General Information

There are usually two regular Bureau and Council meetings, one at the beginning of the year (January) and one together with the annual Symposium (May/June), where the General Assembly, open to all member laboratories, also takes place. Representatives of other pan-European organisations are invited to present the highlights of their activities at the Council meetings, and to discuss ways of co-operating and co-ordinating their activities with EARSeL. At the winter Council meeting, the national representatives present a report on remote sensing activities and projects in their countries in the previous year. The Council then reviews recent and future activities of the EARSeL Special Interest Groups, some of which may be disbanded or restructured and others created. EARSeL maintains links with several international organisations, such as ESA, EURISY, Eurogeographics, EARSC, RSPSoc, and of course the national European Remote Sensing Societies.

In 2006 the EARSeL Bureau remained as elected in 2005 during the 29th General Assembly held in Porto (Portugal) for a period of 2 years. The current Bureau members are:

  • Chairman: Prof. Dr. Rudi Goossens, University of Ghent, Belgium

  • Vice-Chairman: Dr. Rainer Reuter, University of Oldenburg, Germany

  • Secretary General: Dr. André Marçal, University of Porto, Portugal

  • Treasurer: Dr. Lena Halounova, Czech Technical University, Czech Republic

  • International relations: Dr. Mario Hernandez of UNESCO, World Heritage Division, Paris, France

  • WebMistress: Dr. Carine Petit, Belgian Science Policy Space Department, Brussels, Belgium

  • Newsletter Editor: Dr. Keith McCloy, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Tjele, Denmark

Main activities in 2006

The EARSeL Bureau and Council held their regular winter meetings in January 2006 at ESA's ESRIN in Frascati, Italy. This was an opportunity for EARSeL Bureau and Council members to visit the ESA/ESRIN facilities, and to have several very interesting ESA contributions during the Council meeting, including addresses from Dr. Volker Liebig, Dr. Fusco and Dr. Maurizio Fea.

In 2006 there were four Workshops organised by the EARSeL Special Interest Groups (SIG), and the annual Symposium. The EARSeL technical workshops enable in-depth discussions among experts and are usually much appreciated by the participants.

The first EARSeL Workshop was convened by the SIG on Forestry, chaired by Prof. Dr. Håkan Olsson of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden. The workshop was held in Vienna, Austria, from 14 to 15 February 2006, organised by Prof. Dr. Werner Schneider, University of Natural Resources (BOKU), Vienna, Austria. The technical sessions were arranged along the following themes: Forest canopy surface models, segmentation and classification of high-spatial-resolution imagery, BRDF-related image analysis, applications for semi-natural forest management, applications for protection-forest management, biodiversity-related image analysis, other methods and applications related to the topic of the workshop. The proceedings are available via the local organisers ( or from the EARSeL homepage, (under publications, proceedings, workshops).

The second EARSeL workshop of the year was the 1st workshop of the EARSeL SIG on Urban Remote Sensing, chaired by Prof. Dr. Carsten Juergens, Ruhr-University of Bochum, and organised by Prof. Dr. Patrick Hostert, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany. The Workshop took place in Berlin, Germany from 2-3 March 2006. It covered a wide range of topics related to Urban Remote Sensing, challenges and solutions. The proceedings on CD-ROM are available via

The 30th General Assembly and 26th Annual Symposium was held in the National Library of Warsaw, Poland from 29 May to 2 June 2006. The event was organised by Prof. Zbigniew Bochenek from the Institute of Geodesy & Cartography (IGIK). The theme was "New Developments and Challenges in Remote Sensing". Keynote papers were given by Andrew Skidmore, ITC, Ferdinand Bonn of Canadian Space Agency, Andrzej Ciolkosz (IGIK) and Ernesto Lopez-Baeza, University of Valencia, Spain. The proceedings are available as hardcover volume accompanied by a CD-ROM, published by MillPress. The symposium was followed by the 1st workshop convened by the SIG Geological Applications with the topic "Geohazards: with emphasis on lowland hazards (flooding and subsidence). The Workshop chairmen were Prof. Dr. Freek van der Meer (ITC), chairman EARSeL SIG Geological Applications, Dr. Richard Teeuw (University of Portsmouth) and Dr. Stuart Marsh (British Geological Survey).

The EARSeL workshops series of 2006 was closed by the 2nd to be organised by the EARSeL SIG on Land Use and Land Cover "Remote Sensing of Land Use and Land Cover - Applications & Development", held in Bonn, Germany, from 28-30 September 2006. The workshop was chaired and organised by Dr. Matthias Braun, Bonn University. A keynote paper was given by M. Davidson from ESA-ESTEC on "Current status and future perspectives of satellite programmes for land use and land cover". The workshop was accompanied by a tutorial on FAO LCCS Systems, given by M. Herold from the Friedrich-Schiller-University, Remote Sensing Department, Jena, Germany.

Plans for Forthcoming Activities

  • 23-25 April 2007 - 5th EARSel SIG-IS workshop "Imaging Spectroscopy: Innovation in Environmental Research", Oud Sint-Jan, Bruges, Belgium

  • 4-7 June 2007, 27th Annual Symposium and General Assembly "Geo-Information in Europe" Four Points Sheraton, Bolzano, Italy

  • 7-8 June 2007, 1st EARSeL Workshop on Tools and Techniques for the Analysis of Time Series Image Data, Four Points Sheraton, Bolzano, Italy

  • 7-8 June, 2007, EARSeL Workshop on GMES, Global Monitoring for Environment and Security" Four Points Sheraton, Bolzano, Italy

  • 8-9 June 2007, 2nd EARSeL Workshop on Geological Hazards in Mountainous Areas", 8-9 June 2007, Four Points Sheraton, Bolzano, Italy

  • 7-9 June 2007, 3rd EARSeL Workshop on Coastal Zone Remote Sensing, Four Points Sheraton, Bolzano, Italy

  • 27-29 September 2007, 6th International Workshop on Advances in RS and GIS Applications in Forest Fire Management: Towards an operational use of remote sensing in forest fire management, Thessaloniki, Greece

  • 23-25 October 2007, 4th EARSeL workshop of the SIG on Developing Countries, Istanbul, Turkey

  • 5-7 March 2008, EARSeL Joint Workshop on Remote Sensing - New Challenges of High Resolution", jointly organised by EARSeL SIG's Urban Remote Sensing, 3D Remote Sensing, Developing Countries and SIG Radar Remote Sensing, Bochum, Germany

Apart from organising the above meetings and arranging for the publication of the relevant proceedings and the quarterly Newsletter, EARSeL acts as a focal source of information on remote sensing activities throughout the European region. The EARSeL Directory of Members, links to Special Interest Groups, Newsletters, calendar of events, job opportunities etc. are available on the EARSeL website There is also a special section devoted to Education and Training in Remote Sensing with texts in various European languages, since most of the material currently available is either in English or French. This section is intended to foster the awareness of the basics and potential of Earth observation techniques among high school teachers and students throughout Europe. In fact, a new SIG on this topic may evolve. In view of the very many meetings organised by various institutions, EARSeL welcomes opportunities to collaborate with the various Commissions and Working Groups of ISPRS that deal with theory and applications of remote sensing techniques. We exchange Newsletters whenever possible with other Regional Members of ISPRS and welcome co-operation through our various Special Interest Groups.

Dr. André Marçal, EARSeL Secretary General

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