GEOmedia 3 2017


Rivista bimestrale - anno XXI - Numero 3/2017 - Sped. in abb. postale 70% - Filiale di Roma






















Mag/Giu 2017 anno XXI N°3

La prima rivista italiana di geomatica e geografia intelligente


dedicato a



in Inglese



the digital revolution around and above us







(c) 2017, Trimble Inc. All rights reserved. GEO-140 (05/17)

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20 years of GEOmedia

I would like to remember to our readers that GEOmedia started in Italy more than twenty years

ago, while the revolution of Geomatics was approaching to the field of interest and development

of topography, remote sensing and photogrammetry. At the same time the University of Calgary in

Canada began the first course and experimental programs on innovation of geomatics engineering

in the world.

We are proud to announce in this publishing, completely in English to celebrate the INTERGEO

Fair in Berlin, the start of the first Italian MSc in Geoinformatics engineering at the “Politecnico di

Milano”, about what you’ll read inside our papers, among the others, specifically in the short article

by Ludovico Biagi.

During last years GEOmedia, the Italian magazine on Geomatics, occasionally accepted for

publication English insert or special issue, especially when the review has been regarding papers for

the annual trade INTERGEO, the global hub of geospatial Community.


CITIES, OPEN DATA are among the INTERGEO’S important issues we all need to address.

At today the geo industry is claimed as one of the sectors with the biggest shortage of skilled labour,

moreover the request to recruit competent young professionals is growing mainly in the public

interest. In INTERGEO event the employers and the skilled professionals are together with many

geo-technology experts of the public services, to explain this changing world to young workers.

Europe needs not only good recruitment strategies, but also new ideas to overcome bottleneck

problems and meet the needs of an ageing workforce.

In the very next future we’ll need both spatial data analysts and geodesists. INTERGEO 2017 is an

inspirational experience and surely an initiative that will give us new insights.

For this GEOmedia, now as official media partner of the event, is in the distribution desk of the

Conference Hall, for dissemination of the Italian knowledge and experience in the geospatial field,

that we consider as one of the main cornerstone for land management, territory, environment and

development of our smart (historic) cities.

The Italian contribution to Geomatics has a long tradition for advancing purposes in the field of

topography, photogrammetry, remote sensing and mapping. Floods, marine coasts, hydrogeological

hazards, volcanic and earthquake risk monitoring and management are at the daily information

of the citizens and attention of all people involved in the organizations appointed. Across a fragile

territory to be protected, rich of Monuments, Sites and Archaeological remains, we extend a field

where the Geomatics methods and technologies are almost indispensable and so necessary.

For this aim too, some years ago we imagine Archeomatica, a magazine oriented to a wide

dissemination of changing technologies for Cultural Heritage throughout the times. The

internationalization of Archeomatica is one of our future goal for which we hope to excite all the

interest we can among our readers so as to get additional collaborations.

Enjoy your reading,

Renzo Carlucci

In this






New Trends in

Geomatics, in the Era

of Lowcost Sensors,

Free and Open

Source Software and

HPC GeoBigData


by Roberta Ravanelli, Martina

Di Rita, Valeria Belloni,

Andrea Nascetti, Augusto

Mazzoni, Mattia Crespi



The image on the background is

a Sentinel-2A satellite taken over

the peninsulas and islands of the

Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar.

With a length of over 2200

km, the Irrawaddy River is the

country's largest, flowing northto-south

before fanning out into

the delta and emptying into the

Andaman Sea.

Evident by the brown colour of

the rivers and streams, sediments

carried by the water are deposited

in the delta. These deposits make

the area very fertile, and the accumulation

of deposits over time

causes the coastline to advance.

Owing to the rich soils, the region

is the country’s largest rice producer.

This image was captured in

March 2017 after the harvesting

season but before the planting, so

bare ground appears beige.

This image, also featured on the

ESA Earth from Space video programme,

combines two acquisitions

by the Copernicus Sentinel-

2A satellite in March 2017

On the cover image of Autonomous

Driving. Significant advancements

in satellite-based positioning are

contributing to the development of

better transport services and new

applications for safe transport and

smart mobility. With its flexibility, fast

growing capability, low infrastructure

costs and long-term sustainable use,

GNSS is an important asset in the

design of new Intelligent Transport

System (ITS) infrastructures.

Significant advancements in satellitebased

positioning are contributing to

the development of better transport

services and new applications for safe

transport and smart mobility. With

its flexibility, fast growing capability,

low infrastructure costs and longterm

sustainable use, GNSS is an

important asset in the design of new

Intelligent Transport System (ITS)





Technologies: the

digital revolution

around and above us

by Marco Lisi


Resilience to



Advanced Cyber

Technologies: the

I-REACT project

by Claudia Maltoni, Claudio

Rossi, Guzmán Sánchez

GEOmedia, published bi-monthly, is the Italian magazine for

geomatics. Since 20 years is publishing to open a worldwide

window to the Italian market and viceversa. Themes are on

latest news, developments and applications in the complex

field of earth surface sciences. GEOmedia dial with all activities

relating to the acquisition, processing, querying, analysis,

presentation, dissemination, management and use of geo-data

and geo-information. The magazine covers subjects such as

surveying, environment, mapping, GNSS systems, GIS, Earth

Observation, Geospatial Data, BIM, UAV and 3D technologies.


3D Target 45

AerRobotix 38


The new MSc in


Engineering at

Politecnico di


by Ludovico Biagi

Aeronike 23

Codevintec 34

E-geos 24

Epsilon Italia 37

Esri Italia 39

Geogrà 41

Geomax 29


ME.S.A 17

Planetek Italia 48

Stonex 40

VGI and crisis 30

mapping in an

emergency situation

by Lucia Saganeiti, Federico

Amato, Gabriele Nolè,

Survey Lab 44


Teorema 46

Topcon 47

Trimble 2

Beniamino Murgante


Rheticus: Dynamic

and continuous


service for critical


and enviromental



by Giuseppe Forenza

Chief Editor


Editorial Board

Vyron Antoniou, Fabrizio Bernardini, Mario Caporale,

Luigi Colombo, Mattia Crespi, Luigi Di Prinzio,

Michele Dussi, Michele Fasolo, Marco Lisi, Flavio Lupia,

Beniamino Murgante, Aldo Riggio, Mauro Salvemini,

Domenico Santarsiero, Attilio Selvini, Donato Tufillaro

Managing Director


Editorial Staff


Marketing Assistant


Account manager




MediaGEO soc. coop.

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ISSN 1128-8132

Reg. Trib. di Roma N° 243/2003 del 14.05.03

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GEOmedia is available bi-monthly on a subscription basis.

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Magazine founded by: Domenico Santarsiero.

Issue closed on: 20/08/2017.


New Trends in Geomatics, in the Era of Lowcost

Sensors, Free and Open Source Software

and HPC GeoBigData infrastructures

by Roberta Ravanelli, Martina Di Rita, Valeria Belloni, Andrea Nascetti, Augusto Mazzoni, Mattia Crespi

This review briefly presents some

methodologies and applications developed at

the Geodesy and Geomatics Division (DICEA) of

University of Rome “La Sapienza”.

Directly related to the current and increasing

availability of new and innovative software and

hardware, they are already ready for industrial

applications and hopefully can broaden the

interaction between Geomatics and other

scientific and technological disciplines.

Fig. 1 - Real-time tracked movements with VADASE using GALILEO E1 observations acquired

by a low-cost single frequency receiver with a patch antenna

The present and continuously


availability of more

and more low-cost sensors (in

the frame of the Internet of

Things (IoT)), Free and Open

Source Software (FOSS) and

High Performance Computing

(HPC) infrastructures for

managing GeoBigData has

obviously a strong impact in

Geomatics. The availability of

these hardware and software

tools enables both to develop

new applications but also to

stimulate new challenging

investigations related to the

modeling of the observations

supplied by these sensors, in

the well known circular fashion

between science and technology

(Sansò and Crespi, 2015).

Exploiting GALILEO for realtime

displacements detection

with low-cost single frequency


In last years, mainly thanks to

their low cost, single frequency

GNSS receivers started to be

used in many applications.

Evaluation kits, based on this

kind of hardware, are nowadays

available at few hundreds of

Euros. Most of them are able

to collect code and phase single

frequency observations not

only from GPS systems but also

from other GNSS constellations



On a technical point of view,

these kits are quite easily usable

and it is possible to set them

up in order to broadcast both

real-time streams (for real time

precise positioning application)

and collected observations in

RINEX format (for post processing


Our research group carried

out many experiments on this

topic. In particular, we investigated

also through low-cost

receivers the potentialities of

GALILEO system, starting

from the very first availability

of GALILEO signals. Thanks

to these research, the VADASE

team was awarded by ESA on

1st April 2014 as one of the

first 50 users worldwide able

to get a “fix” with GALILEO

system (Branzanti et al., 2014).

Through the application of

the VADASE variometric approach

(Benedetti et al., 2015),

we managed to reconstruct the

movement of a low-cost NVS

patch antenna, suitably fixed

to a bike wheel, processing E1

phase observations in a realtime

scenario, achieving 1 cm

accuracy; this experiment clearly

showed the relevant potential

of the low-cost single frequency

receivers for real-time movements

detection (Fig. 1).

Moreover, many tests were performed

in order to evaluate the

potentialities of low-cost single

frequency receivers also in

Network Real Time Kinematic

(NRTK) positioning. It was

demonstrated that, using u-

Blox receiver with GPS, it is

possible to achieve fixing times

6 GEOmedia n°3-2017


(less than a minute) and accuracies

(few centimetres) not so far

to double frequency approach,

provided good surveying conditions

(full sky visibility, stable

and reliable Virtual Reference

Station augmentation needed

to handle ionospheric delays

through double differentiation

with very short baselines)

are guaranteed and an external

topographic antenna is used.

The contribution of GALILEO

E1 observations in NRTK

positioning is currently under


Finally, in the last months, a

focus on GPS and GALILEO

interoperability with VADASE

was undertaken. VADASE

routines have been extended to

make it possible to use GPS and

GALILEO phase observations in

a twin fashion mode: independent

solutions or staked observations

combined solutions. Some

tests have been carried out in

collaboration with the University

of Trento (Tesolin et al., 2017)

using u-Blox receivers.

Also in this application, results

are very promising, paving

the way to a wider use of single

frequency receivers also as

multi-constellation low-cost

permanent stations. For these

purposes a single frequency

low cost GNSS permanent

station, named LOW1 (Fig.

2), has been installed and activated

at the Faculty of Civil

and Industrial Engineering

- University of Rome “La

Sapienza”. Single frequency

observations are routinely collected

and archived at 1Hz observation

rate since doy 100 of

2017; all the data are available

to the scientific community.

3D Modelling of

Archaeological Small Finds by

Low-Cost Range Cameras

Nowadays 3D models may play

a key role in archaeology and

cultural heritage management

in general, since they can easily

provide answers to scientific

needs in the field of conservation,

monitoring, restoration

and mediation of architectural,

archaeological and cultural heritage.

It is thus essential to identify

new techniques, capable of

easily providing low-cost and

real-time 3D models of cultural

heritage objects, with the required

accuracy. Range cameras

can give a valuable contribute

to achieve this goal: they are active

imaging sensors, low-cost

and easy-to-use, able to natively

measure the distances of several

points at high frame rate

(30 - 60 Hz) and can be used

as 3D scanners to easily collect

dense point clouds practically

in real time. Furthermore,

Simultaneous Localization And

Mapping (SLAM) algorithms,

such as KinectFusion (Izadi et

al., 2011; Newcombe et al.,

2011) leverage the depth data

and the high frame rate that

range cameras offer, in order to

fuse the depth maps captured

from different view points as

soon as they are acquired. In

this way, through the use of

user-friendly scanning apps

(through Augmented Reality,

the 3D model appears in real

time on the tablet/smartphone

connected to the device, guiding

the user during the scanning),

range cameras can collect

Fig. 2 - Low-cost GPS permanent station LOW1

easily and practically in real

time the overall 3D model of

the scanned scene. In addition,

such sensors are continually

evolving and they will be soon

integrated in consumer grade

smart devices, enabling their

use together with other sensors.

