Education and Capacity Building Initiatives 2018

In 2017 ISPRS has introduced the Education and Capacity Building Initiatives to support projects of interest to the ISPRS community. Call are normally launched in autumn of oddly numbered  years. Details of the regulations can be found at

In accordance with the statutory mission and activities of ISPRS, the Society shall provide funds to support scientific and other initiatives, which will further improve its international status in the field of the photogrammetry, remote sensing and spatial information sciences, and will therefore benefit all ISPRS members. For 2018, the following seven Education and Capacity Building Initiatives projects were selected and approved by the Council for funding.

Title Project Team TC/WG
GeoInformation Science Pedagogical Outreach Pilot Program: 3S-4-Schools Timo Balz, Stephen C. McClure, Norman J. Meres, Jianya Gong, Jinsong Tao, Jingjin Wang TC I
Camera Calibration and Performance Database Mark R. Shortis TC II
Spreading out the Knowledge from ISPRS Educational Events using a Dissemination Internet Platform Marco Scaioni, Roderik Lindenbergh, Francesco Pirotti, Martin Rutzinger, Bernhard Hofle WG III/5
WG II/10
Capacity Building for High-Resolution Land Cover Inter-comparison and Validation Maria Brovelli, Hao Wu, Marco Minighini, Xinyan Zheng, Msilikale Msilanga, Mark Iliffe, Maria D'Urso, Sisi, Zlatanova, Phoebe Oduor, George Sithole ICWG IV/III
Establishing an Open Repository and Catalogue for Geospatial Educational Resources Victoria Rautenbach, Serena Coetzee, Arzu Coltekin, Chris Pettit, Marguerite Madden, Sidonie Christophe, Ochiroo Lkhamjav WG IV/6
Education and Training Resources on Digital Photogrammetry Grazia Tucci, Anjana Vyas, Vikram Sorathia, Satwant Rihal TC V
MOTIVATE Learning: Making Opportunities to Initiate Valuable Alliance through Experiential Learning Sheryl Rose Reyes, Tanita Suepa, Krzystof Sterenczak SC
WG V/5


The following provides a brief summary of the above-awarded projects together with the information of their principle investigator(s) and co-investigator(s):


GeoInformation Science Pedagogical Outreach Pilot Program: 3S-4-Schools

PI: Timo Balz, Wuhan University, China
Co-Is: Stephen C. McClure, Norman J. Meres, Jianya Gong, Jinsong Tao, Jingjin Wang

Despite the fact that the spatial information sciences are ubiquitous in modern life, the sciences behind handy smart phone apps and real-time location-based services are not commonly appreciated by the general public. In 3S-4-Schools we work on improving public awareness and visibility of the geosciences, including photogrammetry and remote sensing, in the wider community in China. This project has however, dual purposes. The second aim is pedagogical, to better train international graduate students in the fundamentals of our disciplines by engaging them to teach and lecture in English to Chinese primary and secondary students, developing project based learning experiences and materials suitable for a diverse range of audiences, outside the academy. Our students will prepare lectures, presentations, or practical experiments suitable for different age groups - ranging from elementary school to high school - and teach at local schools. Pre- and post-event surveys will measure graduate students understanding as well as the effectiveness of the pedagogical method.

Progress Report »


Camera Calibration and Performance Database

PI: Mark R. Shortis, RMIT University, Australia

This project will establish an online database of camera calibration and performance information that will provide a unique and comprehensive source of information for anyone using cameras or camera systems for measurement or mapping.  The intent of the database is to cater to any type of camera used for measurement and mapping, however the potential range of cameras is very broad, so the initial emphasis will be on cameras used for close-range (terrestrial), unmanned drone mounted and manned aircraft mounted cameras. The online database will contain information on the specifications of camera and lens combinations; the results of camera calibrations in terms of quantification of calibration parameters; levels of precision and accuracy resulting from the calibration or project; and a link to further information on the calibration or project such as reports and papers.  The database will be a public resource that will enable practitioners to both contribute and extract information on cameras.  The database will allow anyone to evaluate the suitability of cameras for a project or compare the performance of cameras against their own experience.

Final Report »


Spreading out the Knowledge from ISPRS Educational Events using a Dissemination Internet Platform

PI: Marco Scaioni, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Co-Is: Roderik Lindenbergh, Francesco Pirotti, Martin Rutzinger, Bernhard Höfle

ISPRS organizes under its umbrella several educational events like tutorials and notably summer schools. Unfortunately, many young scholars around the world may not be able to participate, due to limitations in budget or event capacity. Therefore, this project aims at making the contents of such events available through e-learning techniques implemented in a Dissemination Internet Platform (DIP). The e-learning system will be organized on topics and subtopics on the basis of an expandable architecture following a list of well-defined guidelines. Each topic will host teaching material such as lectures, practical exercises, software, and data. In addition, the DIP will host a forum to promote discussion among users and lecturers. An implementation of a prototype DIP on the basis of the material coming from notably two editions of the Summer School on ’Close Range Sensing Techniques in Alpine Terrain‘ (2015 and 2017, Obergurgl, Tyrol, Austria) will be provided. Past and future participants to this Summer School as well as the ISPRS community as a whole will be invited to use the prototype DIP and give feedback. Final goal is to establish a user friendly and stimulating ISPRS Dissemination Internet Platform.

