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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access December 30, 2016

Special Issue: Applications and Research Trends in Remote Sensing and Geoinformation - Third International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of Environment - RSCy2015

  • Silas Michaelides EMAIL logo , Kyriacos Themistocleous , George Papadavid and Diofantos Hadjimitsis
From the journal Open Geosciences


This paper introduces the Third International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of Environment - RSCy2015, which was organized by the Cyprus Remote Sensing Society. A brief summary of the institution is made, followed by an overview of selected papers that were presented at this Conference.

1 Introduction

During the last two decades, great progress has been made in the applications of remote sensing all over the world. Remote sensing is essential in the evaluation and monitoring of natural resources of the planet and sustainable development, particularly in regard to environmental issues. Remote sensing provides the necessary information to stakeholders and decision makers to understand relevant issues, make appropriate decisions and develop relevant policies. Such technologies reduce government costs and provide information necessary to make geoscience interventions in a timely manner, thereby increasing productivity and quality of life. The ultimate goal of remote sensing and geoinformation is to ensure that societal decisions are properly based on coordinated and comprehensive Earth observations.

This special issue of Open Geosciences comprises a selection of papers from the topics presented at the Third International Conference of Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of Environment – RSCy2015, which took place in Paphos, Cyprus from 16–19 March, 2015.

The Conference focused on emerging issues in remote sensing and geoinformation of environment. The keynote and invited speakers, as well as the thought-provoking technical program encouraged the exchange of ideas and provided the foundation for future collaboration and innovation. The Conference was enhanced with the inclusion of two workshops on ERDAS and Ground Penetrating Radar applications. The program, which included both oral and poster presentations, was organized around the following major themes: Agriculture, Atmospheric, Cultural Heritage, Environmental, Geology, GIS, Land Cover, LIDAR, Natural Hazards, Neural Networks, Real Estate, Remote Sensing and Water Sciences. Experts from 35 countries were represented at the conference. The Conference was an excellent opportunity for colleagues to share their knowledge, network and collaborate together on future research. The RSCy2015 Conference was organized by the Cyprus Remote Sensing Society.

The Cyprus Remote Sensing Society (CRSS) is a professional society that is dedicated to the field of remote sensing and geoinformation (the logo of CRSS is shown in Fig. 1). The society focuses on the theory, concepts and techniques of remote sensing as they apply to the remote sensing of the Earth, oceans, atmosphere and space, as well as the processing, interpretation and dissemination of this information. A key feature of the CRSS is the focus on the exchange of knowledge and expertise in remote sensing. The mission of the Society is to promote the disciplines of remote sensing, geographic information systems and other supporting geospatial technologies, to advance the understanding of the geospatial and related sciences and to expand public awareness to the profession. Given the plethora of remote sensing and geoinformation professionals in Cyprus, the Society seeks to provide a unifying body for professionals in all areas of remote sensing and geoinformation. The Society has been involved in several scientific research projects and has been actively involved in remote sensing applications for environmental monitoring. The Society fosters links between commercial, industrial, academic and international organizations and gives its members wider opportunities to exploit the available technology and to combine their knowledge and skills.

Figure 1 The logo of the Cyprus Remote Sensing Society (CRSS).
Figure 1

The logo of the Cyprus Remote Sensing Society (CRSS).

The authors presenting at the RSCy2015 Conference had the opportunity to submit original research for inclusion in this special issue of Open Geosciences following peer-review. The topics covered in this issue include Earth observation and remote sensing applications for agriculture, building, climate, real estate, natural hazards, mining, waste disposal, spatial planning and water. The papers featuring in this issue are quite diverse and are briefly introduced in the following.

2 Papers Presented

Marine Spatial Planning is based on the European Directive 2014/89/EU, which has not been incorporated yet into the Cyprus’ legal system. Marine spatial planning promotes efficient use of maritime space. Hadjimitsis et al. [1] present the results of the marine spatial planning development in Cyprus, in which a variety of activities such as maritime transport routes and traffic flows, exploration, exploitation and extraction of energy resources, tourism, underwater cultural heritages etc, are catalogued and mapped. All 60 sea and land activities were incorporated and conflicts were identified in a GIS environment.

Neocleous et al. [2] propose a cost-effective and simplified framework for mapping the corrosion risk for reinforced concrete buildings in urban areas using multi-temporal Landsat satellite imagery. Non-destructive testing and in-situ visual examinations were made on selected reinforced concrete buildings. The proposed framework was used to develop two corrosion risk scenarios and to produce two corrosion risk maps in three coastal cities in Cyprus. The thematic maps produced mixed results regarding the corrosion damage in terms of building age and distance from the coast.

In their research, Dimopoulos and Moulas [3] aimed to identify the critical parameters in creating a forecasting tool for a fair real estate taxation system in Greece. Currently, property is being taxed based on the objective value of the property, instead of the market value. The study used the municipality of Thessaloniki as a study area. The study used Computer Assisted Mass Appraisals (CAMA), GIS and regression analysis to predict property value. The efficacy of the Geographical Weighted Regression (GWR) and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) method of regression analysis is tested.

An integrated data management system that provides quick and accurate predictions of the behavior of slopes and provides input for critical decisions, including slope inclination modification, potential slope evacuations and potential halting of mine operation is presented by Steiakakis et al. [4]. The focus was on slope monitoring data from the past four years, which illustrate how high production slopes over depths of 100–120 m can be successfully mined with a slow to moderate landslide velocity of 10–20 mm per day.