Thanks to all these features,

nowadays this technology is sufficiently

ripe to play an important

role for modelling archaeological

objects. Indeed, range

cameras can be easily used for

documenting small finds, thus

representing a valid alternative

to the often time consuming

traditional techniques, and

preserving at the same time the

mental energy of archaeologists

for the study and interpretation

of the artefacts discovered during


Therefore, our research group

has investigated the 3D modelling

capabilities of a promising

low-cost range camera,

the Structure Sensor TM by

Occipital TM for rapid modelling

Fig. 3 - Comparison

between the model of a

globular jug obtained

with the Structure

Sensor and with

photogram-metry: the

first can be easily

obtained in real-time by

a not ex-pert user

(archaeolo-gist, etc.), the

second required a high

level of competence for

processing the im-ages

with a dedicate software

(Cypro-Phoenician juglets

from Achzi b ( Inv.

M677 ; courtesy Museum

VOEM , Sapienza

University of Rome).

GEOmedia n°3-2017 7


Fig. 4 - Example of measurements that can be taken on models (in meters). Canaanite Jar from the

Necropolis of Bardhaa (BL1536, Al-Bad Giacaman Museum, Bethlehem - Palestine : Nigro et al.

2017, fig. 42)

archaeological objects, in order

to assess the metric quality of

their 3D geometry reconstruction

(research group of Prof.

Nigro, Ravanelli et al., 2016,

2017a, 2017c). In general, the

performed analysis shows that

Structure Sensor is capable to

acquire the 3D geometry of a

small object with an accuracy

comparable at millimeter level

to that obtainable with the

more traditional photogrammetric

method, even though

the finer details are not always

correctly modelled (Fig. 3). The

obtained results are therefore

very promising, showing that

the range camera used for this

work, due to its low-cost and

flexibility, is a suitable tool for

the rapid documentation of

archaeological small finds, especially

when not expert users are


Finally, it is worth underlining

that a “geomatic” 3D model,

showing therefore a geometry

with a real metric, provides

all the necessary information

to completely describe the

archaeological small finds.

Furthermore, it allows to take a

posteriori in depth measurements,

such as the volume

computation and section

visualization (Fig. 4).

Digital Image Correlation

Software for Displacement

Field Measurement in

Structural Monitoring


Recently, there has been a growing

interest in studying noncontact

techniques for strain

and displacement measurement

in structural monitoring applications.

For this reason, a free

and open source 2D Digital

Image Correlation (DIC)

software, named py2DIC and

completely written in Python,

was developed at the Geodesy

and Geomatics Division of

DICEA, University of Rome

"La Sapienza" (Ravanelli et al.,


In particular, DIC is the term

used in structural engineering

applications to refer to the

well-known template matching

method, generally used in

photogrammetry and computer

vision to retrieve homologous

points. DIC is indeed an optical

technique able to measure

full field displacements and

to evaluate the corresponding

strain field, by comparing

digital images of the surface of

a material sample at different

stages of deformation.

The potentialities of py2DIC

were investigated by processing

the images captured during

a tensile test performed in the

Lab of Structural Engineering,

where three different Glass Fiber

Reinforced Polymer samples

were subjected to a controlled

tension by means of a universal

testing machine.

The results, compared with the

values independently measured

by several strain gauges fixed on

the samples, denote the possibility

to successfully characterize

the deformation mechanism of

the analyzed material (Fig.s 5

and 6). Py2DIC is indeed able

to compute displacements at

few microns level, in reasonable

agreement with the reference,

both in terms of displacements

(again, at few microns in the

average) and Poisson's module

(Fig. 7).

Fig. 5 - Comparison between the vertical displacements obtained by the py2DIC software and the strain gauges measurements

8 GEOmedia n°3-2017


Fig. 6 - Comparison between the horizontal displacements obtained by the py2DIC software and the strain gauges measurements

A New and Unified Approach

for Digital Surface Models

generation from optical and

SAR satellite imagery: DATE


By now, satellites are overwhelmingly

present in our daily

life, for a big variety of different

services and applications

(weather report, navigation system,

Earth observation, ect.). In

particular, remote sensing data

obtained from space, complement

and complete Earth-based

measurements: they are essential

if a global view of our Earth is


One of the most important

applications of remote sensing,

is the generation of Digital

Surface Models (DSMs), that

have a large relevance in many

engineering, environmental,

surveying, Earth sciences,

safety and security applications.

DSMs can be derived

with different approaches, the

stereoscopic approach, starting

from satellite images, is a wellestablished

one. Every day, a big

amount of images are acquired

by the thousands of satellites

orbiting around the Earth, creating

a multi-view and multitemporal

bunch of images,

that allow to obtain redundant

information for monitoring and

analysing our world.

The development of a Free and

Open Source Software (FOSS),

able to generate DSMs from

such satellite images, is therefore

a topic of great interest. In

the framework of 2014 Google

Summer of Code, our research

group developed DATE, a

Free and Open Source for

Geospatial (FOSS4G), having

as early purpose a fully automatic

DSMs generation from

high resolution optical satellite

imagery acquired by the most

common sensors (Di Rita et al.,

2017a, 2017b). Nowadays, it

is also able to exploit Synthetic

Aperture Radar (SAR) images

Fig. 7 - Comparison between the Poisson’s ratio obtained by the py2DIC software and the

strain gauges measurements

for radargrammetric applications

(Di Rita et al., 2016). As

a matter of fact, SAR satellite

systems may give important

contribution in terms of Digital

Surface Models (DSMs) generation

considering their complete

independence from logistic

constraints on the ground and

weather conditions (Nascetti et

al., 2015). In recent years, the

new availability of very high

resolution SAR data (up to 20

cm Ground Sample Distance)

gave a new impulse to radargrammetry

and allowed new

applications and developments

(Capaldo et al., 2011).

The main idea behind DATE,

is to overcome the issues related

to epipolar resampling

for satellite images, for which

epipolar geometry achievement

is not straightforward (Di Rita,

2017): epipolarity is achieved

in the object space (Ground

quasi-Epipolar Imagery (GrEI))

(Fig. 8) thanks to the images

ground projection. Moreover,

DATE key features include also

the capability to handle a large

amount of data since it manages

to process different images in a

sequential and totally automatic

way; the use of computer vision

algorithms in order to improve

the processing efficiency and

make the DSMs generation

process fully automatic; the free

and open source aspect of the

developed code (https://github.

GEOmedia n°3-2017 9



imageStack). An innovative

approach based on a coarseto-fine

pyramidal scheme is

adopted to take advantage of

iterative solutions at gradually

increasing resolution in order

to refine the epipolarity constrain

between the image pair:

raw satellite images resolution

is initially reduced by a downsampling

factor, then these

sampled images are projected

in a ground geometry using an

a-priori (freely available and

even coarse) DSM, in order to

generate orthorectified images

with a transversal parallax error

below the initial reduced

resolution. These orthorectified

images can act as GrEI and can

undergo a dense image matching

procedure at the chosen

reduced resolution, obtaining

the initial DSM corresponding

to the first pyramidal level; this

DSM becomes the input for

the next pyramidal level.

The achievable results are good

in terms of statistical parameters,

and they are comparable

with those obtained through

different software (even commercial)

by other authors on

the same test sites, whereas in

terms of efficiency DATE outperforms

most of them.

Google Earth Engine potentials

and capabilities for

GeoBigData management and


Google Earth Engine (GEE)

is a computing platform recently

released by Google “for

petabyte-scale scientific analysis

and visualization of geospatial

datasets” (Google Earth Engine

Team, 2015). The GEE can be

used to run geospatial analysis

using a dedicated HPC infrastructure.

GEE enable users to

access geospatial information

and satellite imagery, for global

and large scale remote sensing

applications. The free and

public data archive includes

more than 30 years of historical

imagery and scientific datasets,

daily updated and expanded:

it contains over than two petabytes

of geospatial data instantly

available for analysis.

The main idea behind GEE

is that, also for the analysis of

satellite and geospatial data, we

are now moving towards the

Big Data paradigm and consequently

it is necessary to change

the processing way from the

standard procedure “bring data

to users” to the opposite “bring

users to data”: as a matter of

fact, users can directly upload

algorithms to the dedicated

infrastructure removing the

required time for data transfer

and allowing the development

of innovative applications. The

platform supports generation

of spatial and temporal mosaics,

satellite imagery composites

without clouds and gaps, as well

as a variety of spectral indices,

and can also be expanded and

modified by the user even for

customized applications (Pekel

et al., 2016; Donchyts et al.,

Fig. 8 - Comune di Fiumicino: confronto tra le sezioni di Censimento 1991 e quelle del 2001 e tra

le sezioni di Censimento 2001 e quelle del 2011 (Fonte : Istat, Portale Cartografico Nazionale).

2016). Indeed, GEE also includes

an application programming

framework that allows

scientists to access to computational

and data resources, to

scale their current algorithms or

develop new ones.

As a significant example of

GEE potentials, we analyzed

the possibility to implement

and deploy a tool for large-scale

DSMs comparison, with a focus

on two available free global


GDEM) precision and accuracy,

with respect to a more

accurate reference DSM, that is

the National Elevation Dataset

(NED) for the American States,

and a LiDAR DSM for the

Italian region (Nascetti et al.,

2017). Over the years, several

studies have been conducted to

evaluate the accuracy of both


but in most of the cases the accuracy

has been evaluated only

on limited areas (Colmano et

al., 2007; Koch et al., 2001).

The main goal of this analysis

was to perform a more global

assessment exploiting the potentialities

of GEE, and to demonstrate

its capability for a nearly-global

assessment of SRTM

and ASTER accuracy. Proper

routines to evaluate standard

statistical parameters to represent

DSM precision and accuracy

(i.e. mean, median, standard

deviation, NMAD, LE95)

were implemented inside the

GEE Code Editor. Moreover,

the routines were used to characterize

the accuracy of the

input DSM within different

slope classes. The evaluation has

been performed on five different

wide areas: four American

States (Colorado, Michigan,

Nevada, Utah) and one Italian

Region (Trentino Alto-Adige,

Northern Italy). The selected

areas provide different land use,

land covers and slopes, and are

10 GEOmedia n°3-2017


therefore suited for a comparison

aimed at accuracy and reliability


Overall, all the results achieved

(Fig. 9 represents the results for

Colorado) are pretty consistent

showing a good accordance

in their behaviour: SRTM and

ASTER achieve almost the

same results when compared

both to NED and to LiDAR.

In particular, the accuracies

decrease with the increase of

the slopes, with better results

generated with SRTM for the

first classes and, instead, a better

behaviour shown by ASTER

for the higher classes. This is

due essentially to the different

nature of the two DSMs

(SRTM is SAR-based, ASTER

Fig. 9 - Colorado: SRTM and ASTER assessment results

is optical-based) and it could

lead to make some assumptions

about an optimum free nearlyglobal

DSM: starting from the

knowledge of the slope classes

where they present a better accuracy

with respect to the other,

a more accurate global DSM

can be generated as a result of

an integration of both


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State of the Art and New Developments of a Third Way to GNSS Seismology. In: Sneeuw

N., Novák P., Crespi M., Sansò F. (eds) VIII Hotine-Marussi Symposium on Mathematical

Geodesy. International Association of Geodesy Symposia, vol 142. Springer

Branzanti, M., Benedetti, E., Colosimo, G., Mazzoni, A., Crespi, M. (2014). Real-time

monitoring of fast displacements with VADASE: new applications and challenges with

Galileo. ENC – GNSS 2014 Proceedings (Session C7) (online only).

