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Rivista bimestrale - anno XXII - Numero 3/<strong>2018</strong> - Sped. in abb. postale 70% - Filiale di Roma<br />


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This is the motto of this edition of INTERGEO <strong>2018</strong> and <strong>GEOmedia</strong> is proud to share this message!<br />

The German Minister of the Interior, Building and Community is bringing an important message about inviting us to<br />

focus on the fact that the “spatial reference is its uniting element. As a result, abstract values become maps, digital data<br />

become comprehensible facts and complex information provides us with access to the world. Be it broad access, swift<br />

processing or comprehensive interconnectedness – digital technology will make it easier for us to achieve all of this. At the<br />

same time, questions about the future of geodesy arise. How will the work routines and tasks of geodesy specialists change?<br />

How will we find our experts? How can we help them develop their expertise?”<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> since many years is pushing the Italian geomatics in an international frame and INTERGEO is one of<br />

the focus event to meet international growth on the context of Geospatial 4.0, Smart City, Smart Villages, digital<br />

construction, cloud computing and the Geo artificial intelligence.<br />

The Director of the Fair remember to us “The key are always geo issues of digitalisation and the digital revolution.<br />

Without digitalisation there can be no smart cities and villages, no BIM and no eGovernment. Our industry is currently<br />

undergoing rapid change, as geoinformation is a vital element of the digital revolution. It helps make our environment<br />

available digitally in three dimensions and opens up a wealth of applications when combined with specialist data. This<br />

in turn gives rise to a whole range of new and innovative business models. In addition, the importance of artificial<br />

intelligence processes, augmented reality and virtual reality is also on the rise. These will have a huge impact on our work<br />

processes, transforming our jobs forever”.<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> and INTERGEO will continuously address these issues in their respective role.<br />

Enjoy your reading,<br />

Renzo Carlucci<br />

Conoscenza e azione per il pianeta Terra<br />

Questo è il motto di questa edizione di INTERGEO <strong>2018</strong> e <strong>GEOmedia</strong> è orgogliosa di condividere questo messaggio!<br />

Il ministro dell'Interno tedesco, responsabile anche dell’edificato e della comunità, sta portando un messaggio importante<br />

invitando a concentrarsi sul fatto che "Il riferimento spaziale è elemento di unione. Di conseguenza, i valori astratti<br />

diventano mappe, i dati digitali diventano fatti comprensibili e le informazioni complesse forniscono l'accesso al mondo.<br />

Sia che si tratti di un accesso ampio, di un'elaborazione rapida o di un'interconnessione completa, la tecnologia digitale ci<br />

renderà più facile il raggiungimento di tutto questo. Allo stesso tempo, sorgono domande sul futuro della geodesia. Come<br />

cambieranno routine di lavoro e mansioni degli specialisti di geodesia? Come troveremo i nostri esperti? Come possiamo<br />

aiutarli a sviluppare la loro esperienza? "<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> da molti anni sta spingendo la geomatica italiana in una cornice internazionale e INTERGEO è uno dei<br />

momenti chiave per la crescita internazionale nel contesto di Geospatial 4.0, Smart City, Smart Villages, costruzione<br />

digitale, cloud computing e geo-artificial-intelligence.<br />

E il direttore di INTERGEO ci ricorda che: "Le questioni geografiche della digitalizzazione e della rivoluzione digitale<br />

sono sempre questioni chiave. Senza la digitalizzazione non ci possono essere città e villaggi intelligenti, nessun BIM e<br />

nessun e-Government. Il nostro settore sta attualmente subendo rapidi cambiamenti, poiché la geoinformazione è un<br />

elemento vitale della rivoluzione digitale. Aiuta a rendere disponibile digitalmente il nostro ambiente in tre dimensioni<br />

e apre una vasta gamma di applicazioni combinate con dati specialistici. Ciò a sua volta dà origine a un'intera gamma di<br />

modelli di business nuovi e innovativi. Inoltre, l'importanza dei processi di intelligenza artificiale, realtà aumentata e realtà<br />

virtuale è in aumento. Questi avranno un enorme impatto sui nostri processi lavorativi, trasformando il nostro lavoro per<br />

sempre ".<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> e INTERGEO affronteranno continuamente questi problemi nel loro rispettivo ruolo.<br />

