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Keynote Lectures

Leveraging User Generated Geoinformation for Humanitarian Aid: Potentials and Challenges
Alexander Zipf, Heidelberg University, Germany

An Innovative Platform for Virtual Underwater Experiences Targeting the Cultural and Tourism Industries
Paraskevi Nomikou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Earth Observation in Service of Terrestrial Ecosystems' Monitoring
Ioannis Manakos, Information Technologies Institute, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece

Available Soon
Andrew Frank, Vienna University of Technology, Austria

 

Leveraging User Generated Geoinformation for Humanitarian Aid: Potentials and Challenges

Alexander Zipf
Heidelberg University
Germany
 

Brief Bio
Prof. Dr. Alexander Zipf is chair of GIScience (Geoinformatics) at Heidelberg University (Department of Geography) since late 2009. He is member of the Centre for Scientific Computing (IWR) and founding member of the Heidelberg Center for the Environment (HCE). His core research interests include VGI, crowdsouring and analysing of user generated geoinformation for several application domains, especially transportation and humanitarian aid. Currently he is busy establishing the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT)as a non profit organization with the goal of transferring results from basic research into practice ion particular in the three core areas: Smart Mobility, GI for Humanitarian Aid and Big Spatial Data Analytics.
Between 2012 -2018 he was speaker of the graduate school “CrowdAnalyser - Spatio-temporal Analysis of User-generated Content“. He is also member of the editorial board of several journals and organized a set of conferences and workshops. 2012-2015 he was regional editor of the ISI Journal Transactions in GIS (Wiley). Currently he is associated editor of the international journal Geo-spatial Information Science (GSIS) by Taylor & Francis (open access).
Before coming to Heidelberg he led the Chair of Cartography at Bonn University and earlier was Professor for Applied Computer Science and Geoinformatics at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz, Germany. He has a background in Mathematics and Geography from Heidelberg University and finished his PHD at the European Media Laboratory EML in Heidelberg where he was the first PhD student. There he also conducted further research as a PostDoc for 3 years.


Abstract
User generated content from the Web has over the last years increasingly become an important data source for humanitarian aid. In that context volunteered geographic information (VGI) is of gaining in relevance for humanitarian aid and disaster response. Especially OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a successful global project adding all kinds of spatial data to an open database that can be used for multiple purposes, e.g. in particular to assist humanitarian aid and support reaching the broader SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). Example applications include accessibility analysis & disaster routing for humanitarian aid with Openrouteservice.org, the global climate protection map (Klimaschutzkarte.de) for raising awareness about sustainable living or OSMlanduse.org for data on landuse to name a few. In all of these applications the currentness and general fitness for purpose of the data is of high concern.
But because of the volunteered type of contributions, the quality of the data generated needs always to be investigated. The last years have seen quite some research on the development of intrinsic data quality indicators for OSM in order to supplement conventional extrinsic quality assessment methods. The latter rely on additional authoritative or ground truth data which is often not available, esp. in less developed countries or for very specific information needs in disaster management. But only a few of those intrisic VGI quality analysis measures and methods have been integrated into an open toolbox and framework yet. Current work aims at better assessing the fitness for purpose of the OSM data for specific application domains, esp. for humanitarian aid & disaster response. I wil introduce the OSM History Analytics platform ohsome.org which aims at providing means of analyzing contributions to OSM over time since the beginning of the project in 2004 in an open & reproducible way on a global scale based on big data technologies and cloud infrastructures. Further research tries to develop deep learning methods to automatically improve OSM using remote sensing images in combination with data from mobile humanitarian crowdsourcing apps like MapSwipe.org. This shows also that methods from remote sensing, GIScience and general computer science are more and more converging and are being combined for developing meaningful workflows. In the talk I will discuss the current status, future potential and issues of those developments.



 

 

An Innovative Platform for Virtual Underwater Experiences Targeting the Cultural and Tourism Industries

Paraskevi Nomikou
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Greece
 

Brief Bio
Paraskevi Nomikou is an Assistant Professor at the Dep. of Geology and Geoenvironment of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece). She is a marine geologist who studies the morphology of underwater volcanoes with extensive experience in marine volcanic and seafloor extruding processes. She has participated in more than 80 oceanographic cruises that focused on submarine volcanism, mud volcanoes, landslides and slope stability and the exploration of seafloor mineral deposits. More recently, she has played a leading role in the evaluation of the potential hazards associated with renewed volcanic activity at Santorini volcano in Greece. Her studies on underwater volcano areas where new earthquakes and deformations have been taking place are critical to the ongoing evaluation of future eruption scenarios. She has also been involved in the study of economically important seafloor mineral deposits within the crater of the submarine volcano Kolumbo, off the coast of Santorini. In 2013 and 2018 she was involved in expeditions to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, mapping the sea floor of ocean core complexes and in 2015 in the Azores Platea, mapping the offshore volcanoes. In 2018 she was involved in R/V Falkor expedition in the coastal zone of Costa Rica (East Pacific Ocean). She effectively transfers her enthusiasm for sea floor exploration using innovative marine technologies to younger students through her educational lectures at the university creating a high profile role model for young women thinking of pursuing careers in oceanography. She has been participated in numerous International projects focused on seafloor mapping and volcanoes. The total number of citations in international journals is 1076 with h index 19 in 645 Cited Documents (December 2019) according to Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED) ?a? Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). According to Google Scholar the h-index: 24 and i10-index: 52. In addition, having participated in educational documentary films (Discovery Channel, National Geographic, History channel etc) has given her the opportunity to wade into the transmission of scientific knowledge to the citizens.


