From Pixels to Processes
Welcome to the first ever Mid-Term Symposium of the new ISPRS Technical Commission 7, on “Thematic Processing, Modelling and Analysis of Remotely Sensed Data”. The ISPRS now has two full technical commissions dedicated to the subject of Earth Observation, our TC7 and TC8 on “Remote Sensing Applications and Policies”.
Since the formation of our new Technical Commission, the various Working Group chairs, co-chairs, scientific secretaries and regional coordinators have been busy organising various conferences and workshops around the world, and especially in preparing the Technical Programme for this Mid-Term Symposium.
At the Symposium, we have 24 Technical Sessions on the eight themes of our working groups, two plenary sessions, various special sessions, three poster sessions, opening and closing sessions as well as a series of high-level pre-symposium Workshop/Tutorials.
The symposium digital proceedings includes all the scientific/technical papers received before the publication deadline, and give an excellent overview of the status of remote sensing science and methodology. The papers on fundamental physics and modelling show that there is an increasing understanding of the basic biophysical and biochemical principles that underpin many remote sensing applications. In the various sessions on information extraction from SAR data, many novel approaches to SAR signal processing, as well as robust ways to produce interferometric SAR products have been presented. Other new trends reflected in the papers on SAR are the increasing use of polarimetric SAR information, and on high resolution SAR imagery. The three sessions on hyper spectral data contain many interesting papers on new application and processing methods being developed around the world. The two topics of the Symposium where most papers were presented are “Advanced Classification Techniques” and on the processing of multi-temporal data and change detection. With the increasing availability of extensive time serious of earth observation data, many new methods of extracting useful information are being developed.
The papers on remote sensing data fusion reflect that the trend to problem solving is in using information from multiple sources to increase reliability, robustness and confidence of the results of remote sensing data processing. The many papers on innovative problem solving methodologies for Less Developed Countries show that even with limited computer hardware/software availability, many problems can still be tackled by using earth observation data. Finally, the papers produced by the ISPRS Inter-Commission WG on “Derivation for global data, environmental change and sustainability indicators” give a good overview of the status and challenges in developing operational global and regional land observations.
On behalf of the Scientific Programme Committee, I wish you an enjoyable stay in Enschede and hope you will find the proceedings (and social events) fruitful and stimulating.
Professor John van Genderen
President, ISPRS TC7
8 May 2006