Agapiou et al. [5] show how satellite imagery can be used instead of field observations in detecting and monitoring olive oil mill waste, which has a negative impact on the land and water environment. The study used high resolution satellite images from Google Earth and archived GeoEye View-3 images to detect disposal sites using the SAM target detection algorithm. In this way, satellite imagery can provide a cost-effective method for large scale surveys to identify illegal olive oil mill waste disposal sites.

In their paper, Kochilakis et al. [6] present FLIRE DSS, a web-based decision support system for forest fire control and planning and flood risk management for real-time use in natural disaster management. The system can be used by government agencies to predict fire and flooding events using real-time data, in order to stop fires from spreading and to draft evacuation plans. The system can be accessed via a network connection or through a cellular network which makes it easily accessible for firefighting and rescue operations.

Although SAR imagery is very effective for monitoring oceanographic phenomena as it can retrieve data in almost all weather conditions, its wide swath results in progressively reduced brightness over images, thereby affecting the detection and classification of sea surface factors. Topouzelis et al. [7] investigate methods for limiting this problem. The study examines the effectiveness of a theoretical backscattering shape function derived from minimum wind speed and an empirical range fit of Normalized Radar Cross-Section. The results were then examined against the squared cosine normalization correction using six new normalization factors. The paper presents different normalization functions for correcting progressive brightness reduction of SAR images in the range detection over the ocean.

Tzabiras et al. [8] focus on achieving an efficient approach to predict droughts using a statistical downscaling methodology applied to CGCM2 and ECHAM5 outputs. Multiple linear regression models were calibrated and verified over the area of Thessaly, Greece for the periods of 1960–1990 and 1990–2002 with a 10×10 grid resolution. The downscaled precipitation was used to calculate the standardized precipitation index at various timescales for the estimation of climate change effects on droughts.

In the last paper, Govedarica et al. [9] examine the MODIS NDVI products at 250m spatial resolution in order to estimate early corn yield by using different compositing period. The MODIS 250m products (MODIS13Q1 and MODIS09Q1) were compared based on the 16-day composite from MODIS13Q1, 8-day composite from MODIS09Q1 and 8-day dual NDVI from MODIS09Q1. Linear and inverse regression models were used. The study took place in Serbia, using data from 2007 until 2014. The methodology can be used for crop yield estimation, crop status monitoring and crop classifications.


The authors would like to thank the contributors to this volume, authors and reviewers, who made this special issue possible, as well as the staff of De Gruyter Open, the publisher of Open Geosciences, for all their technical assistance. Also, the Guest Editors express their appreciation to the Managing Editor of Open Geo-sciences, Dr. Jan Barabach for his support during all stages of the production of this volume.


[1] D.G Hadjimitsis D.G., Agapiou A., Themistocleous K., Mettas C., Evagorou E., Soulis G., Xagoraris Z., Pilikou M., Aliouris K. Ioannou N., Maritime Spatial Planning in Cyprus. Open Geosciences, 2016 in press, 10.1515/geo-2016-0061Search in Google Scholar

[2] Neocleous K., Christofe A., Agapiou A., Evagorou E., Themistocleous K., Hadjimitsis D., Digital mapping of corrosion risk in coastal urban areas using remote sensing and structural condition assessment: case study in Cyprus. Open Geosciences, 2016 in press, 10.1515/geo-2016-0063Search in Google Scholar

[3] Dimopoulos T., Moulas A., A proposal of a mass appraisal system in Greece with CAMA system. Evaluating GWR and MRA techniques. The case study of Thessaloniki Municipality. Open Geosciences, 2016 in press, 10.1515/geo-2016-0064Search in Google Scholar

[4] Steiakakis C., Agioutantis Z., Apostolou E., Papavgeri G., Tripolitsiotis A., Integrating weather and geotechnical monitoring data for assessing the stability of large scale surface mining operations. Open Geosciences, 2016 in press, 10.1515/geo-2016-0066Search in Google Scholar

[5] Agapiou A., Papadopoulos N., Sarris A., Detection of olive oil mill waste (OOMW) disposal areas using high resolution GeoEye’s OrbView-3 and Google Earth images. Open Geosciences, 2016 in press, 10.1515/geo-2016-0067Search in Google Scholar

[6] Kochilakis G., Poursanidis D., Chrysoulakis N., Varella V., Kotroni V., Eftychidis G., Lagouvardos K., Papathanasiou C., Karavokyros G., Aivazoglou M., Makropoulos C., Mimikou M., FLIRE DSS: A web tool for the management of floods and wildfires in urban and periurban areas. Open Geosciences, 2016 in press, 10.1515/geo-2016-0068Search in Google Scholar

[7] Topouzelis K., Singha S., Incidence angle Normalization of Wide Swath SAR Data for Oceanographic Applications. Open Geo-sciences, 2016 in press, 10.1515/geo-2016-0029Search in Google Scholar

[8] Tzabiras J., Loukas A., Vasiliades L., A hybrid downscaling approach for the estimation of climate change effects on droughts using a geo-information tool. Case study: Thessaly, Central Greece. Open Geosciences, 2016 in press, 10.1515/geo-2016-0069Search in Google Scholar

[9] Govedarica M., Jovanović D., Sabo F., Borisov M., Vrtunski M., Alargić I., Comparison of MODIS 250 m products for early corn yield predictions: a case study in Vojvodina, Serbia. Open Geo-sciences, 2016 in press, 10.1515/geo-2016-0070Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2016-10-17
Accepted: 2016-10-21
Published Online: 2016-12-30
Published in Print: 2016-1-1

© 2016 S. Michaelides et al.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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