MARCH 2015
African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment
Association Africaine de Télédétection de L’environnement
READER POLL: EO Data Access & Availability in Africa

In the February edition of AARSE Newsletter, an online survey was conducted to initiate an assessment of availability and access to data from EO satellites owned by African countries. As at press time for this edition of the newsletter, 147 have responded to the online survey. Out of this number, only 38 (25.85%) have used satellite images produced by African countries. What could be the reason(s) for this unencouraging performance of African EO satellites? Is it due to accessibility constraint? Or are users not even aware of the existence of the data in the first place? Click here to voice your opinion.

NEWS: NASA’ s SMAP mission successfully launched

By Eni G. Njoku, Erika V. Podest
NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory successfully launched from Space Launch Complex 2 West at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on January 31, 2015, beginning a three-year mission to provide frequent, global maps of Earth's soil moisture status. READ MORE

NEWS: Recent GEO Activities and Accomplishments

The Group on Earth Observation (GEO) is pleased to share their latest activities, accomplishments, partnerships and upcoming events with the you. Click here to read more

NEWS: PARCC Project in West Africa

Protected Areas Resilient to Climate Change (PARCC) West Africa aims to address the impacts of climate change on protected areas. This full-sized project will run until 2015 and involves five countries in West Africa (Togo, Mali, Chad, Sierra Leone and The Gambia), and UNEP-WCMC is the executing agency. READ MORE

NEWS: A decade of transforming the mapping landscape

Google Maps launched 10 years ago by a team of 50, has revolutionised the world of digital maps with more than one billion users. READ MORE

NEWS: Accessible GIS data in South Africa

By Nicolaas Klopper, 1Map
The necessity for spatial data transcends the traditional users – the town planners, land surveyors, etc. – and now there is almost no industry left that does not have an aspect that can greatly benefit from spatially enabling their databases. From the obvious ones such as courier companies and travel agents, to more unconventional ones such as credit bureaus and retailers. Even if a company does not have a physical storefront, or sell physical items, the customers remain physical people, and their location remains important. READ MORE

NEWS: New AARSE Executive Council Member

AARSE would like to welcome Bulelwa Semoli, the Director for Imagery and Topographic Data (ITD) at the Chief Directorate: National Geo-spatial Information (CD: NGI), under the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), as a member of the AARSE Executive Councillor. READ MORE

NEWS: Tracking Down the Sources of Climate Change

By Alan Boyle
The scientists behind the CATS mission released their first public image, showing clouds and particulates in a cross-section of the atmosphere over Africa on Feb. 11. In the northern part of the continent, the dominant signature was dust from the Sahara Desert. Over central Africa, the space station instrument registered cirrus clouds rising to a height of 10 miles (16 kilometres) or so. READ MORE

OPPORTUNITY: SMAP mission collaboration opportunity in Africa

With the launch of SMAP there are potential collaborations for Africa with US partners working in soil moisture and agriculture. If you or your fellow institution works in this field and has an interest in collaborating with international partners click here to indicate your intent. The Group on Earth Observation (GEO) will then keep you informed of developments or link you with those seeking partnerships.

OPPORTUNITY: FREE Oblique Aerial Photos Webinar

GeoTechCenter offers a free webinar on 15 April at 2:00pm (ET) to 3:00pm (ET). This webinar will provide educators and researchers in higher education and K-12 environments with an introduction to oblique aerial imagery and their many applications. READ MORE

EVENT: Geo-Tunis 2015

The 9th edition of Geo-Tunis will be held in cooperation with the Euro Arab union of geomatics, the French Organization for scientific and cultural exchange between France and the Middle East, the centre of desertification study in Iraq, the Euro Mediterranean federation of scientific research and technological innovation and many institutions. READ MORE

CALL FOR PAPERS: Geomatics Indaba 2015

GI 2015 is a fully inclusive geomatics sector conference, exhibition and training event. Authors and presenters are invited to submit peer-reviewed academic papers of approximately 5000 words for presentation in the academic track at the GI 2015 conference, and publishing in the South African Journal of Geomatics. READ MORE


Join AARSE now and enjoy one year free membership of IEEE Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS). Click here to become an AARSE member.

RESEARCH BRIEF: Call for content

Herewith we invite our readers to provide research briefs on a recent case study or a new methodology. Research briefs should include application field, key results, impact, status of application, area of application, algorithm & data used, and contact to author/organization.
Please send all content to