Capaldo, P., Crespi, M., Fratarcangeli, F., Nascetti, A. and Pieralice, F. (2011), Highresolution

SAR radargrammetry: a first application with COSMO-SkyMed SpotLight

imagery, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. 8(6), pp. 1100-1104.

Colmano, D., Crespi, M., Fabiani, U. and Zebisch, M., 2007. “Quality assessment of

commercially available DEMs in mountain areas”. Geologic Hazards in Mountainous


Di Rita, M., Andrea Nascetti and Mattia Crespi (2017a) Open source tool for DSMs

generation from high resolution optical satellite imagery: development and testing of

an OSSIM plug-in, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 38:7, 1788-1808, DOI:


Di Rita, M., Nascetti, A., Fratarcangeli, F., Crespi, M. (2016). Upgrade of FOSS DATE

plug-in: implementation of a new radargrammetric DSM generation capability, International

Archives of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences.

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Di Rita, M., (2017). New trends for DSMs generation from optical and SAR satellite

imagery: definition and implementation of an innovative strategy, PhD thesis, University

of Rome “La Sapienza”.

Di Rita, M., Nascetti, A., Crespi, M. (2017b). FOSS4G DATE assessment on the ISPRS

optical stereo satellite data: a benchmark for DSM generation, International Archives of

the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, XLII-1/W1.

Donchyts, G., Baart, F., Winsemius, H., Gorelick, N., Kwadijk, J. and van de Giesen, N.,

2016. “Earth’s surface water change over the past 30 years”. Nature Climate Change 6(9),

pp. 810–813.

Google Earth Engine Team, 2015. Google Earth Engine: a Planetary-scale Geospatial

Analysis Platform.

Izadi, S., Kim, D., Hilliges, O., Molyneaux, D., Newcombe, R., Kohli, P., Shotton, J.,

Hodges, S., Freeman, D., Davison, A. and Fitzgibbon, A. (2011) KinectFusion: real-time

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Nowadays, the increasing availability of low-cost sensors, Free and Open Source Software

and High Performance Computing infrastructures allows Geomatics to widen its

application scope, by stimulating new challenging investigations related to the modeling

of the observations provided by these new tools.

In this review, some methodologies and applications, developed at the Geodesy and

Geomatics Division (DICEA) of University of Rome “La Sapienza”, are shortly presented.

Directly related to the mentioned software and hardware new availability, they

are already ready for industrial applications and hopefully can broaden the interaction

between Geomatics and other scientific and technological disciplines.


Geomatics; Low-cost Sensors; Open Source Software; GeoBigData infrastructures


Roberta Ravanelli,

Martina Di Rita,

Valeria Belloni,

Andrea Nascetti ,

Augusto Mazzoni,

Mattia Crespi,

Geodesy and Geomatics Division - DICEA - University of Rome “La Sapienza”

via Eudossiana, 18 - 00184 Rome, Italy

GEOmedia n°3-2017 11

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Emerging Technologies: the digital

revolution around and above us

by Marco Lisi

Fig. 1 - GNSS Multi-Constellation Scenario

The article describes the

main trends which are at the

basis of the digital revolution

affecting our society.

Internet of Things (IoT),

broadband and ubiquitous

wireless communications

(5G), ubiquitous Positioning,

Navigation and Timing (PNT):

they are different facets of the

“New Digital World” ahead of

us, characterized on one side by

the integration and fusion of

different technologies, aiming

at a new, enhanced representation

of our physical world; on

the other side by a progressive

dematerialization of products

and by their transformation in


This epochal process will also

require a change in the way

we approach engineering: a

more systemic, concurrent and

through-life perspective.

We are at the dawn of the discovery

of a “New World”: not

a virtual one, but the digital

representation, in all its minute

details, of our physical world,

of planet Earth. But also the

world of manufacturing is going

to be radically transformed,

both in terms of organizational

paradigms (Industry 4.0) and in

terms of radically new technologies

(Additive Manufacturing).

This epochal transition is being

triggered by four main technological


1. Ubiquitous Localization and

Timing: Global Navigation

Satellite Systems and

other similar Positioning,

Navigation and Timing

(PNT) infrastructures make

possible a very accurate localization

in space and time

of both people and things;

2. Ubiquitous Sensing: from 1

to 10 trillion sensors will be

connected to Internet in the

next decade (a minimum of

140 sensors for every human

being on the planet;

3. Ubiquitous Connectivity:

2.3 billion mobile broadband

devices and 7 billion mobile

cellular device in 2014. In

the next years 5G will dramatically

increase both connectivity

and data rates;

4. Progressive and ever detailed

3D modeling of our surroundings.

Enormous amounts of data are

being collected daily and at an

exponentially increasing rate.

99% of them is digitized and

50% has an associated IP address.

We are practically going for a

detailed digital representation

of the world around us. It is an

entirely New World we are facing,

but we have not learnt yet

how to navigate and explore it.

Ubiquitous Localization and


Global Navigation Satellite

Systems, such as GPS,

GLONASS, Galileo and

Beidou, constitute together a

potentially interoperable and

coordinated infrastructure,

supporting in a vital way most

industrial and economic aspects

of our society (fig. 1).

GPS in particular is nowadays

considered a worldwide utility,

tightly interconnected with all

other critical infrastructures,

from electric power distribution

systems to air traffic management

systems, from railways to

water and oil piping networks.

In the mind of the average user

(but also in that of many engineers)

the main contribution

of GNSS’s, their true “raison

d’être”, is in providing one’s accurate

position and in allowing

a reliable navigation, be it by

Fig. 2 - the global PNT infrastructure.

12 GEOmedia n°3-2017


car, by airplane, by train or by


Precise timing is understood,

at least by engineers, as an enabling

feature of GNSS’s and a

very useful by-product, after

positioning and navigation.

The reality, as shown by studies

performed e.g. by the US

Department of Homeland

Security (DHS), is that in fact

timing is the most strategic and

essential of the services offered

by GNSS’s, and the one most

affecting all critical infrastructures

of our society.

Non-GNSS PNT systems and

technologies are also being developed


In the not so far future, a PNT

system of systems, including

GNSS and non-GNSS infrastructures,

is likely to take

place, while, at user receiver level,

a fusion of data from GNSS

and other sensors (such as inertial

platforms, Wi-Fi, GSM,

signals of opportunity, etc.) will

become normal practice (fig. 2).

Data deriving from different

systems and platforms will

be seamlessly “fused” at user

receiver level, guaranteeing a

high degree of availability and


Ubiquitous Sensing

(Internet of Things)

The Internet of Things (IoT)

envisions many billions of

Internet-connected objects

(ICOs) or "things" that can

sense, communicate, compute,

and potentially actuate, as well

as have intelligence, multimodal

interfaces, physical/virtual identities,

and attributes.

The IoT is likely to revolutionize

all aspects of our society and

daily life (fig. 3).

Its exponential growth will

actually imply the practical

feasibility of an Ubiquitous

Sensing: from 1 to 10 trillion

sensors will be connected

to Internet in the next decade

(a minimum of 140 sensors

for every human being on the


Ubiquitous sensing, or ubiquitous

“geo”-sensing to emphasize

the spatial dimension, as deriving

from IoT and from mobile

broadband communications,

will mean that we will be able

to probe, even in real time,

the phenomena around us, the

surrounding reality, with capabilities

far beyond those made

so far available by our senses.

Enormous amounts of data will

be available for our analyses, all

of them referenced in space and


Fig. 3 - IoT impacts on business and society

Ubiquitous Connectivity (5G)

5G, the forth coming wave in

mobile communications, will

realize a quantum leap towards

the goal of ubiquitous connectivity

(fig. 4).

As a matter of fact, 5G will not

simply extend in a linear way

the capabilities of the previous

four generations of mobile

networks. Its dramatically enhanced

performance in terms

of flexibility and throughput

will make fully feasible those

“smart” applications and infrastructures

that require networking,

high data rates, real

time processing. It is evident

how 5G will become the natural

complement of the IoT, its

technological enabler (fig. 5).

Fig. 4 - 5G infrastructure architecture.

GEOmedia n°3-2017 13


Fig. 5 - 5G and the Internet of Things.

Additive Manufacturing (3D


Additive Manufacturing (AM,

also known as “3D Print)

enables the fabrication of objects

through the deposition

of material in order to obtain

fit-for-purpose hardware, as

opposed to traditional subtractive

processes, where material

is removed from larger, semifinished

products (fig. 6).

Like many new manufacturing

processes, 3D printing arose

from the merging of previously

existing technologies: the

coming together of Computer

Aided Design (CAD), inkjet

nozzles and automated machine


AM includes a large family

of processes and technologies

Fig. 6 - 3D printer at work

and can be applied to a wide

range of materials ranging from

metals, polymers and ceramics

but also food, living cells and


Today, AM is a standard manufacturing

process in a significant

number of industrial applications

and high potential is

anticipated (and in many cases

already demonstrated) in high

end technology sectors, including

aerospace, turbine industries

and medical applications.

The increasing availability, at

affordable prices, of 3D printers

for personal use, is likely

to revolutionize the world of

manufacturing as well as that of

retail commerce of goods: in a

not so far future (applications

are already available on the

Web) people, by clicking on a

specific product in a specialized

catalog online, will purchase

and download digital files allowing

the manufacturing of

chosen products at their own

premises, with their personal

3D printers.

In this way, the progressive

dematerialization of products,

that has already conquered the

music and books markets, will

further extend to many other

consumer goods, such as, e.g.,

housewares, toys and tools.

As a matter of fact, in the future

we will be exchanging and

trading not physical goods,

but rather their Intellectual

Property Rights (IPR’s).

Autonomous Driving

Significant advancements in

satellite-based positioning are

contributing to the development

of better transport services

and new applications for safe

transport and smart mobility.

With its flexibility, fast growing

capability, low infrastructure

costs and long-term sustainable

use, GNSS is an important

asset in the design of new

Intelligent Transport System

(ITS) infrastructures.

Smart mobility applications

improve the efficiency, effectiveness

and comfort of road

transport through:

• Navigation, the most widespread

application, provides

turn-by-turn information to

drivers via portable navigation

devices (PNDs) and invehicle

systems (IVS).

• Fleet management on-board

units (OBUs) transmit GNSS

positioning information

through telematics to support

transport operators in monitoring

the performance of

logistic activities.

• Road traffic monitoring

services collect floating car

location data from vehicles

through PNDs, IVS and mobile

devices to be processed

and distributed to users and

other interested parties.

Safety-critical applications leverage

precise, reliable and secure

positioning in situations posing

potential harm to humans or

damage to a system/environment:

• Advanced Driver Assistance

Systems (ADAS) support the

14 GEOmedia n°3-2017


Fig. 7 - Autonomous Driving.

Fig. 8 - Technology adoption curves.

driver during the driving process

and act as a first stepping

stone towards Autonomous


• In cooperative ITS and

connected vehicles, GNSS

positioning is a key element

for providing situational

awareness through vehicleto-vehicle

(V2V) and vehicleto-infrastructure

(V2I) communications,

enhancing the

safety and comfort of the


• Dangerous goods can be

tracked by transmitting

GNSS-based positioning data

on the vehicles carrying them,

along with other information

about the status of the cargo.

Liability- and payment-critical

applications can have significant

legal or economic consequences

depending on positioning data:

• In Road User Charging

(RUC), GNSS-based solutions

are designed to charge

motorists for the actual distance

travelled, without barriers

or gantries, and provide

interoperability between national

cross-border schemes.

