Remote sensing and geodata

Remote Sensing and Geodata Unit: integrating spatial and airborne data into environmental analysis

Environmental information helps us to better understand our planet and the role of human activities in changing the climate and/or our daily well-being. To make the right decisions, environmental policies need accurate, up-to-date data. Spatial data offer a wealth of opportunities for improving our decision-making tools in Wallonia and internationally.
As an extension of the geomatics activities of the ISSeP mapping group, but also of the Walloon Region’s geomatics plan, in January 2016 ISSeP created the Remote Sensing and Geodata unit, a unit specializing in the acquisition, processing, analysis and valorization of these data in decision-making processes. ISSeP is developing its technical skills in the space field and leveraging its knowledge of Walloon public services to act as a link between the Walloon administration and international players in Earth Observation.

Themes of interest for Earth Observation applications gathered by ISSeP in its role as convenor of the Groupe de Travail en Observation de la Terre – GTEO, in collaboration with GTCoWal.

Focus on: Land use mapping for environmental monitoring in Wallonia

For climate monitoring and land-use studies, the unit specializes in detecting changes in land occupation, use and allocation.

ISSeP uses images acquired by satellite, airplane or drone to map and assess the evolution of the territory and natural resources in the Walloon Region. These images help us to understand our future environment: deforestation, urban growth, population distribution and vulnerability.

Land use mapping – SmartPop project

Within the WALOUS project, the prototypes for land use and occupancy mapping developed in Liège as part of the SmartPop project are reinforced by the expertise of ULB and UCL. The project now combines multi-scale data provided by the Walloon Region (orthophotographs, height model and vector data) and by the European Copernicus program (Sentinel-1 and 2) to map the occupation and use of land throughout Wallonia over the year 2018, and thus provide a new reference map for Walloon stakeholders.

The EO4LULUCF project, carried out in collaboration with the Agence wallonne de l’Air et du Climat, exploits Sentinel data time series to produce land-use maps useful for greater automation of greenhouse gas emissions reporting.

Monitoring of sites to be redeveloped (SARSAR project) takes advantage of the high temporal resolution of Sentinel radar and optical data to detect changes in the site, an indicator of possible site conversion and the need to update the SAR database.

International cooperation

In collaboration with ULiège (Unités Sphères and Urban & Environmental Engineering), ISSeP has been awarded the continuation of the PADI project in Burkina-Faso, funded by Wallonie Bruxelles International (WBI) for a period of 5 years. As part of its cooperation with developing countries, ISSeP also organized two training sessions on the use of Earth observation data. The first in Burkina-Faso and another in Rwanda, as part of an ARES (Académie De Recherche Et D’Enseignement Supérieur) mission, met with keen interest from local administrations and universities, and contributed to the development of their expertise in the field.

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Radio-controlled bathymetric drone – Training for village groups – School project in Burkina Faso