The 12th GE Department Seminar

The Internal Affairs Committee (IntAC) would like to invite you to our 12th Department Seminar on July 24, 2014 2-4 PM at the Geodetic Engineering Theater. Our featured speaker is: Dr. Norman Kerle, faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, The Netherlands. This event is also the 7th ERDT Engineering Forum Series and is open to the public.

Below are the details of the lecture:


Object-oriented image analysis methods in disaster risk management:
State-of-the-art and prospects for the Philippines


Disaster risk management is both a complex organizational challenge and a highly spatial affair requiring detailed and current information on all present hazards, their probabilities and magnitudes, as well as all relevant elements at risk and their various hazard-specific vulnerabilities (physical, social, economic, environmental, etc.). Comprehensive risk assessment has been slowly moving towards integrated multi-hazard/multi-vulnerability risk calculations, even as suitable methods are still being developed and operational procedures are largely absent.

Spatial data, derived from remote sensing data, be it from established satellites or experimental UAV platforms, are increasingly being integrated with auxiliary thematic data or crowd-sourced information, and are critical to parameterize nearly all aspects of a risk equation. In terms of data processing there is a growing need to incorporate feature and process knowledge into the analysis, for example, to automatically identify different types of landslides in remote sensing imagery or different types of landuse, elements at risk, etc. Traditional, mostly pixel-based methods are ill-suited for such approaches. Instead, object-oriented analysis methods /object-based image analysis (OOA/OBIA) have proven to be powerful. This is because while features and processes are inherently encoded as pixels in images, they are objects in reality; and for an effective characterization and classification, they need to be addressed as such.

This lecture will focus on how OOA can be effectively applied in different aspects of risk assessment, and will showcase examples from recent research work at ITC that has focused on OOA-based detection and characterization of elements at risk, social vulnerability assessment, event detection (e.g., landslides, erosion features), and damage mapping. Practically all of these aspects also concern the Philippines, where conceptual models and methods are needed to better understand a vast and dispersed territory with both highly urbanized and also deeply rural areas. Geospatial data scarcity has traditionally been a challenge, but the DREAM LiDAR project and plans for a Philippine-owned Earth Observation satellite are creating new opportunities that are also discussed in this lecture.

About Dr. Kerle:

Dr. Norman Kerle is currently an Associate Professor for Disaster Geoinformation Management at the University of Twente Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation in The Netherlands. He received his PhD in Geography, specializing in remote sensing and disaster risk management from the University of Cambridge in 2002. Since then, Dr. Kerle had concentrated on research within the domains of disaster risk management and geoinformatics. In 2006 he became Assistant Professor in Earth Systems Analysis at the International Institute for Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation (ITC) and at the ITC-United Nations University School of Disaster Geoinformation Management.

In 2011, Dr. Kerle received the coveted Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize in Natural Hazards category. This is the culmination of his many years of leading various pioneering research on the use of geoinformation in disaster risk management that mostly deal with volcanic hazards, landslides, and capacity building in Central America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He is developing a new research strategy on post-disaster damage mapping, which encompasses technical aspects related to damage assessment using remote sensing data, as well as data quality (accuracy of damage maps), utility of maps (how maps can be improved to be of greater value to users), and how knowledge from the affected areas can be better integrated in map making, especially via neogeography tools and collaborative mapping. His most recent projects are on developing geoinformation based methods to support Search and Rescue Teams, and Reconstruction and Recovery Planning. He heads the Object-Oriented Analysis research group at University of Twente Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation.

Dr. Kerle is editor of Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Journal, the Open Geography Journal, and reviewer of 20 other ISI journals. In between his editorial activities, he serves as external examiner for PhD candidates. He is also a regular assessor for UNESCO World Heritage Applications, the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, the Belgian research program for remote sensing, and the Romanian geoscience research council.

On top of all these engagements in teaching, research, and extension services, Dr. Kerle has consistently published several articles every year in ISI journals since 1998. In the past 10 years, he has contributed relevant chapters to 17 books dealing with remote sensing and disaster risk management. More information about Dr. Kerle can be gleaned at the following website–