• In Pay-As-You-Drive

(PAYD), insurance telematics

rely on GNSS data to increase

the fairness of motor insurance

for both insurers and


Regulated applications apply

the transport policies introduced

by national and international


• GNSS-enabled IVS are used

in the pan-European eCall,

which accelerates emergency

assistance to drivers and passengers

by sending an emergency

call to 112 and also

providing positioning information

in the unlucky event

Fig. 9 - The Moon Village

of accident.

• Smart tachographs leverage

GNSS positioning to support

road enforcers, recording the

position of a given vehicle at

different points during the

working day.

The emerging technology that

is going to act more disruptively

in our everyday lives, showing

in a most evident way how the

fusion of other technologies can

make new services available, is

Autonomous Driving (fig. 7).

Autonomous vehicles can take

over activities traditionally performed

by the driver, thanks

to their ability to sense the environment,

navigate and com-

GEOmedia n°3-2017 15


municate with other vehicles

and road infrastructure when

combined with connected vehicle

solutions. Widespread adoption

of autonomous driving can

reduce traffic accidents, reduce

fuel consumption and improve

traffic flow, as well as improve

driver comfort.

Autonomous vehicles are enabled

by the combination of different

technologies and sensors,

allowing the IVS to identify the

optimal path of action.

The adoption of Autonomous

Driving is going to happen

much faster than everyone

thinks, following adoption

curves closer to those typical for

digital technologies, rather than

to those typical for transportation

systems (fig. 8).

In other words, while cars took

decades to be widely adopted,

Autonomous Driving will have

a worldwide spread in just a few


Many believe that Autonomous

Driving will probably be the

single largest societal change

after the Internet. One thing is

for sure: Autonomous Driving

will destroy the traditional

concept of the car as a personal

good to be owned, moving to

the paradigm of transportation

Fig. 10 - Moon Communications and PNT infrastructure.

as a service and hence confirming

the transition from products

to services mentioned in

the introduction.

Emerging Technologies in


The Director General of ESA,

prof. Woerner, set forth the

idea of a “Moon Village”, a village

on the moon built by huge

3D printers and inhabited for

months at a time by teams of

astronauts. The plan outlined

by the ESA is that, starting

from the early 2020s, robots

will be sent to the Moon to begin

constructing various facilities,

followed a few years later

by the first inhabitants (fig. 9).

Back in 2013, ESA teamed up

with building companies to

start testing out various Moon

base-building technologies, and

determined that local materials

would be the best for constructing

buildings and other

structures, which means no

need for transporting resources

from Earth at an astronomical

cost. But the problems to

be solved for the realization

of such stable manned infrastructure

on the Moon (a true

follow-on of the International

Space Station) involve much

more than just building technologies.

The Moon Village will

be a large and complex system

where requirements related to

operations and safety of life will

be of paramount importance.

Moreover, from an architectural

viewpoint the “village” will have

to be expandable and “open”

to the integration with other

systems, hence integrability

and expandability will be two

key issues. But first and above

all, the Moon Village will have

to be affordable and sustainable,

i.e., its cost will need to

be assessed over its life-cycle.

As a “Wild West” town in the

old times, “Moon Village” will

have to provide a number of

essential infrastructures. In particular,

the exploration of the

Moon with human and robotic

missions and its colonization,

through the establishment of

permanent bases, will require

planetary communications and

navigation infrastructures.

Even in space, emerging communications

(5G) and PNT

technologies will provide reliable

and affordable solutions

for a communications and navigation

infrastructure (fig. 10).


Ubiquitous Localization and

Timing, Ubiquitous Sensing,

Ubiquitous Connectivity, 3D

Digital Modeling: these four

main technological trends are

triggering an epochal transition

in the history of mankind,

characterized by an increasing

predominance of services in our


We are practically going for a

detailed digital mapping of the

world around us, for an evolution

of reality as we can sense

it today towards an enriched,

augmented reality.

It is an entirely New World we

are facing, but we have not yet

learnt how to navigate and explore


16 GEOmedia n°3-2017


Moreover, the emerging technologies

will cause radical transformations

of our society, such

as those related to Autonomous


Our space exploration activities

are also going to be affected, a

good example being ESA’s vision

of a Moon Village, a stable

base on our natural satellite

from which to start the commercialization

of Space.


Ubiquitous Localization and Timing, Ubiquitous

Sensing, Ubiquitous Connectivity, 3D Digital Modeling:

these four main technological trends are

triggering an epochal transition in the history of

mankind, characterized by an increasing predominance

of services in our economy.

These emerging technologies will cause radical

transformations of our society: it is an entirely New

World we are facing


Digital era; technological trend; GNSS; PNT;

5G; autonomous driving; 3D modeling; Galileo;

Additive Manufacturing; IoT


Dr. ing. Marco Lisi

European Space Agency

Keplerlaan 1, 2200AG Noordwijk,

The Netherlands

GEOmedia n°3-2017 17


Improving Resilience to Emergencies

through Advanced Cyber

Technologies: the I-REACT project

by Claudia Maltoni, Claudio Rossi,

Guzmán Sánchez

Society as a whole is increasingly

exposed and vulnerable to natural

disasters because extreme

weather events, exacerbated by

climate change, are becoming

more frequent and longer. In

this context, the access to an

integrated system providing the

main emergency management

Fig. 1 - The I-REACT project integrates a large number of data sources to fight disasters.

information and data coming from

multiple sources is even more

critical to successful disaster risk


In the last ten years, natural

hazards 1 have caused 2 billion

causalities and costed

up to $1.4 trillion worldwide,

as registered in the Emergency

Events Database (EM-DAT,

2017). In Europe, disasters

caused around 7 million causalities

and up to €113 billion of

overall economic losses in the

decade 2007-2017. In this period,

flood is the biggest hazard

in terms of occurrence, affected

people and economic damage

in Europe, while the deadliest

hazard remains extreme temperature,

followed by flood and

earthquake. Wildfires are less

impacting; however, it ranks

second in affected people.

Worryingly, extreme weather

events will be even more frequent

and last longer in the

future, mainly due to climate

change. Greater evaporation

will lead to increased water

vapour in the atmosphere,

producing more intense precipitation.

This, together with

rapid snow melting, intensifies

the likelihood of floods.

Also, higher temperatures

will increase the frequency of

wildfires as well as other natural

disasters. According to the

Intergovernmental Panel on

Climate Change (IPCC, 2013),

the surface temperature is projected

to rise over the 21st century

under all assessed emission


The European Commission's

Humanitarian Aid and

Civil Protection department

(ECHO) and the Federal

Emergency Management

Agency (FEMA) of the United

States agree upon the need to

invest in disaster prevention.

One of the key message in the

2017 ECHO Factsheet stats

that “for every €1 invested in

disaster prevention, €4 to €7

are saved in disaster response”

(ECHO, 2017). According to

the “Nature Climate Change”

journal, improving flood defences

across the EU to prevent

100-year flood would save €7

billion a year by 2050 but cost

only €1.75 billion to implement

(Jongman, 2014).

Despite that, current systems

for risk management are still

limited in their effectiveness.

Even if technological progresses

are registered and large amounts

of data are available, there is

no platform that integrates and

analyses in real time all the useful

data to improve prediction

and management of natural

disasters. On the other hand,

the need for systematic data for

disaster mitigation and prevention

is an increasing concern for

both development and response

agencies. In the past, data needs

18 GEOmedia n°3-2017


Fig. 2: The I-REACT partners, advisors and end-users at the International User Requirements Workshop (IURW)

were addressed on an ad hoc

basis, which included collecting

the information at the time of

the emergency. However, there

is a growing understanding that

data collection, analysis, and

management can help both

short and long-term development

goals and support to

identify and address disaster

risks. The I-REACT project has

been conceived in this context,

considering that “you cannot

manage what you cannot measure”,

as stated by Margareta

Wahlström, the United Nations

Special Representative of the

Secretary-General for Disaster

Risk Reduction.

The project: I-REACT in brief

I-REACT (Improving

Resilience to Emergencies

through Advanced Cyber

Technologies) is a Horizon

2020 3-year project (2016-

2019) funded by the European

Commission under the Secure

Society Work Programme


I-REACT integrates existing

services, both local and

European, into a platform that

supports the entire emergency

management cycle. In particular,

I-REACT will implement a

multi-hazard system with a focus

on floods, fires and extreme

weather events, as they are the

most impacting natural hazards

driven by climate change.

To reach this objective,

I-REACT brings together a

multidisciplinary team of 20

European partners. From researchers

and technologists to

industry leaders, UN officials,

consultants or communicators,

these partners are working

collaboratively on the

different tasks of the project

providing their experience

and expertise to generate the

best solution against disasters.

The project is coordinated by

the Istituto Superiore Mario

Boella of Turin. Consortium

partners include: Geoville,

Eoxplore, Terranea, Alpha

Consult, UNESCO (Regional

Bureau for Science and

Culture in Europe, Venice),

Politecnico di Torino, Celi,

JoinPad, Fondazione Bruno

Kessler, Finnish Meteorological

Institute, Meteosim, Bitgear,

Ansur Technologies, Technical

University of Vienna,

Scienseed, CSI Piemonte,

Aquobex, Answaretech, and

Joint Research Centre (JRC) of

the European Commission.

The project will broaden the

scope of its predecessor, a

FP7-funded initiative named

“Integrating GMES Emergency

Services with satellite navigation

and communication for

establishing a flood information

service” (FLOODIS 2 ),

which already involved some of

I-REACT partners. Ended in

2015, FLOODIS focused on

implementing a crowd-sourcing

approach to support the emergency

response in case of floods

with dedicated demonstrations

carried out in Italy and

Fig. 3 - The project empowers different stakeholders with several new technologies and essential information

to improve the fight against disasters.

GEOmedia n°3-2017 19


in Albania. FLOODIS implemented

a smartphone application

to collect real-time reports

from both citizens and civil

protection agents, and to provide

short and long-term projections

of the flood extent for

supporting in-field emergency

rescue units. I-REACT extends

this approach, multiplying the

opportunities and serving as a

tool during all the three emergency

management phases, i.e.

prevention, preparedness and

response phases.

The first one mainly deals with

the preparation of a community

to eliminate or reduce the impact

of future disasters. For this,

the I-REACT platform will

integrate historical data, realtime

reports, weather data and

satellites observations to derive

detailed statistics and accurate

risk maps. These maps, coupled

with a decision support system,

will allow decision makers to effectively

plan prevention measures

aimed at increasing the

resilience to future disasters.

The second is the preparedness

phase. During this phase, the

coordination between governments,

civil organizations and

citizens will be promoted to be

prepared in case of an emergency.

To reach this objective,

I-REACT will analyse weather

Fig. 4 - The I-REACT workflow infographics.

forecasts, data from both local

and European early warning

systems, such as the European

Flood Awareness System

(EFAS) and the European

Forest Fire Information

(EFFIS), and warnings extracted

from social media or

received through crowdsourced

reports from authorities and

citizens, as well as using the

I-REACT mobile application.

The third one is the emergency

response phase, in which an

effective reaction, first aid and

evacuation are crucial. To help

on-site operators, I-REACT

will allow to get a quick and

complete operational picture

thanks to the ingestion of realtime

reporting (from mobile

phones or wearable devices)

and its integration in nowcast

and forecast models. To improve

self-protection behaviour

and reduce exposure, I-REACT

will support public authorities

to immediately warn citizens

with real-time information and


Where we are: I-REACT at its

second year

The project officially started at

the beginning of June 2016 and

it is now entering its second


The innovation design phase,

based on a user-centred design

and including the requirement

definition, is concluded.