Final Report »


Capacity Building for High-Resolution Land Cover Inter-comparison and Validation

PIs: Maria Brovelli, Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Hao Wu, National Geomatics Center of China, China
Co-Is: Marco Minighini, Xinyan Zheng, Msilikale Msilanga, Mark Iliffe, Maria D'Urso, Sisi Zlatanova, Phoebe Oduor, George Sithole

The aim of the project is to create computer aided teaching and learning material of wider utility, but mostly addressing GIS and Remote Sensing users in developing regions. The availability of global high-resolution open geospatial datasets is a great richness for developing countries, where these products are generally not available, but sometimes there are limitations in their usage due to the lack of capacity in managing and processing them. Moreover, there is a need to assess them at the local level to evaluate their accuracy and, more in general, their fitness-for-use. A relevant class of global datasets includes high-resolution Land Cover maps, which are fundamental for many applications such as natural resources management, ecological and hydrological modelling, and study of phenomena like soil consumption and deforestation and climate change assessment. The project focuses on the creation of training/educational material about the inter-comparison/validation of global Land Cover maps and the organization of three workshops, two of which held in developing countries (Tanzania and Kenya). To ensure its widest possible usability, the developed training material will make use of Freeware or Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (CC BY 3.0). The deliverables will also include two journal papers published in the International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences and two book chapters. These will all maximize the awareness of the international scientific community about the project outcomes.

Final Report »


Establishing an Open Repository and Catalogue for Geospatial Educational Resources

PIs: Victoria Rautenbach and Serena Coetzee, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Co-Is: Arzu Coltekin, Chris Pettit, Marguerite Madden, Sidonie Christophe, Ochiroo Lkhamjav

Internationally there is a growing need for the development and cataloguing of educational resources. At present, a large number of geospatial educational resources are available through various platforms, such as Wikis, GitHub and Moodle. However, these resources are not always easy to find and to integrate into an academic module, amongst others, because the required metadata is not available. The aim of this project is to develop a repository for geospatial educational resources and a catalogue of existing resources that can be used by communities, such as ISPRS or GeoForAll, universities and other educational institutions. The repository will host educational resources (e.g. learning objectives, data, quizzes, references and terms and conditions for use) so that the resources can be searched and discovered. Based on the metadata, instructors can select appropriate educational resources for integration into an educational event, such as an online course or a module at university level. Similarly, the catalogue will provide a searchable list of existing geospatial educational resources sourced from the ISPRS and GeoForAll communities that will be categorized and describe. An open repository and catalogue of searchable geospatial educational resources would be valuable for educators worldwide and would provide students with the opportunity to learn using local and international examples to widen their knowledge. In addition, such a repository would broaden access to geospatial education and empower communities for the benefit of society.

Final Report »


Education and Training Resources on Digital Photogrammetry

PI: Grazia Tucci, University of Florence, Italy
Co-Is: Anjana Vyas, Vikram Sorathia, Satwant Rihal

Photogrammetry is widely applied in ever more numerous fields and by increasingly less specialized operators. Therefore, it is necessary to find new ways for teaching its fundamentals to beginners and to update professional skills. The project aims to produce and share updated educational and training resources for supporting tutorials, workshops, seminars about the latest advances in digital photogrammetry. Practical on-the-field operations are difficult to transmit to students. Multidisciplinary background of potential users suggests that resorting to non-traditional teaching and learning strategies, focused to the students having some input and sharing their own knowledge in addition to the instructor’s findings. Videos and multimedia material can be effectively support teaching, what’s more in an engaging way. We propose to prepare and share some videos, above all on the optimal photogrammetric set-up, both on close-range and UAV photogrammetry, notably for built heritage documentation, stability assessment and restoration support. All the produced resources will not be “software related” in order to take advantage of it in different educational scenarios. Moreover, the project intends to contribute to the pre-symposium tutorial of the ISPRS TC V Mid-Term Symposium, planned in November 2018 in Dehradun. During the tutorial, some on-the-field activities will be planned to collect 3D data that will be later proposed as "reference data set" for practicing with photogrammetric software. As a long-term contribution, the outcomes will be shared with ISPRS community to increase the Educational section of the ISPRS web site, hopefully supporting boosting some other new contributions to cover different topics.

Final Report »


MOTIVATE Learning: Making Opportunities to Initiate Valuable Alliance through Experiential Learning

PIs: Sheryl Rose Reyes, Angelica Kristina Monzon, Charles Jjuuko, ISPRS Student Consortium; Tanita Suepa, Jakrapong Tawala, GISTDA Thailand
Co-Is: Krzystof Sterenczak, Ivan Detchev, Jacky Chow, Ivan Detchev, Cemal Ogur Kivilcim, Ayda Akkartal Aktas, Mustafa Ustuner

The ISPRS Student Consortium (SC) and the Working Group V/5, in collaboration with the Geo-informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), a Thailand’s public organization leading the country’s activities in space technology and geo-informatics applications, are proud to work on this project that aims to build the capabilities of students and young professionals in the fields of remote sensing, photogrammetry and spatial information sciences. MOTIVATE Learning is comprised of two programs: (1) ISPRS SC Summer School + Hackathon and (2) The Spatial Exchange Program. The ISPRS SC Summer School follows the conventional design of the summer schools, with the addition of the 2-day hackathon as a challenging activity after the lectures, practical sessions and breakout sessions, which aims to encourage participants to conceptualize ideas and create applications that can address real world problems. The Spatial Exchange Program is a 2-week exchange program for students and young professionals, in which the participants will be guided by a visiting researcher and will be hosted in GISTDA Thailand. MOTIVATE Learning envisions a strengthened collaboration among the participants and professional networks of the project.

Final Report »





The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing is a non-governmental organization devoted to the development of international cooperation for the advancement of photogrammetry and remote sensing and their applications. The Society operates without any discrimination on grounds of race, religion, nationality, or political philosophy.

Our Contact

Leibniz University Hannover
Institute of Photogrammetry and GeoInformation
Nienburger Str. 1
D-30167 Hannover