A new scientific e-journal covering all of the Earth Observation societal benefit areas in South Eastern Europe has been launched.
The first issue is comprised of National Thematic Reports that describe the status of Earth Observation (EO) activities for the environment in most of the Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYROM, Greece, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey).
All stakeholders of EO research, industry, academia and policy making, either situated or having interest in the region of South Eastern Europe, are welcome to contribute and are cordially invited to support this effort.
The deadline for full paper submission for the April regular issue is March 15. The journal is called the South-Eastern European Journal of Earth Observation and Geomatics.
The nine societal benefit areas (Agriculture, Biodiversity, Climate, Disasters, Ecosystems, Energy, Health, Water, Weather), identified by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) member states, clearly shows that Earth Observation is here to benefit citizens. This global effort can be traced in international organizations and initiatives like GEO (Group on Earth Observations), GEOSS Global Earth Observation System of Systems), and CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites).
The European Union lists its EO priority actions as satellite navigation, space for the benefit of the environment and the fight against climate change, secure space, and space exploration.
Therefore, a global picture of the EO industry is progressing with actors, such as:
• Providers of EO data, who are either public institutions or commercial enterprises;
• Users of EO data, who are either institutions, companies, or the general public;
• Sources of EO data, which are either sensors/instruments, models/simulators, or databases.
The major effort is to provide timely, accurate and inexpensive data for land monitoring, marine environment monitoring, atmosphere monitoring, emergency management, security, and climate change with the use of aerial-and satellite-based EO technologies. And this requires user consultation, followed by algorithmic studies, processing activities, and validation efforts to convert satellite data and calibration constants into physically realistic information. On the other hand, a common processing approach guarantees the long-term generation of consistent and traceable results.
Finally, Information and Communication Technologies emerged and provided the infrastructure for Open Geodata Standardization, uniformity in data (eg. EU INSPIRE Directive) and wide availability of data sources through Geo portals (eg. UNEP Geodata, FAO Geo-network, ICSU World Data System, EEA Urban Atlas, etc.)
Balkan countries, on the other hand, do not have a coherent and continuous approach toward the challenge of implementing integrated EO applications in environmental monitoring and management. The defect in the implementation of EO applications and their use in the environmental decision-making process are manifested through the limited synergies among national and regional institutions, the lack of substantial infrastructure, ineffective technological means, and a discontinuous record of participation to international organizations and committees.
The South-Eastern European Journal of Earth Observation and Geomatics (SEEJoEOG) aims at offering a scientific forum to experts from southeastern Europe, in order to enhance the scientific dialogue, fill the existing gap in policies and applications, build-up acquaintances, establish networks and co-operations, and contribute to regional capacity building.
For this reason, it is a free, open-access, e-journal.
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.
OBSERVE Project Announces Competition
The Experience of the 1st OBSERVE CARAVAN Workshop
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