Within this activity, the international

workshop “Increasing

Resilience to Natural hazards

through Information and

Communication Technology”

was organised on 14-15

September 2016 at UNESCO

Headquarters in Paris. It

brought together policy-makers,

emergency service providers and

science and technology experts

from different European countries.

The workshop aimed at

gathering their needs, assess the

implementation gaps in their

operational procedures, and

co-design some key features of

the I-REACT system, e.g. the

data collection and visualization

process. Also, a survey to gain

knowledge on citizen’s perception

of risks was launched. The

results have been used to design

tips and quizzes that will be

inserted in the mobile application

to improve citizen’s risk

awareness in all phases of the


The three main technical work

packages, based on a “Plan-

Do-Test” agile approach, are

still on-going. More in detail,

they foresee the integration of

external services and data, such

as the Copernicus Emergency

Management Service (EMS),

open data, Sentinel satellites,

EGNSS and historical information.

At the same time,

up to March 2018, the team

will deliver all main models

of I-REACT (modelling and

engines), including weather

and climate forecasts, extreme

weather event detection, flood

and fire nowcast and forecast,

risk forecasts, and a social media

data engine. Last, but not

least, the service oriented architecture

stage has started, which

is aimed at the implementation

of the centralized system archi-

20 GEOmedia n°3-2017


tecture and of all in-filed technologies

for data collection.

Since June 2017, the team is

approaching other two main

activities. First of all, to achieve

a full system integration and

consolidate the performance of

the I-REACT solution, simulations

and direct involvement

of end-users and emergency

responders are foreseen during

the validation and demonstration

phase. At the moment,

five demonstrations (in Italy,

Spain, Finland, UK, Malta)

have been planned. After each

demonstration, a user workshop

will be organized to gather

feedback that will be used to

improve (tune) the system.

Second, the business assessment

and exploitation phase recently

kicked-off, including a costsbenefits

analysis, business plan,

implementation roadmap and

exploitation activities aimed

at assessing I-REACT socioeconomic

impact and preparing

its roll-out.

The project workflow is completed

by the overall project

management and the dissemination,

communication and

engagement phase, both lasting

for the overall project duration.

Thanks to this second activity,

I-REACT is now present

in different on-line channels

(e.g. website, Facebook, Twitter,

YouTube) and promoted

through several materials (e.g.

videos, infographics).

Where we want to be:

I-REACT final goal

“By 2018, I-REACT will implement

a European-wide platform

that integrates emergency

management data coming

from multiple sources. In this

way, we will be able to produce

information faster and allow

citizens, civil protection services

and policymakers to effectively

react to natural disasters and

Fig. 5 - 3D model of the fisrt responder's wearable for improved positioning and environmental sensing.

mitigate their impact on the

society”, says Claudio Rossi,

Project Manager at ISMB,

who is in charge of the project

management and the technical

coordination. How?

Leveraging on innovative cyber

technologies and ICT systems,

the I-REACT platform will be

designed as an articulated and

modular system based on different

components. As mentioned

before, it will integrate many

different information sources,

including Copernicus EMS

maps, early warnings from the

EFAS and EFFIS, satellite data

(Sentinel), social media streams

and crowdsourced information

from emergency responders

and citizens. All this information

will be merged to provide

added-value products, such as

a decision-support system for

authorities and an app for citizens.

Also, wearable devices and

smart glasses will be provided

to first-responders, who will

benefit from high-precision

positioning thanks to Galileo

and EGNOS and Augmented

Reality to make hands-free reports.

Thanks to this architecture,

I-REACT will be able to provide

greater emergency anticipation

through accurate weather

forecasts that, coupled with

historical knowledge, satellite

and risk maps, crowdsourced

reports, and social media information

will allow to better anticipate

extreme weather events,

floods, and fire. The modularity

of the system, and its interoperability

with existing systems,

will allow a strong flexibility of

the platform in terms of future

exploitation, making it able

to answer to different market


Our target: I-REACT as a

multi-user platform

“At I-REACT we want to

gather all the participants involved

in the different phases

of the emergency management,

to translate their needs and

ideas into effective solutions

with a real social impact. We

collaborate with groups of end

users that will benefit from the

I-REACT technology and can

provide first-hand experience.

We also have a strong advisory

board that provides valuable

counselling and support” explains

Claudia Maltoni, Project

Manager at Alpha Consult, the

SME in charge of project business

assessment and exploitation.

Even if mainly addressing

GEOmedia n°3-2017 21


emergency management, the

proposed system has been conceived

as a multi-user platform

as well. It mainly targets public

administration authorities, but

also private companies, as well

as citizens in order to provide

increased resilience to natural


A Costs-Benefits Analysis

(CBA) conducted by ALPHA

Consult during the FLOODIS

project and based on tests undertaken

together with Civil

Protections, namely in Veneto

Region and Albania, provides

some interesting preliminary

inputs. Key impacts 3 has been

described and quantified with

respect to the functionalities of

the system for both emergency

managers and the society as a

whole. Specifically, in the two

case studies 4 , a final saving of

c. €15,8 million for Albania

and €1,9 million for Treviso

could have been achieved, in

case of having FLOODIS in

place. These benefits are mainly

driven by decreasing costs for

emergency management operations,

less damages to productive

sectors, assets, properties

and infrastructures, together

with a reduction of affected

people. It is worth noting that

these estimations are not negligible.

As a consequence of

the overall project results and

impact assessment, FLOODIS

has been finally integrated with

DEWETRA, a real-time system

for hydro-meteorological and

wildfire risk forecasting, monitoring

and prevention in use in

Albania. At the same time, these

impacts are clearly conservative

with respect to the much higher

potential of I-REACT.

Besides the benefits brought

by the proposed solution to organisations

in charge of disaster

management, governments and

society as a whole, I-REACT

could foster market growth and

produce impacts for other private

stakeholders, such as current

system providers, insurance

companies and third parties

with an interest on information

produced by I-REACT. For this

reason, “a set of interviews are

being carried out with different

types of private actors, from

insurance companies to firms

specialised on business continuity

and disaster recovery, in

different countries in Europe

to assess their requirements and

interest in I-REACT. A dedicated

CBA could be undertaken

to quantify potential benefits

also in some relevant private

sectors”, concludes Maltoni.


1 Drought, earthquake, extreme temperature, flood,

landslide, storm, volcanic activity, mass movement

and wildfire are considered


3 Reduction of costs for emergency management operations,

human losses, affected people, infrastructure

damages and damages to private sector activities, environment,

housing and education buildings and cultural

heritage have been all assessed.

4 The 2015 flood in Albania and water bomb in Treviso.


Emergency Events Database, EM-DAT, 2017

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2013),

Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution

of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report

of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC


European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil

Protection department (2017), European Disaster Risk

Management, ECHO Factsheet

Brenden Jongman (2014), Increasing stress on disasterrisk

finance due to large floods, Nature Climate Change


United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster

Statistics, UNISDR website.


I-REACT; natural hazards; climate change; disaster

management; Copernicus


Due to climate change, floods, wildfires and other extreme

weather events are becoming more frequent and

intense. This scenario poses a challenge for current risk

management systems. I-REACT project aims to develop

a solution through the integration and modelling

of data coming multiple sources. Information from European

monitoring systems, earth observations, historical

information and weather forecasts will be combined

with data gathered by new technological developments

created by I-REACT. These include a mobile app and

a social media analysis tool to account for real-time

crowdsourced information, wearables to improve

positioning, as well as augmented reality glasses to facilitate

reporting and information visualisation by first

responders. With this approach, I-REACT will be able

to empower stakeholders in the prevention and management

of disasters. Citizens will be involved in reporting

first-hand information, policymakers will be supported

in the decision-making process, and first responders will

be equipped with essential tools for early warning and

response. At the same time, private companies could

leverage specific set of I-REACT components to improve

their business, when linked to disaster management.

Overall, I-REACT aims to be a European-wide

contribution to build more secure and resilient societies

to disasters.


Claudia Maltoni

Alpha Consult

Claudio Rossi

Istituto Superiore Mario Boella

Guzmán Sánchez


22 GEOmedia n°3-2017

Aeronike introduces City Explorer 3D:

know how e innovation


Aeronike, is operating in the aero photogrammetry

market since 1966.

During its 40 years of operations a complete

portfolio of aero surveys activities

and services have been developed, from a

high detailed digital cartography to the

core competence of the 3D restitution of

aerial images.

City Explorer 3D is a technological

platform which integrates a 3D virtual

model with data and aero photogrammetric

surveys from different sources (plane,

drone, terrestrial) to give a tool to public

administration, associations, consortiums

to satisfy their respective specific needs.

With City Explorer 3D the user can experience

an immersive 3D visit to his city or

territory, of a site or monument of

interest. Specific touristic itineraries can

be designed with additional contents as

Multilanguage narrator voice to enter

within the context at 360° with a fly through

approach. (Virtual Tours).

This platform represents a very useful tool

to boost promotional activities and can

be integrated with more standard tools as

paper guides, web site, etc...

The user can access the 3D immersive

virtual tour via WEB, mobile APPs with

devices as Google Cardboard or via

Totem/Monitor Touch Screen which

could be available along different Point of

Information with Virtual and Augmented

Reality integrated contents.


26/28 Sept.

Hall 4.1 | B4033


Additional application fields of the 3D Territory Model

Analysis & Planning

Support to Design

4D Analysis

3D environment to build the final design


Cartography integration

Dimensional checks

CAD BIM models integration

Spatial relation analysis

(void/full report)





Cartography obtained from the 3D model

Mock up

Support for environmental impact assessment

Simulations (Hydrogeological, acoustic, CFD)

Street Profiles

Aeronike GEOmedia n°3-2017 City Explorer 23D










24 COSMO-SkyMed GEOmedia composite n°3-2017 image. ASI Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - processed and distributed by e-GEOS


e-GEOS, an ASI (20%) / Telespazio (80%) company, is a

leading international player in the Earth Observation and

Geo-Spatial Information business.

e-GEOS is the global distributor for the COSMO-SkyMed

data, the largest and most advanced Radar Satellite

onstellation available today.

e-GEOS offers a unique portfolio of application services,

specially thanks to the superior monitoring capabilities of

COSMO-SkyMed constellation, and has acquired a leading

position within European Copernicus Program.

Covering the whole value chain, from data acquisition to

the generation of analytics reports, e-GEOS is working in

the field of big data analytics based on the integration of

different sources. This approach is one of the key assets

for the new services and products offered by the company.























GEOmedia n°3-2017 25


The new MSc in Geoinformatics

Engineering at Politecnico di Milano

by Ludovico Biagi

This paper describes the first

italian MSc in Geoinformatics

Engineering started in 2016 at

Politecnico di Milano.

Fig. 1 - Four examples of Geoinformatics expertizes.

Upper, left. Positioning by GNSS (a GPS III satellite, United States Government).

Upper, right. Analysis of remote sensed images (LandSat multispectral image of Como

lake, GeoLab of Politecnico di Milano). Lower, left. Creation and analysis of digital

elevation models (example of high resolution DEM from LiDAR, GeoLab of Politecnico

di Milano). Lower, right. Advanced environmental analysis (4D modelling of temperatures

in the Mediterranean sea, GeoLab of Politecnico di Milano).

The vision of Digital

Earth was proposed by

Al Gore in 1998 as a

multi-dimensional and multiresolution

model of the planet

to contextualize the huge

amount of spatial information

relating to the physical and

socio-economic environment.