Buona lettura,<br />

Renzo Carlucci

In this<br />

issue...<br />

FOCUS<br />

REPORT<br />

High positioning<br />

accuracy in GNSS<br />

systems<br />

and receivers<br />

by Marco Lisi<br />

6<br />


24 ESA IMAGE<br />

26 NEWS<br />

40 Italy’s National<br />

Archive of<br />

Aerial Photography<br />

48 EVENTS<br />

12<br />

seIsmIc<br />

vulnerabIlIty oF<br />

exIstIng buIldIngs:<br />

non-InvasIve<br />

approach For<br />

dynamIc<br />

behavIour<br />





On the cover a Copernicus<br />

Sentinel-1B satellite image<br />

over Semera in northeast<br />

Ethiopia. The landscape of the<br />

Afar region is characterised<br />

by desert shrubland and<br />

volcanoes, particularly in the<br />

north. In this image we can<br />

see differences in altitude<br />

represented in the variations<br />

in colour. The left part of<br />

the image is dominated by<br />

yellow, signifying changes in<br />

vegetation found at higher<br />

altitudes. Two lakes, Hayk<br />

Lake and Hardibo Lake, are<br />

shown in the bottom left.<br />

Sentinel-1B was launched<br />

in April 2016, carrying an<br />

advanced radar instrument to<br />

provide an all-weather, dayand-night<br />

supply of imagery<br />

of Earth’s surface. This image<br />

was captured on 5 April <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

(Credits: ESA - Image of the<br />

week: "Northeast Ethiopia")<br />

22<br />

THE<br />

MANIFesto OF<br />


5.0<br />

by Bruno Ratti<br />

geomediaonline.it<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong>, published bi-monthly, is the Italian magazine for<br />

geomatics. Since 20 years is publishing to open a worldwide<br />

window to the Italian market and viceversa. Themes are on<br />

latest news, developments and applications in the complex<br />

field of earth surface sciences. <strong>GEOmedia</strong> dial with all activities<br />

