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Special Session:
Earth Observation for Humanitarian Assistance

Scope of the Special Session:
GIS and remote sensing have increasingly become popular in the humanitarian community. The special session “Earth Observation for Humanitarian Assistance” will focus on the potential of satellite data and geosptaial technologies to support humanitarian assistance in crisis and disaster response. New technological advances accompany the strong need for effective tools: With respect to imaging, a large variety of different optical as well as radar sensor types provides all kinds of spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions, also including unpiloted systems recently. Turning this data into relevant geospatial information products for humanitarian actors is one challenge which will be addressed. The other is the integration of massive (big) data being produced by volunteers and geo-humanitarian initiatives such as HOT or Missing Maps, as well as joint mapathons.

To jointly discuss recent developments we welcome original contributions from R&D as well as practical applications, sharing experiences in applying new methods, tools and technologies for dedicated geospatial information products in all phases of humanitarian crises. Relevant topics are (but are not limited to):

  • Monitoring and tracking displaced population
  • Early-warning indicators for humanitarian crisis
  • Crowd mapping, humanitarian VGI
  • UAVs and mobile devices
  • Crisis monitoring (water supplies, infrastructure, natural resources)
  • Assessment of mid- to long-term effects of humanitarian crises
  • New EO data and their potential, including Copernicus Sentinels
  • Links to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS)

Contributions can either be submitted as full paper, extended abstract or poster. Authors of accepted full papers and Extended Abstracts are invited to present and discuss their papers in the special session. Additionally these contributions will be published in the GI_Forum Journal (Open Access).

Information: Call for Papers

The special session is organized by Stefan Lang, Barbara Riedler (both Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS| University of Salzburg, Austria), and Elisabeth Schoepfer (Earth Observation Center | German Aerospace Center, Germany), supported by the project EO4HumEn+.  Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any inquiries.

Organizers & Parnters:


Special Session Earth Observation for Humanitarian Assistance | Tuesday, July 4, 2017

(title, presenter, slot name)
Open / Close all
04. Juli 2017
13:00 - 14:30

Earth Observation for Humanitarian Assistance
Lang Stefan Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, University of Salzburg

The use of satellite imagery and GIS for humanitarian assistance: developing and managing water supply in urban territories,under conflicts
Rebois Yann International Committee of the Red Cross - ICRC

Waterdatarocks: a free, online database to collect, preserve and share groundwater related data for the humanitarian community
Burrows Geraint Groundwater Relief

Monitoring of refugee and IDP camps with Sentinel 2 imagery – a feasibility study
Wendt Lorenz Department of Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg

Remote-sensing applications to support rehabilitation of water infrastructure in Lapilang, Nepal
Riedler Barbara University of Salzburg
04. Juli 2017
15:00 - 16:30

Earth Observation for SOS Children’s Villages: Deployment of cutting-edge technology to support a humanitarian NGO in emergency management
Lechner Konstanze DLR

CMaP - Collaborative Mapping Platform for humanitarian organisations
Schörghofer Richard Spatial Services GmbH

Automatic ex-post flood assessment using long time series of optical EO images
Sudmanns Martin Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS

Potential and limitations of radar remote sensing for humanitarian operations
Braun Andreas Institute for Geography, University of Tübingen
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