Every day humans generate

more than 2.5 trillion (10 18 )

bytes of data: 80% of them are

spatial data. In the ‘80 of the

last century, first digital spatial

data were acquired by scanning

hardcopy archives; now they are

endlessly acquired in massive

quantities from fixed and mobile

in-situ sensors, from sensors

on satellites, on aircrafts, on

UAVs or on land vehicles, from

digital documents and social

media. Such a massive flow (Big

geodata) generates new challenges

since stored data have to be

analyzed and processed, often

in real-time, to extract information.

Therefore, a new scientific

and technical figure who combines

expertizes in Computer

Science, Environmental

Engineering and Geomatics is


Geoinformatics engineers are

high level experts in technologies

for measuring, georeferencing,

managing, analyzing,

visualizing and publishing

spatial and time varying information,

with a particular

concern to environmental data.

Geoinformatics engineers will

thus be involved in the design,

implementation and management

of geodata projects to

support the new paradigms

of Participative Digital Earth,

Smart City and Smart Society

as well as a variety of decisions

at regional, country and global

level. Urban and agricultural

land planning, monitoring and

management, infrastructure design

and building information

management, transport and

traffic monitoring and management,

environmental modeling,

geography, Earth sciences are

the main application fields of

Geoinformatics Engineering.

All those fields attain to the general

context of sustainable management

of environment and

land. In Figure 1, few examples

of Geoinformatics expertizes are


As the academic teaching is

concerned, some universities

in Europe propose courses in

Geoinformatics. In Italy, in

2016 Politecnico di Milano

planned and started the first

Italian MSc in Geoinformatics


26 GEOmedia n°3-2017


The new Master of Sciences

in Geoinformatics Engineering

at Politecnico di Milano

The MSc in Geoinformatics

Engineering at Politecnico

di Milano aims at preparing

technicians who possess deep

preparation and strong attitude

to solve problems relevant to

geospatial information. The following

skills are needed on the

methodological and the practical

points of view:

1. spatial information managing:

a. acquisition and georeferencing,

b. analysis, classification and


c. archiving, representation,

publication and distribution;

2. computer infrastructures:

design and implementation of

infrastructures to

a. acquire, model and analyze

spatial data and phenomena,

b. manage, publish and share

the spatial information;

3. methodologies and instruments

to model and analyze

environmental phenomena;

4. advanced technologies for

Big Geodata and internet of


The acquisition of these capabilities

requires the knowledge

of all the methodological and

practical topics that allow to

identify, model, and solve the

relevant problems. In particular,

at the end of their Master’s

degree, students must have a

wide knowledge of methods representing

the state of the art of

the discipline. Moreover, they

not only gain the knowledge

but also the habit to autonomously

and creatively face and

solve Geoinformatics problems,

which are often unusual and

new at a level that is both

methodological and practical.

Indeed, a main aim of the

Master is to make students able

to autonomously face cutting

edge and original subjects,

with a pro-active attitude to

problem solution. Accordingly

to this mission, the Master at

Politecnico di Milano has been

designed as follows.

The study programme

The MSc in Geoinformatics

Engineering is a two years

international master course

taught in English for Italian

and foreign students. The

study program satisfies both

the Italian Ministerial classes

LM-32 (Computer Science

Engineering) and LM-35

(Environmental and Land management

Engineering). At the

enrollment the student must

choose his Ministerial class: the

choice can be modified during

the first year of study.

Students having mainly a

background in Environmental

Engineering find an introductory

course in Computer

Science, while those with a

computer oriented first level

degree follow a basic course on

Geomatics and Environmental

issues. In the geomatic / environmental

field, the mandatory

courses cover topics such

as Geospatial data analysis,

Geographical Information

Systems (GIS), Positioning and

Location Based Services; in the

Computer Science field, mandatory

courses cover topics like

Databases, Software engineering,

Computer Infrastructures.

In the first year, the plan of

mandatory courses allow the

students to modify the choice

of the Ministerial class. In the

second year, mandatory courses

alternate with elective courses,

that allow students to deepen

their expertise.

Elective courses are specifically

proposed for Geoinformatics

Engineering students. They are

either in computer programming

and computer systems

design, dealing for instance

with multidimensional and

mobile applications; or in environmental

management and

sustainability issues dealing for

instance with Earth observation

techniques and geophysical data


The ability to autonomously

face problems and implement

solutions is achieved through

laboratories and projects that

are paired to traditional courses

lectures; the final thesis on an

original scientific topic further

stimulates it.

More details are given in the

official study rules that are published

at www.geoinformatics.

Access requirements

The access to the MSc in

Geoinformatics Engineering

implies prior acquisition of a

Bachelor of Science, obtained

from the Politecnico di Milano

School of Engineering or other

Italian or international universities.

Admissions are evaluated

by a commission, accordingly

to the previous career, the adequacy

of personal preparation

and the knowledge of English.

Access requirements are differentiated

according to the acquired

Bachelor of Science.

Fig. 2 - The logo of the MSc in Geoinformatics

Engineering at Politecnico di Milano.

GEOmedia n°3-2017 27


Graduates in Environmental

and Land planning

Engineering, Computer

Science Engineering and other

Engineering courses at the

Politecnico di Milano, must

pass a selection that is based

on results (marks and time

taken) of their Bachelors.

Graduates from other Italian

or international universities

must pass a selection that is

based on the final marks of

the Bachelor of Science degree

together with an analytical

evaluation of their prior curriculum.

A limited enrollment is

planned for the MSc in

Geoinformatics Engineering

at Politecnico di Milano, with

a maximum number of 50

students. In particular, 30

places are reserved for non-EU

students, the remaining 20 are

available for Italian students,

EU students and non-EU students

resident in Italy.

Career perspectives

According to the selected

study track, the graduated

Geoinformatics engineers

can participate to the Italian

state certification exam to

enter either the Civil and

Environmental Engineers’

register (LM-32) or the

Computer science Engineers’

one (LM-35).

Accordingly to the cultural

and technical organization

of our MSc, Geoinformatics

engineers from Politecnico di

Milano find a job where an

Environmental engineer with

strong expertize in Computer

Science is needed, for example,

a technician for the management

and analysis of a network

of environmental sensors. On

the opposite, they find a job

in the branches of Information

Technology finalized to the design

and implementation of

tools for the Environmental

and Land management.


Geoinformatics engineers

find a placement in all the

branches that directly manage

and develop environmental

and spatial information.

Furthermore, nowadays spatial

information is everywhere:

therefore, Geoinformatics

engineers find job also in

big companies or agencies

that need and use spatial

information. In summary,

Geoinformatics engineers

find employment in:

• small and medium-sized

companies working in the

field of GIS development

and management, of

Computer Science applied

to spatial data-base management,

to logistics and

land planning,

• public and private, national

and local companies working

on territorial mapping,

on cadaster, on spatial data

infrastructure, on territorial

data collection, on environmental

data management

and analysis,

• big industry (e.g., for telecommunications)

and big

companies which needs

experts for spatial information,

• companies developing systems

for the analysis and

management of networks of

environmental sensors,

• companies developing

hardware and software for

environmental applications,

• advanced research institutes

or companies working

on the Internet of Places,

Big Geodata, Sensor

Enablement, Urban Data

City Analytics, Earth



Webpages of international MSc in











TU Delft,



TU Twente,















Webpage of Politecnico di Milano

Webpage of the MSc in Geoinformatics

Engineering of Politecnico di Milano: www.

Webpage with information for international

students at Politecnico di Milano


Geoinformatics; Digital Earth; Big


Master of Science


In the new digital scenario, new professional

figures are needed to manage the spatial and

environmental information: geoinformatics

engineers are high level experts in technologies

for measuring, georeferencing, managing,

analyzing, visualizing and publishing spatial

and time varying information, with a particular

concern to environmental data. As the academic

teaching is concerned, some universities

in Europe propose courses in Geoinformatics.

In Italy, Politecnico di Milano started in 2016

the first national MSc in Geoinformatics Engineering:

this paper describes it.


Ludovico Biagi

Politecnico di Milano, DICA,

P.zza Leonardo Da Vinci 32, 20133


28 GEOmedia n°3-2017


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unique and practical innovations by GeoMax


works when you do

GEOmedia n°3-2017 29


VGI and crisis mapping in an

emergency situation

Comparison of four case studies: Haiti, Kibera, Kathmandu, Centre Italy

di Lucia Saganeiti, Federico Amato, Gabriele Nolè, Beniamino Murgante

Fig.1 - Sequentially mapping

OSMs to Port-Au-Prince:

the first concerns the pre

earthquake situation, the

second situation as of January

29, 2010 and the latest

situation in December 2016.

Source: http:;

Over the last decade

new voluntary

mapping patterns are

commonly known as

VGI – Volunteered

Geographic Information

– that is, geo-localized

information created

voluntarily and

consciously by web

users. These are

supported by platforms

such as OpenStreetMap

that have been shown

in many emergency

cases and not, a valid

source of data, such

detailed to be used for

rescue operations.

In recent crisis contexts,

the use of geo-spatial data

analysis has been a precious

resource in coordinating of

rescue operations (Boccardo

& Pasquali, 2012). As a

consequence, numerous Open

Source platform born to

answer to the growing demand

for geo-information. Crisis

Mapping (CM) consists of

the spontaneous process of

gathering and geo-locating

data from different sources,

including closed/open-data, or

crowdsourcing databases. These

data are verified, catalogued and

finally made visible in ad hoc

platforms (Poser & Dransch,


With the overwhelming of

technology, the spread of

smartphones and mobile

or fixed connections,

humanitarian aid management

during the post-emergency

phases has radically changed.

Today, even in less developed

countries, most people have

a mobile phone and they are

able to send at least a simple

SMS. Therefore, the term

Crisis Mapping is often used

to identify mapping activities

during humanitarian crises. The

activity of CM is targeted at

collecting, displaying, updating

and analysing real-time data

in emergencies due to natural

disasters such as earthquakes,

floods, tsunamis, hurricanes,

or anthropic disaster such as

landslides, terrorist attacks or

serious industrial accidents.

When a disastrous event occurs,

local or remote people (Crisis

Mappers via web) mobilize

themselves to update maps,

report emergencies and spread

news. This participation also

helps to increase awareness of

the event. Crisis Mappers are

generally (unpaid) voluntary

with or without specific skills.

Indeed, a group of mappers is

generally composed by simple

resident of the area affected

by the disaster who want

to contribute to the rescue

activities, computer science

experts, web programmer

who want to provide their

30 GEOmedia n°3-2017


scientific contribution to

the coordination operations.

To this purposes, a number

of online groups have been

created. Among them, one

of the most important is

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap

Team (HOT), which supported

OpenStreetMap (OSM)

mapper activity in the first

use of the application for an

humanitarian goal: he Haiti

earthquake in 2010 (Soden &

Palen, 2014). Another example

of Crisis Mapping is Ushahaidi,

a web platform that uses OSM

maps and is updated through

the geo localization of messages

from SMS, tweets and emails

that contain certain keywords,

called alert.

Other experiences adopted

during the Hurricanes Sandy

and Irene classified tweets on

maps based on hashtags (http://



The availability of free satellite

data and the experimentation

of ever-new remote sensing

techniques played a primary

role in the spread of these

approaches. CM activities

can be considered as open

participatory policies. Indeed,

anyone join these communities,

update their country map or a

distant country one that they

do not know, report discomfort

launching a crisis map or report

the quality values of a region

through a map showing all the

parks in the area, the paths

without architectural barriers,

or anything else.

This article proposes an

analysis of several case in

which volunteering activities

were carried out in some postemergency

phases to contribute

to the rescue operations and to

build a previously non-existent

cognitive framework.

The analysed web platforms are

OpenStreetMap e Ushahidi.

