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Asia Pacific needs cost effective solutions for large scale monitoring of water resources

Dr. Thomas Heege, Managing Director, EOMAP GmbH & Co.KG, Germany
Dr. Thomas Heege
Managing Director
EOMAP
Germany

Given that Asia Pacific region is surrounded by large ocean mass, water solutions are becoming increasingly important for its economy. Dr. Thomas Heege, Managing Director of EOMAP, a European company specialising in coastal and inland water monitoring services, shared the company’s future strategy and plan in the world’s most populous region.

EOMAP specialises in providing water quality monitoring and bathymetry solutions. Can you elaborate on some of the applications for these solutions?
EOMAP is an Earth Observation and Mapping company with a focus on water quality monitoring, bathymetry and seafloor mapping solutions. We serve a wide range of applications and users, both for the government and private sectors. Off shore construction companies, hydrographical and nautical users implement our bathymetry products and reduce significantly the costs for traditional surveys. Water authorities analyse the status of coastal waters, freshwaters and river systems. By using of satellite-based water quality maps, the human impacts of dams, dredging and offshore construction sites, as well as other changes of ecological conditions, can all be monitored. This applies to both historic comparisons and change detection as well as near real time monitoring. By using satellite imagery, our products provide cost effective ways of mapping and monitoring large areas.

You are strengthening your partnership network in the Asia Pacific region. What is your strategy for this region?
The economic growth in Asia Pacific, with concomitant environmental changes, requires effective monitoring methods to evaluate the increasing pressure on coastal and inland waterways. We are leveraging on our exclusive partnership with Skymap Global to commercialise our products in Asia. According to Mr Abhay Mittal, who setup SkyMap Global recently, “The value EOMAP creates in deriving the monitoring applications for water quality, oil spills and others, using remote sensing techniques for the global market, will support our efforts towards a more sustainable world”.

We are also in the process of setting up an EOMAP Asia Pacific office to better support our users in Asia. Through EOMAP Asia Pacific’s local presence, we will be working closely with various government and private customers to develop customised solutions for water quality monitoring as well as bathymetry and seafloor mapping. EOMAP Asia Pacific will also develop local research capabilities in partnership with local universities to evolve more customised solutions for Asia.

We understand that a network of exclusive regional partners with strong relations to national clients is a key element to enter this market in a sustainable way. We furthermore offer significant technical assistance in the region to support user-specific requirements.

How has been the response for these solutions in Asia Pacific, from the governmental and industrial sectors? Kindly detail some of the projects you are involved in (in APAC).
We have had great response from our Asian clients as our products fit perfectly with their needs:cost effective solutions for large scale monitoring of water resources. EOMAP recently conducted a roadshow together with Skymap Global in several ASEAN countries and we have had very positive feedback from some of the countries. Government users in Asia Pacific are increasingly realizing that satellite products offer an efficient and harmonized way to retrieve environmental information over various spatial scales, and even back to the past for up to two decades. Given the importance governments and societies attach to water bodies in Asia, we are seeing greater response from Governments to utilise this technology in water, fisheries, agriculture, environmental monitoring sectors. In Asia, we are also working with large private enterprises such as Woodside Petroleum in Australia. Woodside Energy documented tenfold savings using satellite-based dredging monitoring.

EOMAP Asia Pacific will also be committed to development of local capacity. EOMAP Asia Pacific will be partnering with local universities to train and develop the next wave of professionals with specialization in aquatic remote sensing. This is definitely a great proposition for Asian Governments as there is high availability of talent and interest in this region for development of aquatic remote sensing technology.

Given that Asia Pacific is surrounded by large ocean mass, water solutions play a significant role in the economy of the region. How do you think the potential of such solutions can be optimised?
Through EOMAP Asia Pacific, we will be closer to our Asian clients and over time, we will have local presence in various countries to support our clients. EOMAP is currently increasing productivity through the installation of several fully operational processing chains on top of satellite ground segments in the region. Clients benefit from this concept with harmonized, fast and cost effective products. We are also working with national water and environment agencies to develop new mechanisms for water quality monitoring in the region.

We are also in the process of launching our website, which will allow an easy access to products, offering direct ordering of historical data or subscription services for actual environmental information. Also, for bathymetry we will increase accessibility by generating off-the-shelf products, which will be available via the web portal from the summer of 2013. The potential will be exploited once the new technology is fully accepted as standard methodology.

So over the coming months, you will hear more of EOMAP in the Asia Pacific region as we expand our customer base. We are excited to be in Asia Pacific region with Skymap Global and glad to be part of a region which is developing and growing dynamically.