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NEO is an innovative independent Dutch company, established in 1996 and
based in Amersfoort, The Netherlands.

NEO is an innovative independent Dutch company, established in
1996 and based in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. The focus of the company
is to apply satellite imagery in management of infrastructure and
environment, as well as in agriculture and forestry. NEO assists both
new and experienced users of remote sensing in the supplying of
satellite imagery and software to process images and especially of
knowledge: NEO’s most important activity is the interpretation and
processing of satellite imagery into useful information. This includes
technical processing and development of processing chains as well as
consultancy consultant for customers who can make use of remote sensing
technology in their line of business. Further information can also be
found on


Remote sensing technology can be applied in many different fields. NEO’s expertise includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Natural resources mapping and monitoring;
  2. Environmental information systems;
  3. Environmental monitoring;
  4. Environmental impact assessments;
  5. Environmental profiles;
  6. Forest mapping , inventory and monitoring a/o for certification prurposes – Mapping and monitoring in infrastructure management and development;
  7. Soil humidity monitoring;
  8. Coastal zone management;
  9. Digital elevation models;
  10. Satellite image/orthoimage map production;
  11. Digital cartography;
  12. Photogrammetry;
  13. Image processing;
  14. Site investigations;
  15. Risk-assessments;
  16. Inspection & control

Satellite imagery distribution

The sale of satellite imagery is a service
NEO provides to its customers. The sales activity is based on a
long-standing experience and well maintained knowledge of satellites,
ground stations, etc. as well as personal contacts across the globe
with key-persons in this field who can facilitate the access to data.
Of course, modern Internet technology is at NEO’s full disposal for
searches in international archives.

NEO can provide data of all earth
observation satellite systems through our network of contacts or refer
customers to affiliated image providers, in case the customers prefers
to handle purchases himself. NEO acts as the official distributor for
The Netherlands of European Space Imaging GmbH, EURIMAGE, SPOTIMAGE,
EUROMAP and others.

For the Benelux NEO has branded satellite
image products ranging from SAT1 to SAT100, the number indicating the
pixel size in meters on the ground. E.g. the brand SAT1 indicates a
product with a “better than one meter resolution” satellite image that
is cloud free acquired at off-nadir angels smaller than 15 degrees, and
orthorectified in the national grid.

Value adding and image processing

has an industrial approach towards the pre-processing of satellite
images and is used to handle large volumes of data. In 1997 NEO
produced its first series of 40 separate map sheets of satellite image
maps. The data throughput is at least doubling every year. In. 2004
over 6,000 images and image map sheets have been produced and sold.

NEO also interprets satellite imagery or
combines it with data from other sources such as digital thematic maps
and terrain models to get into more complex processing routines for the
extraction of information from the imagery. Direct visual
interpretation of satellite imagery e.g. for land use or vegetation
mapping is still a very common practice for NEO.

Algorithms for analysis of time series of satellite observations are
NEO’s intellectual property. Image segmentation algorithms have been
customised for specific objects and shapes. A specific method has been
developed for sensor independent (true-) colouring of imagery to render
it accessible to non-experienced users.

Of course NEO is also active in the last
stages of value adding, such as map production, numerical modelling
e.g. in yield forecasting and GIS-applications development. In early
project phases NEO can assist in collecting field data, GPS-services

Change Detection, Mutatis Mutandis

The development of high resolution satellite imagery based innovative products has been the focus for NEO’s R&D activities
since 1996. Since 2002 change detection products have become a
routinely produced product from NEO in map and database updating for
e.g. 20 municipalities and 5 water management councils in The
Netherlands. The Netherlands are a small country with a large number of
GIS-users and geo-databases. In this country every single map object on
every map changes at least once every 20 years. NEO has concluded that
it is technically feasible to identify and qualify these spatial
changes from high resolution satellite observations. Obviously for
every spatial change is there is more than one customer. A business
model and technical infrastructure is being implemented in 2005-2007
for the commercialisation of these Mutatis Mutandis products. MutMut is
also the name of one national and one international programme led by
NEO for technical innovation in this area with universities and
knowledge institutes.

Soil Moisture and its use

The Technical University of Vienna has
successfully developed algorithms to retrieve soil moisture information
from spaceborne scatterometers (a type of radar). NEO has developed
over the last 7 years methods to assimilate this numeric soil moisture
information in crop forecasting, drought early warning, flood risk
assessment, etc. In 2006 a series of operational spaceborne sensors
will become available which by than is the basis for a new line of
service provision to customers in this area.

Forest Monitoring

NEO has been active in forest monitoing
since 6 years in developing countries but also in Europe and The
Netherlands. The services provided in this area are rather variable.
One example is the Kyoto Protocol Verification on a national scale
(Netherlands and Norway), another example is the Carbon-Tradable-Offset
Montoring for initiatives in forestry also under the KYP.
A third example is the monitoring of sustainable forestry activities by
international forest companies regarding their certification under the
Forest Stewardship Cuncil.

