Dissemination of OBSERVE activities through Multimedia and Multilingual Material

A sample of a multilingual flyer in Greek.

A sample of a multilingual flyer in Greek.

In order to raise institutional and public awareness on the importance of Earth Observation applications on environmental monitoring for the broader Balkan Region, the OBSERVE project produced several multilingual, multimedia editions. At first, the OBSERVE flyer was translated in 12 languages and published on the project’s website.

A special-edition multilingual DVD, with easily comprehensible multimedia material in six languages, was produced. The videos include interviews from consortium partners along with multimedia presentations of Earth Observation topics and case studies. The following presentations are part of the multilingual edition:

1. “High Resolution Satellites Images for Urban Planning,” University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
2. “Land cover and Land changes, Urbanization and touristic development pressure and flood risks,” University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia, Bulgaria
3. “Cultural Heritage,” Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
4. “Disaster Management and Earthquakes,” GeoSat Company for Exploration and Development, Croatia
5. “Web GIS and 3D Cadastral Information,” GISDATA Ltd., Faculty of Transport and Traffic Engineering, University of Belgrade, Serbia
6. “Data standards, regional Earth Observation stakeholders, and National Data Infrastructure Issues,” Sts. Cyril and Methodius University, Faculty for Civil Engineering, Skopje
7. “Environmental Applications and windmill farm Localization,” University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
8. “Landslides, determination of lake depths, Energy savings and Environmental Issues in Urban Environments,” Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Scholl of Rural and Surveying Engineering (Greece).

An example of a case study

Earthquakes and floods are the most devastating natural disasters. The Balkan area, as a part of the Mediterranean region, is seismotectonically the most active part of Europe. Numerous earthquakes occur in this region, most of them with catastrophic results. To depict the areas of the high seismotectonic activity, remote-sensing techniques, particularly satellite images, are very useful for registration of the structural elements that play a role in seismotectonic relations. Geotectonic movements in the Earth’s crust are the major contributors to earthquakes. The results of tectonic movements have been manifested through the geological features of the terrain: faults, folds and ring structures.

The tectonic map of the Western part of the Balkan shows the faults registered on satellite images, as well as the epicentres of large magnitude earthquakes. Most of these earthquakes’ epicentres are located along the large faults or at their intersections, as seen in Banja Luka, Zagreb and Ljubljana. For a detailed seismotectonic exploration, the high-resolution satellite radar images are very useful for the recognition of structural elements, and the intersections of strong faults. The catastrophic earthquake that occurred in Banja Luka in 1969 had its epicenter on the intersection between faults of different orientation.

Data obtained from satellite images in combination with the data obtained by geophysical surveying and the data obtained by instrumental measurement of earthquakes gives an opportunity for better understanding of seismic-tectonic activity, allows for terrain classification according to the degree of potential seismic activity, and gives an insight into possible seismic risk.

The case study above is a part of multilingual interviews held by the OBSERVE project consortium that will be available and presented during a final OBSERVE symposium.

This final event is Oct. 15 and 16 in Thessaloniki, Greece.

After a successful two-year period, with two thematic workshops, two Caravan events and a series of dissemination activities, the final OBSERVE symposium aims to:

1. Capitalize on the outcomes of the OBSERVE project, through:

• Presentation of the “Spatial Information System and the Stakeholder database”
• Presentation of an in-depth multilevel assessment and gap analysis regarding the EO activities in the Balkans
• Presentation of the “Roadmap and Strategy plan for strengthening EO capacity.”

2. Raise awareness in the Balkans, through:

• Demonstration of EO solutions on the different societal benefit areas
• Dissemination of challenges and best practice examples in the Balkan countries.

3. Scale up in challenging times, through:

• Sharing experiences with other related EU-sponsored capacity building projects
• Attraction of key public institutions and authorities
• Favoring the involvement of local decision-makers.

4. Serve as a network vehicle for dissemination and capacity development mechanisms.

Petros Patias, OBSERVE coordinator, is a professor and ex-chairman at the School of Rural and Surveying Engineering, The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, board member of the Department of Urban Planning, and Vice Rector at the University of Western Macedonia, Greece. His published work includes six books, four chapters in international books and 161 papers in journals and proceedings.

Other Articles on OBSERVE

An Executive Summary of the OBSERVE Roadmap and Strategy Plan Report

Presentation of the OBSERVE Gap Analysis Report: An Executive Summary

Findings of the National Reports on EO capacities in the Balkan area

OBSERVE Project Announces Competition

The Experience of the 1st OBSERVE CARAVAN Workshop

New Journal on South-Eastern European Earth Observation and Geomatics

A Post-GEO Plenary Workshop on Earth Observations for the Social Benefit of the Balkans

An Introduction to OBSERVE, Strengthening and development of Earth Observation activities for the environment in the Balkan area