Abstract
Although, the underwater environment is of great scientific interest regarding all fields of marine research, it has not been exploited broadly yet for cultural and tourism purposes. At the same time, technology in the fields of virtual and augmented reality has undergone considerable development by providing technical solutions for environments that their modelling has been problematic or non-operational for a variety of spatial scales. To this end, we report on our recent progress in developing an integrated interactive framework for exploring natural (augmented reality) and virtual (virtual reality) environments in regions of touristic and environmental interest (eg. Submerged cities, shipwrecks, sunken harbors and diving parks, marine parks etc.) in order to enrich travel experience and promote specific and diverse forms of tourism. In particular, the designed solution combines high-resolution data acquired and processed with state-of-the-art technologies (swath mapping systems, underwater vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles) so as to create a synthetic topographic relief basemap and to analyze all its particular geomorphological and ecological structures as well as anthropogenic interventions. Moreover, through a set of special designed tools for multimedia content management, it is possible to write narrative scenarios and produce interactive experiences in virtual reality. In this way, users are able to assimilate to real (or even imaginary) environments through different media (e.g., tablets, virtual reality glasses, etc.). The integration of research knowledge into interactive narrative systems will furthermore result into the development of innovative research and teaching products to promote the complex, challenging, magnificent underwater environment and also to attract tourists of general or special interest. The developed digital platform, named VIRTUALDIVER, will enable users to navigate virtually in environments accessible only by underwater vehicles and in cost-intensive, research and scientific missions and make known the underwater cultural heritage.



 

 

Earth Observation in Service of Terrestrial Ecosystems' Monitoring

Ioannis Manakos
Information Technologies Institute, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas
Greece
 

Brief Bio
Dr. Ioannis Manakos (Mr.) is an Associate Researcher at the Information Technologies Institute of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH/ITI) since 2012. He has worked for 7 years as the Head of the Department of Geoinformation in Environmental Management at the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (still an Adjunct Professor there). He carried out his PhD in Forestry at the Technical University of Munich. He has coordinated or participated in more than 36 European and National research and development projects under various funding frameworks (incl. FP6, FP7, H2020). His publication record comprises of numerous articles in renowned Journals, Conferences, and Books (e.g. within the Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing Springer Verlag Book Series), and editorial work (e.g. the recent editing of the Special Issues ‘Remote Sensing in Ecosystem Modelling’ and ‘Sentinel Analysis Ready Data’ of the MDPI Remote Sensing Journal and the ‘Monitoring Land Cover Change: Towards Sustainability’ of the MDPI Land Journal). Within the recently completed BIO_SOS FP7 Space, H2020 ECOPOTENTIAL, and ongoing H2020 E-SHAPE and SnapEarth projects, he developed and applies Earth Observation online data services’ modules and open data cubes for the calculation of Essential Variables related to Protected Areas across Europe and beyond. He chaired the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL) from 2012 till 2014. He is the active Chairman of the Special Interest Group ‘RS in Land Use & Land Cover’ of the EARSeL. In this framework, he is the co-coordinator of various international Symposiums and Workshops, with the last one being the 3rd EARSeL Land Use Land Cover (LULC) & NASA Land Cover Land Use Cover (LCLUC) Workshop at Chania on July 2018 with the title ‘Land-Use/Cover Change Drivers, Impacts and Sustainability within the Water-Energy-Food Nexus’. He serves as an active contributing member to the GEO Global Ecosystem Initiative (GEO ECO) and in the new Ecosystem Function Working Group (ECOFUN) of the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network Flagship (GEOBON) within the Group on Earth Observations. His activity is also recognized at the newly established Mediterranean Regional Information Network (MedRIN) and the South Central and Eastern European Regional Information Network (SCERIN) of the GOFC-GOLD (Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics) and GTOS (Global Terrestrial Observing System), where he serves as Lead in relation with the evaluation of the Global Land Cover Maps. He is also an active collaborator of the NASA LCLUC Program and member in the Copernicus Academy.


Abstract
Research in the environmental sector is growing in importance over time due to its strong relation to human wellbeing. Ecosystems supply provisioning goods, fulfil regulation and maintenance functions and deliver cultural services. All these benefits are crucial for human wellbeing and for the sustainable development of societies. EO plays an important role in their assessment, because it can be used for quantitative evaluation. Developments take place at an accelerating pace at global scale supported by the launching of international and European initiatives and programmes (e.g. Aichi Targets, Convention on Biological Diversity - CBD indicators, GEO BON, GEO ECO Initiative, ECO FUN, Copernicus Services, Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services - MAES, European Nature Information System - EUNIS, Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs, H2020 relevant projects – e.g. E-SHAPE, ECOPOTENTIAL). New monitoring methodologies are now available that combine approaches in geo- and biosciences, remotely sensed data and in-situ observations. Satellite missions, such as the European Sentinels, provide a large amount of high-quality primary and secondary derived data useful for monitoring the environment and ecosystems. In-situ data are being organized and made available through international activities, such as the International Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network and the Critical Zone Exploration Network (CZEN). Ecosystem models capable of assimilating the information from EOs are being developed. Recent technological advances, among others the Open Data Cube technologies and the ECOPOTENTIAL EODESM online tool, deliver unique capabilities to track changes in unprecedented detail using EO data, enabling effective responses to problems of national and international significance and considered supportive to ecosystem status assessments. Let us convene and discuss together about aforementioned, exchange experiences and knowledge during the 6th GISTAM event in Prague.



 

 

Keynote Lecture

Andrew Frank
Vienna University of Technology
Austria
 

Brief Bio
Available soon.


Abstract
Available soon.



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