Training by NEO

NEO has provided over 10 short training
courses in earth observation and image processing. These courses have
been delivered in English, French and Dutch. The earth observation
training activities NEO has performed, usually take place in the
framework of projects and are therefore practical in nature. The
training always involves on-the-job-training and hands-on experience
using either NEO’s image processing and training facilities or
facilities with the Customer. Training is supported by curricular
materials, etc. and visits to our partners with ITC and various

(Images credits and text by NEO)

GAF–AG: Implementing Practical Solutions through Applied Satellite Remote Sensing and Geoinformation Management

GAF AG, headquartered in Munich, Germany is an internationally active
consulting company in the fields of information systems, remote
sensing, geo-information and thematic mapping since more than 18 years
and has affiliate companies in Germany, Ukraine, and the U.S.A. GAF has
a large number of successful project references in Europe, Africa,
Asia, South America and CIS Countries. GAF have developed extensive
experience in projects related to cadastre, land registration, title
management, forestry, agriculture, natural resources, infrastructure
management, geology, environment, and other themes using state-of-the
art spatial information technology. Our services range from needs
assessment over system design and implementation, and include also
institutional strengthening and capacity building in the mentioned
sectors, training, data compilation and interpretation as well as field
work and mapping. More details on GAF can be found in the internet

GAF is a private sector
enterprise founded in Munich in 1985 merely for delivering services
around satellite remote sensing and image processing. Its steady growth
(see figure 1) and evolution over the years has been built upon a
reputation of excellence; delivering client specific-services focused
on Earth Observation (EO) data and Geo-Information (GI). Over two
decades, GAF has developed and extended its presence and impact into
new markets and application areas across a diversity of sectors by
executing a range of projects and initiatives, which can be broadly
categorised under “sustainable development.” The depth of GAF’s
technical expertise and project experience is reflected in the
geographic scope of its activities covering over 80 countries across
five continents.

From inception, GAF has maintained a progressive and pragmatic approach
to its activities and growth. It has proactively adopted advancing
GI-technologies and satellite data resources and exploited the new
opportunities, they offer in terms of products and services.
Furthermore, by analysing market trends and user requirements, GAF has
been responsive to the dynamic demands of a diverse and international
client base.

Over the last two decades, the Earth observation / remote sensing
sector has witnessed profound changes and GAF is still spearheading
these innovations. For example, while remote sensing was once
considered a highly specialised or niche application, the related
technologies and available data resources have increased exponentially
in choice, utility and user-accessibility. The cost of implementation
has similarly been reduced and to a tangible extent, the tools have
become widely distributed amongst a growing user community entering
what could be described as the “Information-Communication technologies
mainstream.” Indeed, GIS and Remote Sensing, once highly distinct
applications have now converged into the generic domain of “spatial
information management.” Furthermore, the latter capacity is now
considered essential and central (rather than optional) to a vast range
of applications including urban management, thematic digital mapping,
environmental monitoring and emerging priorities such as security

While technical advances in hardware, software, satellite data quality
and resolution etc. certainly enable the implementation process they
are not guarantors of success and client satisfaction. This requires a
systematic and customised implementation approach, sensitive to user
requirements and the uniquely challenging conditions under which
clients must operate.

Invariably, project success depends upon the quality, expertise and
professionalism of GAF’s technical and management staff at home (in
Munich) and in the field. GAF has expanded its expertise through an
steadily growing number of employees whereas experience was kept
through an extremely low fluctuation of its key personnel. With
more than 50 highly qualified permanent staff coming from
multi-disciplinary backgrounds, project teams are tailored to project
requirements and dispatched worldwide. They deliver services in project
design and planning, overall management, technical consulting and
capacity building to private, multi-national, non-governmental and
public (governmental) clients including numerous State and Federal
Ministries, the European Union (Tacis, Phare, EuropeAID), ESA, KfW, The
World Bank, IDB, ADB and UN organisations such as the FAO as well as
other bi-lateral donors and funding agencies.

While GAF focus areas include the application of satellite remote
sensing and geographical information systems to agriculture, forestry,
environment, natural resources management and geology, cadastre, land
management and infrastructure, these key areas are not mutually
exclusive. GAF rarely addresses a sectoral problem – for example
regional forest monitoring – in isolation, but seeks synergies such as
institutional strengthening and governance improvements, as well as
highlighting the policy implications of outputs to clients. In this
way, the full benefits of the technical assistance and GAF’s
intervention is maximised.

GAF, as a member of TELESPAZIO, a Finmeccanica Group company, is in a
unique position to draw on synergies not available before and to become
an even more important player as service provider in a European and
global context.

In close cooperation with DLR (The German Space Agency), GAF’s daughter
company Euromap receives processes and distributes image data from
Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites on an exclusive basis for
Europe. This offers unparalleled access to a unique archive with
contemporary and cost effective image-data suitable for many
applications. With the most recent introduction of high resolution
imagery from the latest IRS P6 sensor, GAF has once again, injected
real innovation into the EO marketplace.

Optimising the utility and (user) value of a wide range of satellite
data has always been a priority for GAF. Through its « geodata
store » GAF distributes satellite imagery and value-added data
sets such as Digital Terrain Models (DTM), land cover and land use
information to clients worldwide. Its market performance has been
acknowledged with industry awards recognising the company as one of the
leading European distributors of satellite data. In addition, an
enviable track record of client satisfaction and successfully completed
projects has confirmed GAF as an innovator and leader in the dynamic EO
sector. Furthermore, GAF’s commitment to maintaining its role in a
rapidly changing and competitive sector ensures the adoption of state
of the art methods and technologies in digital image processing,
cartography and applications development. Borne out of the need to
streamline and optimize in house information management and analysis
processes, GAF has started several years ago with the development of
application dedicated software tools in support of some of its core
domains such as agriculture and geology. These activities have grown
into a viable market and have broadened the portfolio of GAF products
and services.

Today, the technical competence and vast experience of GAF is embodied
in over 600 successfully completed projects worldwide. GAF considers
all of its clients, from the earliest to the most recent, and the
growing user community they represent as a most precious asset. This
valuable human capital (empowered with technical skills and EO
resources) continues to make positive contributions in social,
environmental and economic spheres and consequently, they create and
strengthen development opportunities worldwide.

GAF AG is currently managed by the founder of the company, Dr. Rupert Haydn (CEO) and Dr. Peter Volk (COO).

D-80634 Munich
Phone: 089 12 1528-0
Fax: 089 12 15 28-79