Super typhoon Haiyan makes landfall
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Lake Maggiore - Italy, 3-6 April 2000

An ICT-based course in Earth Observation with emphasis on VGT-data

Rombout Verwimp1c, Ann Willekens1, Jos Van Orshoven1 and Jan Elen2
Leuven Earth Observation, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
2 DUO, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
1c Address of corresponding author: Vital Decosterstraat 102, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Paper (pdf file, 26.7 k)

The use of Earth Observation (EO)-data in general and VEGETATION (VGT)-data in particular is often limited by lack of knowledge on principles of image processing and information extraction and on types of and access to available data, ... Tailored use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) presents scope for enhancing dramatically the efficiency of related training programs. Leuven Earth observation (University of Leuven - Belgium), supported by the OSTC (Belgian Federal Office for Scientific, Technical and Cultural affairs) is currently preparing such an ICT based modular Remote Sensing/VGT course. A general EO module and one focussing on the use of VGT and its organization are currently being developed. Modules for other sensors, data types, processing techniques are scheduled.

Participants should be able to choose their own non-linear course-pathway. Each way should fulfill as much as possible the specific needs of the student. For example, decision makers and planners, who mostly are more interested in the application possibilities of the VGT-data rather than in the technical details should be able to choose a different path compared to people focussing on processing VGT data. Furthermore through the VGT-module students should get familiar with the organisation and different products the VGT-program is offering nowadays.

Along with the aim of offering a non-linear course-pathway, two additional objectives -enhancement of the concept of guided self-study and rientation towards a professional public (i.e. vocational training) - and boundary conditions were set.

Due to the digital nature of EO-product handling, ICT is almost a natural partner for EO-education and training. In a class-room setting, ICT can be clearly present. Time/place constraints however remain pertinent for vocational trainings. The internet and world wide web are a very appropriate medium to comply with the specific properties of the proposed type of eductation and to overcome these time/place constraints.

Recent studies (NUA Internet Surveys) show that there are worldwide almost 250 million internet users online. Also The EITO (European Information and Technology Observatorium) recently reported that last year the European ICT-market grew over 10 percent and that access to the internet within the EC increased over 25 percent. These facts confirm the growing possibilities of this new medium for education, training and promotion.

The main added value we aim at is the access to exercise material through the web. Our ICT based course will be able to make students familiar with several processing algorithms, parameters and other image processing techniques. Current GIS and RS web based technologies (cfr. ESRI IMS en SDE products, Oracle SDO, …), make this dynamic approach possible. Main restriction is the time-intensity of development of such a course program.