ISDE promotion in Europe

Prof. Wang Changlin (ISDE Executive Director) and Dr. Mario Hernandez (ISDE Secretary General)  represented ISDE at the annual international symposium of the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL).

The University of Salzburg, Natural Sciences – Geography, hosted the  39th Symposium of EARSeL

This time the theme for the Symposium was “Digital Earth / Observation”. A series of research papers were presented showing the wide range of uses and services that the European Satellite system Copernicus is putting in place.

Prof. Wang Changlin presented “The Role of ISDE for promoting the vision of Digital Earth”. This paper was within the session dedicated to “Big Earth Observation Data”.  A joint paper by Dr. Mario Hernandez and Prof. Changlin Wang under the title “The Sustainable Development Goals, a reason to develop a Digital Earth platform”, was presented in a session dedicated to The UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In the case of the EARSeL Digital Earth Symposium, Digital Earth concept is described as:

Satellite image processing used to be digital from early on. Still, since digital image processing of Landsat imagery started in the early 1970ies, the workflows used to bear a significant share of ‘manual’ data manipulation, including storage, pre-processing, and supervised classification. Only today, with heavily increased computing power, cloud storage and processing systems, as well as automated information extraction, the workflows experience disruptive changes which both the scientific community and the Earth observation service industry have to cope with.

But ‘digital’ refers to more than an increased level of workflow automation. In fact it encompasses the greater societal and technological transformations we are facing in the way how massive (‘big’) data, including satellite-borne data, is being conditioned, exploited and combined with other big data sources, and delivered in near real-time to users in highly integrated information products.


The 39th EARSeL symposium, held in Salzburg in July 2019, explored the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. In a vibrant environment of young researchers, experienced GI capacity centres, the venue offered an inspiring conference setting, supported by the Copernicus Academy, by the European Space Agency, and dedicated European industrial partners.