relating to the acquisition, processing, querying, analysis,<br />

presentation, dissemination, management and use of geo-data<br />

and geo-information. The magazine covers subjects such as<br />

surveying, environment, mapping, GNSS systems, GIS, Earth<br />

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


3DTarget 39<br />

32 Copernicus Sentinels<br />

missions and<br />

crowdsourcing as<br />

game changers for<br />

geospatial information<br />

in agriculture<br />

by Flavio Lupia,<br />

Vyron Antoniou<br />

Epsilon 27<br />

Esri Italia 31<br />

Geogrà 10<br />

Geomax 2<br />

Geospatial World Forum 29<br />

GIS3W 20<br />

Gter 22<br />

Planetek Italia 11<br />

aerRobotix 45<br />

Stonex 21<br />

Rheticus:<br />

Satellite-based<br />

Information<br />

Services for<br />

Utilities<br />

by Vincenzo Massimi<br />

36<br />

Studio SIT 35<br />

Intergeo 47<br />

Teorema 46<br />

Topcon 48<br />

42<br />

RUNNIng up<br />

that HIll<br />

Italian civic<br />

addresses and<br />

the quest for<br />

accuracy<br />

by Valerio Zunino<br />

In the background of the summary<br />

a Copernicus Sentinel-2A<br />

satellite takes us over the largest<br />

island of the Azores: São<br />

Miguel. ESA, in collaboration<br />

with the French Space Agency,<br />

CNES, is organising a symposium<br />

on 25 years of progress<br />

in radar altimetry, which will<br />

be held in Ponta Delgada from<br />

24–29 September. With global<br />

sea-level rise a global concern,<br />

the symposium will focus on<br />

the advances made in our understanding<br />

of the open ocean,<br />

the cryosphere, and coastal and<br />

land processes. The annual meeting<br />

of the Ocean Surface Topography<br />

Science Team and the<br />

International DORIS Service<br />

Workshop will also be held in<br />

the same week.<br />

This image was captured on 8<br />

September 2016.<br />

(Credits: ESA - Image of the<br />

week: "São Miguel, Azores")<br />

Science & Technology Communication<br />

Chief Editor<br />

RENZO CARLUCCI, direttore@rivistageomedia.it<br />

Editorial Board<br />

Vyron Antoniou, Fabrizio Bernardini, Mario Caporale,<br />

Luigi Colombo, Mattia Crespi, Luigi Di Prinzio,<br />

Michele Dussi, Michele Fasolo, Marco Lisi, Flavio Lupia,<br />

Beniamino Murgante, Aldo Riggio, Mauro Salvemini,<br />

Domenico Santarsiero, Attilio Selvini, Donato Tufillaro<br />

Managing Director<br />

FULVIO BERNARDINI, fbernardini@rivistageomedia.it<br />

Editorial Staff<br />


redazione@rivistageomedia.it<br />

Marketing Assistant<br />

TATIANA IASILLO, diffusione@rivistageomedia.it<br />

Account manager<br />

ALFONSO QUAGLIONE, marketing@rivistageomedia.it<br />

Design<br />

DANIELE CARLUCCI, dcarlucci@rivistageomedia.it<br />

MediaGEO soc. coop.<br />

Via Palestro, 95 00185 Roma<br />

Tel. 06.64871209 - Fax. 06.62209510<br />

info@rivistageomedia.it<br />

ISSN 1128-8132<br />

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

Stampa: SPADAMEDIA srl<br />


Publisher: mediaGEO società cooperativa<br />

Science & Technology Communication<br />

Paid subscriptions<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> is available bi-monthly on a subscription basis.<br />

The annual subscription rate is € 45. It is possible to subscribe<br />

at any time via https://geo4all.it/abbonamento. The cost of one<br />

issue is € 9 €, for the previous issue the cost is € 12 €. Prices and<br />

conditions may be subject to change.<br />

Magazine founded by: Domenico Santarsiero.<br />

Issue closed on: 20/08/<strong>2018</strong>.