Four case studies are considered:

the Haiti earthquake of 2010,

the post election crisis of Kibera

in 2007/2008, the Kathmandu

experience with the Nepal

earthquake of 2012 and the

central Italy earthquake of

2016. These four cases show

substantial differences:


With the disastrous earthquake,

affecting Haiti in 2010, begins

the spread of OSM in a natural

emergency situation. Here

the OSM community has

had to endure a hard work to

gain credibility before being

recognized as an association.

This is the first striking case in

which is the population with

SMS, Tweet e App, direct the

rescue. The rescuers, with the

support of platforms such as

OSM and Ushahidi, receive

updates without any third party

intermediation (Neis, Singler,

& Zipf, 2014) (Fig.1).

Chart 1a - utilization crowd mapping

platforms Haiti

Chart 1c - utilization crowd mapping

platforms Kibera


Ushahidi is born in a contest

of electoral violence. In Kibera,

following the presidential

elections in 2007, there was a

climate of civil violence and a

part of the population felt the

need to make the whole world

aware of the situation that was

affecting their country. This

led to the birth of Ushaihdi,

which in swahilli means

“witness” (Goldstein & Rotich,

2008). This case highlights

how technology can be used

not only as an evidence of the

violence suffered but also to

spread messages of hatred and



In Nepal, a country with a high

seismic and tsunami risk, the

OSM community started to

take shape since 2012, helping

to update the cartography

of the country and to create

information and interest toward

the topic of disaster risk,

Chart 1b - utilization crowd mapping

platforms Kathmadu

Chart 1d - utilization crowd mapping

platforms Centro Italia

GEOmedia n°3-2017 31


especially in schools (Soden,

Budhathoki, & Palen, 2014).

In 2015, when the earthquake

occurred, the country was not

taken unprepared by the fact

that the OSM community

had long been consolidated

and could therefore act more

easily (Poiani, dos Santos

Rocha, Castro Degrossi, & de

Albuquerque, 2016).

Central Italy

Following the earthquake

swarm hitting the territory of

Central Italy since 24 August

2016, the OSM community

has been working hard to

update local maps and make

them available to everyone.

This promptness with which

the community developed a

huge quantity of useful geoinformation

has aroused the

interest of the Copernicus

project, that has acquired OSM

data and redistributed them

to the rescuers, i.e. the italian

civil protection. Therefore,

there was not a direct passage

between OSM and rescuers,

as Copernicus mediation was


To correctly evaluate and

compare these experiences,

an evaluation of the temporal

continuity of the projects would

be necessary. Indeed, they

sometimes produce the highest

results right after the disasters

to face an emergency, except

Chart 2 - Comparison chart between the four

case studies analyzed.

Character of the


then die with the same speed

when the emergency ends.

The different cases were first

evaluated individually, each

from the OSM platform’s

birth year (2004) up to the

end of 2016 (Chart 1a-d).

Subsequently, they were

compared through a qualitative

graph based on the period

before the emergency event, the

period of the emergency event

and the next one.

Therefore, analyzing the preemergency,

emergency and

post-emergency were given the

following scores:

Haiti (Chart 1a): as far as

the pre-emergency period

is concerned, a score of 0

is assigned. This is because

there was not an active

technological community in

the area before the seismic

event. For the emergency

period, the maximum score

of 10 was assigned. In fact

the OSM community is

formed during the emergency

period (seismic event) and the

emergency responders directly

use the datasets created by it.

For post-emergence a score

ranges from 9 to 5. Numerous

initiatives and coordination

Haiti Kathmandu Kibera Centro Italia

Natural Natural Anthropic Natural

Type of event Earthquake Earthquake, Tsunami

Main open source

platforms used

Main closed source

platforms used

Web and social

Developed projects




Direct relationship

between rescuers

and the technology



Ushahidi, Sahana,

Crisis Commons





Facebook, Twitter


OSM, Ushahidi,




Ushahidi, OSM

Seismic swarm


Google Maps Google Maps Copernicus, DigitalGlobe

Facebook, Twitter,


Open Cities


Kathmandu Living

Labs (KLL), MapGive



Map Kibera,

Voice of Kibera

Facebook, Twitter, Flickr


Tab. 1 - A comparison table between the various case studies reveals the platforms used

and the relationships between the data produced and the rescuers.

operations with humanitarian

organizations took place in the

years after the event; today the

OSM community continues to

work on Haiti territory and is

very active.

Kibera (Chart 1b): as far as

the pre-emergency period

is concerned, a score of 0 is

assigned. This is because there

were not an active technological

community in the area before

the emergency event (electoral

violence). For the emergency

period a score ranges from 5

to 7. The score is increasing

in this period since during

the emergency phase, several

crowd mapping groups started

to spread in the area; Ushahidi

is born in this period and

news are spread through crisis

maps. For post-emergence

a score ranges from 9 to 6,

since immediately after the

emergency, all site maps are

updated to allow humanitarian

organizations to be in direct

contact with local events.

Kathmandu (Chart 1c): as far

as the pre-emergency period is

concerned a score ranges from

0 to 8. In a period of peace,

in fact, Kathmandu (Nepal)

becomes an active community.

32 GEOmedia n°3-2017


Tab. 2 – Assign score from 0 to 10 to

four case studies with relative legend.

The OSM community starts

to update maps and spreading

knowledge about seismic

risk, especially in schools. For

the emergency period, the

maximum score of 10 was

assigned. Thanks to the work

done by the OSM community

during the pre-emergence

period, the emergency period

becomes an opportunity to

test the efficiency of crowd

mapping. In fact, it is the

time of maximum efficiency

of the platforms thanks to a

well-established community,

ready to face the event. For

post-emergence a score of 5

is assigned. Today the OSM

community continues to


Central Italy (Chart 1d):

as far as the pre-emergency

period is concerned a score

ranges from 0 to 4 with a

peak of 5 in 2009. The OSM

community starts working

already before the events. In

2009, the score increases to 5

as after the earthquake striking

Abruzzo, the OSM community

worked to update the maps

of L’Aquila. Nevertheless,

they only worked on the

maps after the earthquake (to

support the reconstruction).

For the emergency period a

score of 7 is assigned. In fact,

during the emergency, the

OSM community appears

to be efficient in updating

the maps. Despite that,

the use of the data by the

rescuers was only possible

through the intermediation

of other entities. For the post

emergency period a score of

6 or 5 is assigned. This score

is indicative, it is only an

estimate of what could happen

considering that Central

Italy is still in the state of

emergency (January 2017).

The qualitative chart represents

the four case studies

compared. The yellow zone

represents the period before

the event, the red zone the

event and the green zone the

following period. It showed

that: In cases where prior to

the event (seismic or other)

there was a already stable and

already active crisis mapper

community, the use of the

platforms and datasets made

available was immediate. It

is also evident, under some

circumstances, that these

platforms are being used

most in the emergency period

by reaching high peaks,

and are left out in pre and postemergence



1. Boccardo, P. & Pasquali, P. (2012), Web mapping services in

a crowdsource environment for disaster management: state of

the art and further development, International Archives of the

Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information

Sciences, Volume XXXIX-B4, 2012 XXII ISPRS Congress, 25

August – 01 September 2012, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 543-548

2. Goldstein, J. & Rotich, J. (2008), Digitally Networked Technology

in Kenya’s 2007–2008 Post-Election Crisis. Berkman Centre

Research Publication No. 2008-09. The Berkman Centre for

internet & society at Harvard University. http://cyber.harvard.


Networked_Technology_Kenyas_Crisis.pdf.pdf last access


3. Neis, P., Singler, P. & Zipf, A. (2010), Collaborative mapping and

Emergency Routing for Disaster Logistics - Case studies from the Haiti

earthquake and the UN portal for Afrika. In Proceedings of the

Geospatial Crossroads@ GI_Forum, Salzburg, Austria, 6–9 July

2010; Volume 10

4. Poiani, T.H., Rocha, R.d.S., Degrossi, L.C. & de Albuquerque,

J.P (2016) Potential of Collaborative Mapping for Disaster Relief:

A Case Study of OpenStreetMap in the Nepal Earthquake 2015, In

Proceedings of the 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference

on System Sciences (HICSS), Washington, DC, USA, 5

January 2016; pp. 188–197.Poser, K., & Dransch, D. (2010).

Volunteered Geographic Information for Disaster Management

with Application to Rapid Flood Damage Estimation. Geomatica,

Vol.64. n.1.

5. Soden, R. & Palen, L. (2014), From Crowdsourced Mapping to

Community Mapping:The Post-Earthquark work of OpenStreetMap

Haiti, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on the

Design of Cooperative Systems COOP 2014, 27-30 May 2014,

Nice (France) , Springer International Publishing Switzerland

2014, pp 311-326, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-06498-7_19

6. Soden, R., Budhathoki, N. & Palen, L. (2014), Resilience-Building

and the Crisis Informatics Agenda: Lessons Learned from Open Cities

Kathmandu, Proceedings of the 11th International ISCRAM

Conference – University Park, Pennsylvania, USA, May 2014


Crowdsourcing; OSM; Ushahidi;

Crisismapping; VGI


Over the last decade new voluntary mapping patterns are commonly

known as VGI – Volunteered Geographic Information –

that is, geo-localized information created voluntarily and consciously

by web users. These are supported by platforms such as

OpenStreetMap that have been shown in many emergency cases

and not, a valid source of data, such detailed to be used for rescue

operations. Another completely open source platform that has

revolutionized the world of geographic information and how to

make reports is Ushaidi that through interactive maps represents

testimonies, reports, diaries, and citizen reports.

Tab. 3 - utilization crowd mapping platforms since birth of OSM in 2004.


Lucia Saganeiti,

Federico Amato,

Beniamino Murgante,

School of Engineering, University of Basilicata, Viale

dellAteneo Lucano 10, 85100 Potenza, Italy

Gabriele Nolè,

Italian National Research GEOmedia Council, n°3-2017 IMAA C.da Santa 33

Loja, Tito Scalo, Potenza 85050, Italy


SCANFLY: integrated camera, point-cloud live streaming,

RTK correction, backpack with SLAM and a universal

mounting plate for Mobile Mapping applications.

SCANFLY is the turnkey solution for 3D lidar mapping: ultra-compact and

lightweight, it is the best cost-effective solution available on the market. The

installation is possible on any vehicle (aerial, terrestrial, marine).

Here the list of the options we will release in the next months:

RGB Camera

a 5 Megapixel Global Shutter camera would be available to add the RGB

value to the pointcloud.

SmartSurvey SCANFLY - new features

• The remote control through a dedicated pc software;

• The real-time point-cloud streaming on the pc;

• The RTK correction of the position/trajectory in real-time.


this solution will allow the indoor use of SCANFLY. Our R&D team developed a hybrid solution to allow an INS

mode (with Inertial System and GNSS) and a SLAM mode for automatic indoor localization and mapping. A further

option is an high resolution 360° panoramic camera.

Universal Mounting Plate

we would increase our mounting plate portfolio so we studied a universal solution to let the customer switch from

backpack option to vehicle mounted mode, allowing also the use of the new high-resolution panoramic camera.

Eppur… si muove?

Ground based

Interferometric SAR

Real time monitoring of

deformation and infrastructure

Sub-millimeter deformation


> landslides, open-pit mines

> deformation and vibration

> buildings, dams, towers, bridges


One system, dual-operation mode

34 GEOmedia n°3-2017


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Along with:




Host: DVW e.V.

Conference organiser: DVW GmbH

Trade fair organiser: HINTE GmbH


GEOmedia n°3-2017 35


36 GEOmedia n°3-2017


I.MODI - Structural Monitoring

through an advanced use of the

satellite remote sensing

I.MODI (Implemented MOnitoring system

for structural DIsplacement) is a value added

service, co-funded by European programme

H2020, that integrates Earth Observation

technologies, ground based data and ICT to

develop services for monitoring the stability

of buildings in large urban areas and for controlling

critical civil infrastructures.

