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The ESA-EUSC-JRC 2009 Conference on Image Information Mining: automation of geospatial intelligence from Earth Observation

…will be held at EUSC, Torrejon air base – Madrid (Spain) on November 3-5, 2009.


Today the analysis of a few, very high resolution, multi-spectral images can be complex and challenging. In addition, the emerging needs from major applications (e.g.: mapping, global monitoring, disaster management support, non proliferation, etc.) and large programmes / initiatives (e.g.: Kopernikus, GEO, GEOSS), and the continuous increase in archives’ size and EO sensors’ variety, require new methodologies and tools for information mining and management, supported by shared knowledge. The manual process performed by experts to mine information from images is currently too complex and expensive to be applied systematically on even a small subset of the acquired scenes. This limits the full exploitation of the petabytes of archived or new data. The issue might become even more challenging in future since more missions – including constellations – are being planned, with broader sensor variety, higher data rates and increasing complexity. As an example, ENVISAT alone accumulates 400 terabytes of data every year. The problem is common also to other domains, like medicine, multimedia, and to a broad spectrum of other sensors’ data.

Results from current R&D activity might ease the access to the imagery (today mostly retrieved using spatio-temporal and a few more attributes) also through their information content. The need to access information also in large volumes of image data has stimulated the research in the field of content-based image retrieval during last decade. Many new concepts have been developed and prototyped. However the dramatic increase in volume, details, diversity and complexity, and the user demand for simultaneous access to multi-domain data urgently require new approaches for image information mining, multi-domain information management, and knowledge management and sharing (in support of information mining and training).

This year’s conference continues to focus on automation in support of applications and services for geospatial intelligence, for which Image Information Mining is considered of very high interest and appropriate. This theme proves most successful when cross-cued from other intelligence disciplines, therefore the conference topics are broadened towards more generic Information Mining. In addition, because the future will be marked by an explosion of satellite imaging missions, the conference is expected to bring new stimulating ideas, concepts or methods also for the use of multi-temporal images.

The event is the sixth in the series jointly organised by ESA and EUSC, and by JRC since 2009 , (see ESA-EUSC 2008).


Presentations should focus on theory and applications leading to improve automation in geospatial information extraction and understanding from optical and SAR EO images and heterogeneous sources:
-Automatic image pre-processing (geo-referencing, ortho-rectification, radiometric calibration, etc.)
-Automated feature and information extraction from optical and SAR EO images
-Multi-temporal analysis
-Challenges for metre resolution optical and SAR EO images
-Geospatial Intelligence: synergies across images, maps and geo information
-Models, semantics and spatial syntax for image understanding
-Information mining from heterogeneous sources
-Human-machine communication for spatio-temporal reasoning
-Knowledge discovery and sharing
-Scenarios and constraints in Environment, Security and Intelligence applications
-System architectures for geospatial information processing

The main target audience includes the European space agencies and organisations, aerospace industry and research centres, research and academic institutions, commercial companies, value adders or service providers involved in any of above areas.

The “Panel on mining multi-temporal / -modal EO images and geo-information” will include topics like (final list will be made available with the programme):
-Users view points
-Multi-temporal EO images
-Multi-modal radar
-Geo-referenced text mining


Participation: Participation to the Conference and the Panel is free of charge up to available seats (about 100)

Conference Date: November 3 – 4, 2009

Panel Date: November 5, 2009

Place: EUSC Torrejon air base – Madrid (Spain)

Important Dates:
-Extensive abstract, with indication if it is for interactive presentation or poster session, via e-mail to, copy, (subject: IIM ESA-EUSC-JRC 2009) by mid June, 2009
-Notification or acceptance (and format for article submission) will be provided to authors by mid September, 2009
-A limited number of demonstrations can be accepted: demonstration description and resource requirements shall be provided by e-mail to (Lucio Colaiacomo) (subject IIM ESA-EUSC-JRC 2009) by end September, 2009
-Deadline for registration to the Conference is mid October, 2009

Conference Chairman
-M. Datcu, DLR

Organising Committee
-S. D’Elia, ESA
-L. Colaiacomo, EUSC
-I. Sarantzis, EUSC
-M. Lafitte, EUSC
-J. Ebeltjes, EUSC
-P. Soille, JRC
-C. Gomez, EARSC
-K. Seidel, ETHZ
-R. King, MSU

Scientific Committee
IIMCG members
J.C. Tilton, NASAUSA

Conference Contributions will be published by ESA as Workshop Proceedings

European Image Information Mining Coordination Group, founded by:

-ASI, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana – Italian Space Agency
-CNES, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales – French Space Agency
-CNR, Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche – Italian National Research Council
DLR, Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft und Raumfahrt – German Aerospace Center
-EC-IST, European Commission – Information Society Technology
-ESA-ESRIN, European Space Agency – European Space Research Institute
-ETHZ, Eidgenussische Technische Hochschule Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
-EUSC, European Union Satellite Centre

And extended to:
-EARSC, European Association of Remote Sensing Companies
-INGV, Istituto Nazionale Geofisica e Vulcanologia
-JRC, Joint Research Centre
-MSU, Mississippi State University