FOCUS<br />

High positioning accuracy<br />

in GNSS systems and receivers<br />

by Marco Lisi<br />

In the last few months we have been<br />

witnessing a remarkable (and, to<br />

some extent, surprising) increase<br />

of interest for GNSS high accuracy<br />

positioning, involving both systems<br />

and receivers. In particular, this<br />

growing demand for increased<br />

positioning accuracy is evident<br />

for mass-market applications,<br />

in areas such as: IoT tracking<br />

devices, wearable tracking devices,<br />

automotive, UAV’s; Robotic vehicles.<br />

Several GNSS augmentation methods<br />

have been developed over the years,<br />

aiming at improving the navigation<br />

system performance not only in terms<br />

of positioning accuracy, but also in<br />

terms of reliability, availability and<br />

sometime integrity.<br />

Satellite Based Augmentation<br />

Systems<br />

One first family of augmentation<br />

systems is based on<br />

the principle of “Differential<br />

GNSS”. This method consists<br />

in using reference receivers, positioned<br />

in fixed, well-located<br />

positions, known as “base”<br />

stations, to derive correction<br />

errors that apply with a good<br />

degree of approximation to all<br />

user receivers located nearby.<br />

Well known and already fully<br />

operational are the so-called<br />

Satellite-Based Augmentation<br />

Systems (SBAS), such as the<br />

American Wide Area Augmentation<br />

System (WAAS) and the<br />

European Geostationary Overlay<br />

Service (EGNOS) (fig. 1).<br />

These systems provide a widearea<br />

or regional augmentation<br />

of existing GNSS (e.g. GPS)<br />

through the broadcasting of<br />

additional satellite messages to<br />

users.<br />

The augmentation messages are<br />

derived after processing information<br />

collected by dedicated<br />

stations and then sent to one<br />

or more satellites (usually geostationary)<br />

for broadcast to the<br />

end users. The augmentation<br />

messages can also be broadcasted<br />

to users via Internet. This<br />

is the case of the EGNOS Data<br />

Access Service (EDAS), a terrestrial<br />

commercial service<br />

offering ground-based access<br />

to EGNOS data through the<br />

Internet on controlled access<br />

basis. Geared to users requiring<br />

Fig. 1 - Satellite Based Augmentation Systems around the world<br />

6 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

FOCUS<br />

enhanced performance for professional<br />

use, EDAS provides<br />

users with the same data broadcast<br />

by the EGNOS satellites<br />

(EGNOS Message) in near realtime<br />

(fig. 2).<br />

Real –Time Kinematic (RTK)<br />

and Precise Point Positioning<br />

(PPP)<br />

Presently, GNSS correction<br />

services to achieve very high<br />

positioning (centimetre-level)<br />

accuracy are already offered to<br />

professional users. They are based<br />

on two main technologies:<br />

Real-Time Kinematic (RTK)<br />

and Precise Point Positioning<br />

(PPP).<br />

The RTK technology is a differential<br />

GNSS technique based<br />

on the use of code and carrier<br />

phase measurements from the<br />

satellites of the GNSS constellation<br />

and on corrections provided<br />

wirelessly to a user receiver<br />

by a local reference ground station,<br />

at a well-known location<br />

(fig. 3).<br />

Using carrier-phase measurements,<br />

together with ionospheric<br />

and tropospheric error<br />

corrections, allows reaching<br />

centimetre-level accuracies.<br />

The drawback is that for carrier-phase<br />

measurements, phase<br />

ambiguity has to be solved, a<br />

process requiring non-negligible<br />

convergence times.<br />

Atmospheric (ionospheric and<br />

tropospheric) corrections require<br />

a reference station (the<br />

“base station”) not too far away<br />

Fig. 2 - EGNOS System Architecture<br />

from the user (the “rover’), with<br />

baselines not longer than about<br />

15 kilometers (usually between<br />

10 and 20 km).<br />

Besides atmospheric corrections,<br />

the base station helps reducing<br />

errors from such sources<br />

as satellite clock and ephemeris.<br />

With PPP, satellite clock and<br />

orbit corrections (significantly<br />

more precise than those available<br />

in the broadcast navigation<br />

message), generated from a<br />

network of global reference<br />

stations and calculated through<br />

sophisticated algorithms by<br />

a centralized processing facility,<br />

are delivered to the end<br />

users via satellite or over the<br />

Internet (fig. 4).<br />

It is worth noting that, as<br />

compared to RTK, PPP does<br />

not provide atmospheric effects<br />

corrections. On the other<br />

hand, PPP does not require a<br />

local base station and offers a<br />

worldwide service.<br />

Combining the precise orbit<br />

and clock corrections with a<br />

dual-frequency GNSS receiver<br />

(thus removing the first order<br />

ionospheric errors), PPP is able<br />

to provide position solutions<br />

with accuracy at centimeter<br />

level.<br />

As compared to RTK, PPP<br />

offers a worldwide service<br />

and, being based on a global<br />

network of reference stations,<br />

guarantees a highly redundant<br />

and robust infrastructure (while<br />

RTK is totally dependent on<br />

the availability of the local base<br />

station). One drawback of PPP<br />

Fig. 3 - Real-Time Kinematic Concept<br />

Fig. 4 - Precise Point Positioning Concept.<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 7