Monitoring urban areas and critical infrastructure

networks is a dominant socio-economical

issue for the safety of the population.

Structural deterioration with aging and effects

of natural and man-made ground settlement

processes pose a threat to structures and

building strength.

To guarantee a systematic and comprehensive

control over large areas, satellite remote sensing

can be effectively adopted. Differential

Interferometry SAR (DInSAR) technology

exploited by I.MODI represents an adequate

alternative solution can be fully assimilated

within the ground-based monitoring.

Through multiple levels of services, I.MODI

examines structural displacements and performs

assessments on the level of damage and

of its possible evolution. Reports are provided

using WebGIS viewer or by user-friendly

technical reports, allowing non-experts to utilize

outcomes of a DInSAR analysis.

The I.MODI monitoring system has a primary

role in setting up mitigation and prevention

actions based on the capability to

perform back analysis using data archived

since early 1990s and to be customizable for

different monitoring end-user needs.

GEOmedia n°3-2017 37


City Explorer 3D

Aeronike will participate to this year's InterGeo edition to be held in Berlin from the

26th to the 28th of September within the booth acquired by EuroMed Mapping, a

Consortium established in 2015 grouping Aeronike as leading partner and Helica,

another Italian company operating in the sector of photogrammetry and remote sensing.

EuroMed Mapping's booth will be located in Hall 4.1 with number B4033 where

demos and some of the most innovative, recently developed tools and instruments

concerning 3D modelling, virtual tours and environmental mapping will be shown

and made available for being tested.

Aeronike looks forward welcoming you in the above-mentioned occasion to introduce

its proprietary platform “City Explorer 3D” and for letting you experience some exciting

3D virtual tours within some of the most beautiful villages and towns of Italy!!!

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38 GEOmedia n°3-2017




GEOmedia n°3-2017 39


40 GEOmedia n°3-2017


GIS for regional analysis.

The Local Innovation Map

The Local Innovation Map in the

Sicani Area is the result of a didactic

experimentation conducted in the field

of GIS applied to Regional and Urban

Planning, held by the writer in the context

of the degree course in Regional,

Urban and Environmental Planning at

the Polytechnic University of Palermo.

Inner areas are the focus of the

National Strategy for Internal Areas

(SNAI), which provides for significant

investments both for the enhancement

of services and infrastructures and for

local development projects aimed at

promoting entrepreneurial ideas in the

sector of agriculture, sustainable tourism,

handicraft, landscape and cultural


The research arises from the belief that

in inner areas, which can be defined as

territorial suburbs but also as great reserves

of local identity resources, there

are marks of change that can produce

new life cycles in rural and urban areas

through investment in environmental

and cultural heritage and local food.

In spite of the critical features of a marginal

area, some isolated experiences

can be identified in the Sicani Area as

evidence of the presence of creative talent

in this "depopulated" inner territory.

Some examples are: a innovative

ICT start-up, a co-working space, some

cultural associations, companies in the

industry of renewable energies, manufacturing

specialization and innovative

food and wine production.

By means of QGIS, the research work

has been conducted in order to detect

territorial distribution of innovative

activities in the Sicani Area and recognize

the connections or the absence of

relationships between concentration/

fragmentation/lack of innovation activities

with demographic dynamics,

infrastructure, cultural resources and

local productivity.

The Local Innovation Map, implemented

on the basis of updating the

innovative activities progressively settled

in this area, could be a useful tool

for local administrations to understand

progressive localization reasons and to

direct future development policy aimed

at the promotion of cultural/productive

activities in the inner areas.

By Marilena Orlando

Phd Regional and Urban Planning,

Professor in Charge of “GIS applied to

Urban and Regional Planning” at the

Polytechnic - University of Palermo.

Via Indipendenza, 106

46028 Sermide - Mantova - Italy

Phone +39.0386.62628

GEOmedia n°3-2017 41


Rheticus: Dynamic and continuous

geoinformation service for critical

infrastructure and enviromental monitoring

by Giuseppe Forenza

Fig. 1 - Screenshot of the Rheticus platform.

The article describes some activities

of the Rheticus geoinformation

service for both critical

infrastructure and environmental

monitoring. Two particular

applications of the cloud based

platform are shown below.

Land and infrastructure

monitoring is a key activity

to ensure people’s safety,

environmental protection

and the safeguarding of assets at

all stages of the life cycle of infrastructure

design, production

and management.

Traditional campaigns for the

regular monitoring of large and

remote areas, however, employ

considerable financial resources

and time and are often complex

to implement. The use of

satellite technology allows overcoming

these limitations and

obtaining frequent,

accurate and accessible


thanks to the wide

availability of spatial

information, even in

open data mode.

Among the different satellite

technologies available, GPS

and satellite images are widely

used. In this context, Europe

has decided to launch two constellations

of satellites: Galileo

and Sentinel. Galileo, currently

under construction, which will

have 30 GNSS satellites (Global

Navigation Satellite System,

the European GPS). The Sentinel

satellites, of which four are

already operational, are dedicated

to Earth observation in the

context of the Copernicus program

and the data they collect

are made available as open data.

Rheticus platform

and Displacement

Images captured by the Sentinel

satellites are at the basis of the

monitoring services provided

by the cloud platform Rheticus

( Main

application of these services are

dedicated to the monitoring of:

the stability of infrastructures

(dams, roads, pipelines, etc.);

slope stability and subsidence;

the quality of coastal marine

waters; forest fires; anthropic

changes of the territory.

The Rheticus cloud-based platform

provides continuous monitoring

services of the Earth’s

surface. Shifting from data provision

to geospatial knowledge

and geo-analytics, its services

are delivered by subscription

and worldwide.

Rheticus Displacement is one

of the services provided through

the cloud


The Rheticus Displacement

geoinformation service offers

monthly monitoring of

millimetric displacements of

the ground surface, landslide

areas, the stability of infrastructures,

and subsidence due

to groundwater withdrawal/

entry or from the excavation of

mines and tunnels. The service

also provides information on

anthropic changes and infrastructural

dynamics over the

area where the infrastructure is


Rheticus Displacement provides

a yearly historical analysis with

monthly updates.

The mapping activity is made

through the monitoring of

points on the ground with

high stability called Persistent

Scatterers (PS). The PS is produced

through the processing

of the European Copernicus

42 GEOmedia n°3-2017


Sentinel-1 satellite images or

COSMO-SkyMed satellite data.

Already used by main European

infrastructures and transportation

engineering companies, the

service is targeted to: Infrastructures

and works managers and

builders; Public Administration;

Planners & professionals in the


This service was adopted by

numerous customers in various

application areas after only its

first months of operation.

Two success stories:

• ANAS S.p.A. (National

Autonomous Roads Corporation):

analysis of slope

stability to support the planning,

design and monitoring

of roads.

• MM S.p.A. (former Metropolitana

Milanese): analysis

of the instability of roads

overlying pipelines for the

detection of leaks in the

water and sewage supply network.

Monitoring displacements of

the sewer network in Milan


The public sewerage network

of Milan runs for approximately

1500 km. MM SpA (former

Metropolitana Milanese

SpA), the managing company

of Integrated Water and

Wastewater Services of the City

of Milan, had been searching

for a method to quickly detect

ground surface movements caused

by the structural defect of

its collector that could affect the

area above the primary network

and adjacent areas.

Satellite radar interferometry

was considered the most accurate

and affordable survey method

to prevent and identify possible

failures of the sewage system,

even in relation to the high

traffic volume of metropolitan

cities like Milan.

Thanks to the Rheticus platform

( and its

geoinformation service Rheticus

Displacement, which processes

the interferometric data of

Sentinel satellites, 50 points

with sensitive sub-vertical movements

on 24 roads with heavy

traffic were identified and will

be investigated in a detailed

field survey.

Rheticus Network Alert -

A new user experience for water

& sewer networks

Powered by Hexagon Geospatial’s

Smart M.App technology,

Rheticus Network Alert has

been lauched at HxGN Live

Conference – June 2017- Las


The objective of Rheticus Network

Alert is to assist integrated

water and sewer networks

managing companies in their

maintenance and inspection


Rheticus Network Alert simplifies

the analysis of the Persistent

Scatterers processed by Rheticus

Displacement, providing information,

filtered and applied

directly to the network. Maintenance

activity and inspection

Fig. 2 – Displacements over the sewer Network in Milan, Italy.

priority, are simplified and the

Network Alert Smart M.App

provides the level of warning on

each pipelines.

A growing network

of Authorized Resellers.

The distribution of Rheticus

services is global. To guarantee

assistance to organizations, professionals

and decision makers

in any part of the globe, Planetek

Italia is building a network

of valued Authorized Distributors.

Several companies in

Europe, Central America, Africa

and Asia have already joined its

innovative business model and

started offering Rheticus services

to their markets. To be part

of this network write at info@

Rheticus awards

Developed by Planetek Italia,

Rheticus has been already awarded

in several competitions and

prizes at Italian and international

level, for the idea of shifting

from the provision of data to

the provision of services, intended

as continuous access to

information from the users.

A few months after its official

launch in April 2016, Rheticus

GEOmedia n°3-2017 43


was awarded:

4As “Application of the Year

2016” by OpenGeoData


4the “TIM Telecom Best

Practices for Innovation

2016” during the Premio

Best Practices for Innovation

ceremony organized by

Confindustria Salerno, Italy.

4It was also listed among finalists

of the European EO

product of the Year 2016

by the EARSC Association,

and finalist of Hexagon

Geospatial’s 2016 IGNITE


Rheticus was recently presented at

ENGAGE 2017, the DigitalGlobe’s

forum, in London, UK, and

at HxGN Live Conference 2017,

Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rheticus information and DEMO


Fig. 3 - Dynamic geoinformation about displacements over the sewer Network in Milan, Italy.


geoinformation service; critical infrastructure;

environment monitoring; rheticus network alert


Using free & open images captured by the Copernicus Sentinel satellites, the Rheticus cloudbased

platform delivers industry-focused geoinformation services, in form of dynamic maps,

reports, geo-analytics and alerts for professionals, private companies and Public Authorities,

involved in engineering, utilities, energy, mining, land planning, environment and land monitoring.

Subscribed users can receive contiuous information and analytics on the stability of infrastructures

(dams, roads, railways, pipelines, etc.), slope stability and subsidence, the quality of

coastal marine waters, forest fires and anthropic changes of the territory.


Giuseppe Forenza

Planetek Italia

44 GEOmedia n°3-2017


GEOmedia n°3-2017 45


4 - 7 September 2017

UAV-g 2017 International

Conference on Unmanned

Aerial Vehicles in Geomatics

Bonn (Germany)

5 - 8 September 2017

RSPSoc2017 - Annual

Conference Earth and Planets:

Making the most of our


Londron (United Kingdom)

6 - 8 September 2017

Strasbuorg (France)

INSPIRE 2017 Conference

11 - 15 September 2017

56th Photogrammetric Week


Stuttgart (Germany)

26 - 28 September 2017


Berlin (Germany)

27 - 29 September

Digital,Design and

Development Fair 2017

Hamburg (Germany)

9-10 October 2017

EuroSDR / ISPRS Workshop

on "Oblique Aerial Cameras -

Sensors and Data Processing"

Barcelona (Spain)

17 - 19 October 2017



Rome (Italy)

23 - 25 November 2017

12th International

Conference on Non-

Destructive Investigations

and Microanalysis for the

Diagnostics and Conservation

of Cultural and Environmental

Heritage (AIPnD)

Turin (Italy)

16-19 January 2018

Geospatial World Forum

Hyderabad (India)

6 – 11 May 2018

FIG Congress

Istanbul (Turkey)

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