Commission.

“The main scientific efforts of EARSeL are concentrated in Special Interest Groups (SIGs). These SIGs form the foundation of the activities of EARSeL and its ‘raison d’être’. They encourage co-operation and foster innovative applications of remote sensing,” the EARSeL website states.

The special interest group workshops and conferences in 2011 are:

6th EARSeL Workshop Remote Sensing of Snow and Glaciers: Cryosphere, Hydrology and Climate Interactions
Bern, Switzerland, 07-09 February 2011,


• Glaciers
• Snow (global / continental scale)
• New methods / new sensors
• Snow & Hydrology
• Snow & Climate
• ESA Globsnow contribution (special session included in the workshop)

EARSeL 7th Workshop of EARSeL Special Interest Group “Imaging Spectroscopy”
Edinburgh, UK, 11-13 April 2011,

Imaging spectroscopy (IS) brings a new dimension to the field of remote sensing by enlarging the envelope of point spectrometry into a spatial domain. It now provides a tangible perspective for adding spatial detail to spectral information, thereby enhancing the thematic application of spectral recognition algorithms. This capability can be provided either from far or close distances, such as those acquired by satellites or by microscopic sensors, respectively. Whereas the former is used for mapping the earth from space, the latter is used for mapping micro targets such as microorganisms and cell bodies in order to account for their biochemical processes in a spatial domain.


• Existing and future orbital IS sensors
• Existing and future airborne IS sensors
• Image processing methods and tools
• New analytical techniques
• Data fusion
• Calibration and validation
• Towards commercialisation of the technology
• Applications in terrestrial ecosystem remote sensing
• Applications in inland water and hydrology
• Coastal and marine ecosystem applications
• Atmospheric applications
• Climate change and IS technologies
• Urban applications
• Agriculture
• Geology and soils
• Hazards and risks

31st EARSeL Symposium “Remote Sensing and Geoinformation not only for Scientific Cooperation”
Prague, Czech Republic, 30 May – 2 June 2011,


• 3D Remote Sensing
• Archaeology
• Remote Sensing of Cultural Heritage
• Climate and Climate Change
• Developing Countries
• Education and Training (E&T)
• Forest Fires
• Forestry
• Imaging Spectroscopy
• Land Ice and Snow
• Natural and Man-made Disasters
• New Instruments and Methods
• Ocean Remote Sensing
• Radar Remote Sensing
• Thermal Remote Sensing
• Urban remote Sensing


The European Union

The European Union

3rd EARSeL Workshop on Remote Sensing in Education and Training
Prague, Czech Republic, 31 May – 1 June 2011,

Remote sensing of the earth covers many topics that are significant for all natural science disciplines in school and university curricula. Satellite imagery and data derived from satellite sensors are available for studies of local phenomena around schools, up to large-scale perspectives showing the diversity of nature in the various climate regions on earth. This allows thus to point out the dependence between local and global scales. Remote sensing data are used to observe and understand actual conditions on earth, but they also allow us to outline the methods for predicting future developments – e.g. of the climate system – with models.

All relevant institutions and interested individuals are invited to participate. In particular the workshop is also addressed to the Global Environment and Security (GMES) programme of the European Commission and the European Space Agency. The success of GMES services and information products, especially in the fields of environment, climate change and natural disasters depends on specific training activities which include remote sensing for earth observation as a core element.


• Earth observation for kids
• Earth observation and its associated use to support science education at schools, high schools and universities
• Environmental science as a tool in cooperative learning and teaching, in enquiry-based learning and in other educational practices for tomorrow’s schools
• Earth observation and its use as educational support in areas like biology, chemistry, geography, physics and mathematics curricula in the classroom but also in continuous individual learning
• Training activities in GMES, with a focus on environment, climate change and natural disasters, in GEOSS, and other international programmes
• Earth observation and its use for public outreach of Environmental Sciences and Global Change

Prague, Czech Republic, 1-3 June 2011,

Land use and land cover have been one of the first and main products from remote sensing data. Its dynamics are strongly influenced by socio-economic factors and political decisions, generating a need for adequate mapping and monitoring tools. As a consequence, robust and sophisticated analysis methods are required for accurate information extraction and fast and efficient data analysis adopted to the rapid advances in image and sensor technologies. Furthermore, multi-temporal and multi-sensor approaches are becoming more and more important not only for change detection but also for more detailed classification approaches. The EARSeL Special Interest Group on Land Use and Land Cover (SIG LULC) aims to bundle methodological and application-oriented research activities in this thematic field. The workshops shall form a platform for scientific exchange and discussion on a variety of related topics.

The SIGs intention is to further foster a better integration of science results into operational products and processes. Hence, the SIG welcomes contributions from users, service providers and value adding industry. We also aim at linking with the various European initiatives in the land cover sector as well as on-going core services within the EU GMES and ESA ECV programs.


• Classification
• Change detection
• Pre-processing for LULC applications
• Accuracy assessment in LULC applications
• Large-scale land cover initiatives (e.g. state-wide inventories, Europe, global)
• specific requirements of LULC in Mediterranean and Developing countries

5th EARSeL Workshop on Remote Sensing of the Coastal Zone
Prague, Czech Republic, 1-3 June 2011,

It is now widely acknowledged that coastal zones, including inland waters and land-ocean interfaces, represent a fragile environment, sensible to climate changes and human activities. However, current capabilities of remote sensing methodologies are often far from quality requirements which are necessary for monitoring environmental parameters in coastal zones both in terms of accuracy and temporal or spatial resolution. The 5th workshop focuses on the impact of recent climate changes on European coastal zones and inland waters, and on the contribution which new technologies and methodologies can give to improve the capabilities of the remote sensing to operate in coastal zones to detect climate changes and rapid (interannual) variations of key coastal environmental parameters.


• changing terrestrial run-off into coastal waters
• escalation of extreme coastal events: floods, storms, high tides
• hydrology and water budget evolution of rivers and lakes
• increasing temperatures in inland and coastal waters
• impact of vaying physical forcing on morphodynamics and ecosystems
• new developments of habitats, biodiversity and alien invaders
• fluxes and fate of seawater constituents, including pollutants
• role of Coastal Zone Management in adapting to climate change

and their investigation with Remote Sensing:

• active and passive methods in all spectral ranges, sensor combinations
• satellite, airborne and ground-based methods including ground truth
• modelling of radiative transfer, image processing and related aspects
• interaction of physical, biological and chemical conditions and processes
• Ocean Colour Remote Sensing for Coastal and Inland Waters

1st EARSeL SIG Forestry workshop: Operational remote sensing in forest management
Prague, Czech Republic, 2 – 3 June 2011 in the framework of the 31st EARSeL Symposium 2011

A number of sensors, tools and methods were developed in the field of forestry remote sensing during the last decade. However, the practical utilisation seem not to be enough considered by the forest (national park) administration and other potential users.

The event aims at setting up the common forum for the research community and people from the forestry sector, where both the operational techniques as well as developing methodologies can be presented and understood in order to improve the forest management and protection practices in Europe.

Main topics:

• forest resource mapping, biomass estimation and change detection
• forest inventories, biophysical parameters
• REDD, forest damage/ degradation related to climate change
• biodiversity, protected forests, mountain forestry
• acquisition of reference field data

Methods and tools:

• active/ passive sensors including VHRS, hyperspectral, radar, ALS, TLS, …
• data from satellite, airborne platforms and their combinations
• image processing and related aspects