Home Articles The CEOS WGISS joint subgroups meeting

The CEOS WGISS joint subgroups meeting

The workshop focussed on the applications of earth observation satellites for earth resource monitoring and Information Technology

The CEOS Working Group on Information Systems and Services (WGISS) joint subgroups meeting & the 1st Earth Observation Satellites Workshop was held at Thailand from 11-15 September 2000. More than 170 scientists, researchers, engineers and policy makers from all over the world gathered at the 1st international workshop on Earth Observation Satellite Application for Earth Resource Monitoring at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on September 11 and 12. The workshop is a part of CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites) / WGISS (Working Group on Information Systems and Services) meeting jointly hosted by the National Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) and the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT). The workshop targeted applications of earth observation satellites for earth resource monitoring as well as Information Technology (IT) such as High Performance Research and Education Networks (HPRENs) including Asian Pacific Advanced Network (APAN), WWW systems for exchanging or providing satellite data all over the world. One of the main topics of the workshop was the Global Observation of Forest Cover (GOFC) project which is concerned with monitoring of global forests (URL: https://www.gofc.org).

The development of operational monitoring for forest using satellite data and the associated information management needs were discussed. A numbers of new data and information systems for GOFC project were demonstrated at the workshop. These demonstrations successfully illustrated how HPRENs can be used to connect Thailand, Japan, United States, Europe and other countries for scientific study and practical management of forests on both the global and regional scales. The panel session also provided an opportunity to discuss requirements for promoting Earth observation satellite data usage with information technology in Southeast Asia.

Through this workshop, the participants found that satellite observations were being utilised effectively in the Southeast Asian region and satellite applications have been growing – however the community could benefit from:

  • Improved outreach on applications – solving problems of societal relevance, increasing the political buy-in and enabling sustainable, operational use, etc.
  • An increase in human resources , especially in some poorer countries (human capacity building for remotes sensing applications, information technology and forest management)
  • Increased training on new technologies
  • Help in accessing data-catalogues/networks/analysis tools from outside the region (WGISS activities)
  • Increased involvement in research and development addressing regional issues

    Following the Earth Observation Satellites Workshop, the CEOS/WGISS subgroups meeting were held in Chulalongkorn University on September 13-15 and these subgroups meeting was co-hosted by NASDA and NRCT. WGISS is a forum for space agencies and related organisations to discuss Earth observation satellite data accessibility, interoperability and interconnectivity by using data and information systems.

    CEOS operates home pages for CEOS plenary, WGISS and subgroups to introduce CEOS activities through the following URLs. The above meetings materials will be uploaded to CEOS homepage. www.ceos.org. CEOS WGISS home page www.wgiss.ceos.org

    For further information, please contact: Shinichi Sobue, CEOS WGISS Network Subgroup Chair, National Space Development Agency of Japan [email protected]


    As a result of three fruitful days of discussion by CEOS members, associates and local delegations, the following important points and recommendations were agreed to take forward to the WGISS plenary. WGISS is expected to recommend CEOS member agencies to take appropriate actions in concerted, but best effort approaches.

  • The concept of a WGISS Test Facility (WTF) for GOFC should be endorsed. This WTF for GOFC is a distributed proto-operational data and information system(s) to provide earth observation products and related information, tools, etc. initially to GOFC application users for their practical and scientific usage. This WTF for GOFC will be implemented through an iterative prototyping approach between CEOS technical experts and GOFC application users through corporation and a maximum use of the existing CEOS members’ data and information systems. The initial system of this WTF for GOFC will be implemented during 2000 – 2003 and early versions of the system will be demonstrated at the CEOS plenary, Kyoto in November 2001.
  • New information technology for data and information services and network technology were discussed. OpenGIS and XML/GML/SatelliteML are of considerable interest to the CEOS agencies and some agencies have already implemented these technologies in their data and information system. In addition, through ISO TC211 liaison, CEOS WGISS collaborate with ISO to define international standard for data and information system (e.g. catalog interoperable protocol was proposed to ISO TC211 for EO/GEO standard).