Education and Capacity Building Initiatives 2020

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 2020, the following four Education and Capacity Building Initiatives projects were selected and approved by the Council for funding.

Project Title Project Team TC/WG
UP4DREAM (UAV Photogrammetry for Developing Resilience and Educational Activities in Malawi) Filiberto Chiabrando, Andrea Maria Lingua, Mavuto Denis Tembo, Daud Jones Kachamba, Alessio Calantropio, Autvydas Juskauskas, Rochelle H. Holm, Brighton Austin Chunga ICWG I/II
WG I/6
LightCAM: Enlightening the camera obscura – where photogrammetry, computer vision and robotics meet Erica Nocerino, Fabio Menna, Ronny Hänsch WG II/7
Development of an Online Spectral Library for Pigments of Paintings Shuqiang Lyu, Miaole Hou, Ahmed Shaker Abdelrahman, Jeffrey Lee TC III
Development of educational content for the “D3MOBILE Metrology World League” Grazia Tucci, Juan Ortiz, Mariluz Gil, Teresa Rego, Marcos Arza, Erica Isabella Parisi, Valentina Bonora, Lidia Fiorini WG V/2


UP4DREAM (UAV Photogrammetry for Developing Resilience and Educational Activities in Malawi)

PI: Filiberto Chiabrando, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Co-Is: Andrea Maria Lingua, Politecnico di Torino, Italy; Mavuto Denis Tembo, Mzuzu University, Malawi; Daud Jones Kachamba, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Malawi; Alessio Calantropio, Politecnico di Torino, Italy; Autvydas Juskauskas, Drones Lead at UNICEF Malawi, Malawi; Rochelle H. Holm, Mzuzu University, Malawi; Brighton Austin Chunga, Mzuzu University, Malawi

UAV Photogrammetry for Developing Resilience and Educational Activities in Malawi is a cooperative project between the Polytechnic University of Turin (PI) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Malawi (Co-Is), with the support of local Universities (Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mzuzu University) and Agisoft LLC (for the use of their photogrammetry and computer vision software suite). Malawi is a flood-prone landlocked country constantly facing natural and health challenges, which prevent from sustainable socio-economic development of the country. Frequent naturals shocks leave vulnerable communities food-insecure. UNICEF Malawi, in partnership with the Government of Malawi, was the first UNICEF office in the world to establish a segregated air space, which would serve as a sandbox for drone manufacturers, service companies, academia and other entities to test their drones in a real-life humanitarian and development cooperation context. The UP4DREAM project focuses on one of the key priorities of drone project in Malawi (Imagery), and has the ambitious aim of starting a capacity building initiative, in order to become one of the biggest mapping mission in developing countries, focusing on the realization and management of cartography at a big scale and high level of detail (using GIS - Geographic Information Systems) and on the generation of 3D products based on the UAV-acquired data. The principal aim of UP4DREAM is to ensure that local institutions, universities, researchers, and service companies and manufacturers operating in the drone will have the right knowledge and understanding of the photogrammetry and spatial information best practices, in order to perform big-scale aerial data acquisition, processing, share and manage in the most efficient, cost-effective and scientifically-rigorous way.


LightCAM: Enlightening the camera obscura – where photogrammetry, computer vision and robotics meet

PI: Erica Nocerino, Aix Marseille Université, France
Co-Is: Fabio Menna, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy; Ronny Hänsch, Microwaves and Radar Institute, Germany

In the last years, vision-based systems have flourished at an unprecedented pace, fueled by developments in hardware components (higher resolution and higher sensitivity imaging sensors, smaller and smarter micro controllers, just to name a few), as well as in software or processing techniques, with AI (Artificial Intelligence) leading to a landmark revolution. Several disciplines have fostered and benefited from these advances, but, unfortunately, not always in a coordinated and cooperative way. When it comes to image-based sensing techniques, photogrammetry, computer vision and robotics have many contact points and overlapping areas. Yet, as for people of different cultures and languages, communicating among the three different communities can be very harsh and disorienting - especially for beginners and non-specialists. Driven by a strong educational and inclusive ambition, the LightCAM project will act as an interpreter to ease the dialog among these three actors. Two intermediation tools will be developed to serve this aim: (i) a dictionary of concepts, terminology and algorithms, in the form of a knowledge base website, and (ii) a code repository, where pieces of code for the conversion between different formulations implemented in available software solutions will be shared.


Development of an Online Spectral Library for Pigments of Paintings

PIs: Shuqiang Lyu and Miaole Hou, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, China
Co-Is: Ahmed Shaker Abdelrahman, Ryerson University, Canada; Jeffrey Lee, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Chinese Taipei

As a non-contact detection method, hyperspectral remote sensing, together with other technologies, is often used in the digital protection and research of painted cultural relics, especially in the composition analysis of surface pigments. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop an online spectral library that contains the reflectance spectra of most pigments in paintings and will serve as benchmark spectra for identifying the unknown pigments from some relics. The types of pigments include those made from natural minerals and plants, as well as some synthetic pigments. The samples will be measured by the spectrometer covering both visible and near-infrared bands (350-2500 nm) and their chemical compositions will be checked by means of other instruments. In addition to the pure pigments in powder, other samples painted on different materials by simulating specific kinds of paintings of Chinese paintings, wall paintings, and oil paintings will be prepared and measured. Further, in order to study the spectral variety over different ages and different geo-distribution, some pigment spectra will be collected from true cultural relics in situ with known types and ages by other means. This online spectral library will be open freely to everyone in ISPRS communities and researchers in related fields, which will promote the interdisciplinary research of remote sensing and cultural heritage conservation.


Development of educational content for the “D3MOBILE Metrology World League”

PIs: Grazia Tucci, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy; Juan Ortiz, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Co-Is: Mariluz Gil, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Teresa Rego, Regional Government (Xunta de Galicia); Marcos Arza, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Erica Isabella Parisi, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy; Valentina Bonora, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy; Lidia Fiorini, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy

The project “D3MOBILE Metrology World League” is presented as an international championship, which introduces secondary students to the disciplines of photogrammetry and metrology through an e-learning methodology. The use of well-known technologies by the pupils, such as their own mobile devices (smartphones or tablets) and photogrammetric free apps and software, allows us to develop educational procedures based on 3D scanning that are attractive and challenging for them. We expected to implement a methodology that can be adapted to daily classwork at the high school level anywhere in the world. Particularly, the contents of the trials that we proposed are designed to cover key topics like the photogrammetric principles and 3D reconstruction, common problems (e.g., reflective objects and blurring), model texturing, etc. The ISPRS financial support enables us to carry out a new edition of this championship and to continue improving the teaching materials and the D3MOBILE website ( We also expect to expand the international impact of the project. For that, of course, we invite the ISPRS community as a whole to disseminate the project in their own countries by sharing the promotional video ( At the same time, we expect to increase the visibility and the recognition level of the ISPRS among prospective students as well as future professionals and scientists.



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.

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