FOCUS<br />

is that the processing algorithms<br />

generating orbit and clock<br />

corrections require rather long<br />

convergence times to achieve<br />

maximum performance, although<br />

real-time or quasi realtime<br />

PPP systems are being<br />

developed.<br />

Summarizing, both RTK and<br />

PPP technologies are able to<br />

provide positioning accuracies<br />

in the order of few centimeters,<br />

with reasonable convergence<br />

times, while single-frequency<br />

pseudorange-based positioning<br />

using navigation message data<br />

provides meter-level accuracy<br />

at best.<br />

System-Level High Accuracy<br />

Services<br />

As already mentioned, technologies<br />

for very accurate positioning,<br />

such as RTK and PPP,<br />

have been adopted so far mostly<br />

by professional users, not<br />

targeting mass-market applications<br />

such as, e.g., smartphones.<br />

Something is changing, as far<br />

as system-level solutions are<br />

concerned.<br />

In Japan, the GPS-based, regional<br />

Quasi-Zenith Satellite<br />

System (QZSS) is already planning<br />

to provide centimetrelevel<br />

positioning and navigation<br />

services over the Japanese<br />

territory. The system is based<br />

on more than one thousand<br />

reference stations to constantly<br />

correct satellite errors. The corrected<br />

data is then compressed<br />

for real-time transmission back<br />

to the constellation of three satellites<br />

for broadcasting to user<br />

receivers.<br />

In Europe, a fairly radical and<br />

strategic decision was taken in<br />

March <strong>2018</strong>, with the Implementing<br />

Decision by the European<br />

Commission redefining<br />

the scope of the Galileo Commercial<br />

Service.<br />

The EC decision, recognizing<br />

the increasing demand for higher<br />

positioning accuracy by<br />

fast expanding sectors, such as<br />

autonomous vehicles, robotics<br />

and drones, introduced a “freeaccess”<br />

High Accuracy Commercial<br />

Service (HA CS) on E6<br />

signal, allowing users “to obtain<br />

a positioning error of less than<br />

two decimetres in nominal<br />

conditions of use”. The convergence<br />

time of this new service<br />

should be , on the other hand,<br />

in the order of about five minutes,<br />

thus making it attractive<br />

for mass-market applications,<br />

including smartphones, but<br />

not in direct competition with<br />

“external” services such as RTK<br />

and PPP.<br />

The approach of offering the<br />

High Accuracy Commercial<br />

Service (HA CS) to all interested<br />

users on a free of charge<br />

basis, with content and format<br />

of data publicly and openly<br />

available on a global scale, was<br />

deemed to increase the public<br />

benefit delivered by Galileo. It<br />

was also estimated that it will<br />

contribute to position Galileo<br />

in the market as the first GNSS<br />

system offering high accuracy<br />

services on a free of charge basis.<br />

On the other hand, since<br />

departing from the scheme originally<br />

foreseen by Implementing<br />

Decision (EU) 2017/2243<br />

of 8 February 2017, the new<br />

Implementing Decision was<br />

taken after consultation with all<br />

potential stakeholders.<br />

The practical implementation<br />

of the EC decision is being<br />

studied jointly by the European<br />

GNSS Agency and ESA, leading<br />

to industrial developments<br />

in 2019.<br />

Multi-Constellation, Dual-Frequency<br />

GNSS Receivers for<br />

mass-Market Applications<br />

A little revolution is also taking<br />

place in the world of GNSS<br />

receivers and chipsets manufacturers:<br />

four major companies<br />

(Broadcom, Intel, STMicroelectronics<br />

and U-blox) decided<br />

to make commercially available<br />

for mass market applications<br />

dual-frequency receivers, offering<br />

position accuracies down<br />

to 30 centimeters (fig. 5). Several<br />

flagship smartphones are<br />

planning to integrate them in<br />

<strong>2018</strong>.<br />

The technical specifications<br />

and technological solutions<br />

adopted vary slightly among<br />

the four manufacturers, but<br />

they all start from recognizing<br />

the same market requirements:<br />

Fig. 5 - Broadcom and U-blox Multi-Constellation, Dual-frequency Receivers.<br />

4Smartphones, IoT, wearable<br />

and other mobile devices;<br />

4Commercial unmanned<br />

vehicle applications (drones,<br />

heavy trucks, UAVs);<br />

4Applications in “hostile” urban<br />

environments;<br />

4Assisted and autonomous<br />

driving;<br />

4Automotive safety compliance<br />

(ISO 26262, ASIL);<br />

8 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

FOCUS<br />

4Built-in integrity checking;<br />

4Built-in jamming and spoofing<br />

detection capabilities;<br />

4Sensor data fusion.<br />

In particular, the lane-level navigation<br />

accuracy on highways<br />

(to allow Lane-Departure Warning,<br />

LDW) seems to be a very<br />

important requirement for car<br />

manufacturers.<br />

All receivers of new generation,<br />

apart from some technical differences,<br />

are essentially based<br />

on the same architecture: multi-constellation,<br />

dual-frequency,<br />

high power efficiency, low cost.<br />

The dual-frequency capability<br />

(L1/E1 and L5/E5) makes<br />

them able to better cope with<br />

reflections off buildings in<br />

urban environments: multipath<br />

correction, detection of<br />

reflected signals, ionospheric<br />

errors correction, resolution<br />

of phase ambiguity (in case<br />

carrier-phase measurements are<br />

performed) are all made possible.<br />

It is worth noting that dualfrequency<br />

operation starts<br />

being attractive because as from<br />

<strong>2018</strong> there are enough L5/E5<br />

satellites in orbit (about 30,<br />

including Galileo, GPS-3 and<br />

QZSS).<br />

Fig. 6 - Google Prototype Driverless Car<br />

Advanced Processing Software<br />

for Autonomous Driving<br />

Autonomous and connected<br />

vehicles are positioning<br />

themselves among the most disruptive<br />

mass-market technologies<br />

of the future. Despite some<br />

unfortunate accidents and a<br />

rather different approach to<br />

standardization and regulation,<br />

the deployment of autonomous<br />

vehicles will soon become a reality<br />

on US and European road<br />

networks.<br />

Autonomous vehicles can take<br />

over activities traditionally performed<br />

by the driver, thanks to<br />

their ability to sense the environment,<br />

navigate and communicate<br />

with other vehicles and<br />

road infrastructure when combined<br />

with connected vehicle<br />

solutions. Widespread adoption<br />

of autonomous driving can<br />

reduce traffic accidents, reduce<br />

fuel consumption and improve<br />

traffic flow, as well as improve<br />

driver comfort.<br />

The adoption of autonomous<br />

driving is probably going<br />

to happen much faster than<br />

everyone thinks, following<br />

adoption curves closer to those<br />

typical for digital technologies,<br />

rather than to those typical for<br />

transportation systems.<br />

In other words, while cars took<br />

decades to be widely adopted,<br />

autonomous driving will have a<br />

worldwide spread in just a few<br />

years.<br />

Many believe that autonomous<br />

driving will probably be the<br />

single largest societal change<br />

after the Internet. One thing is<br />

for sure: autonomous driving<br />

will destroy the traditional<br />

concept of the car as a personal<br />

good to be owned, moving to<br />

the paradigm of “transportation<br />

as a service”.<br />

For some years now big corporations<br />

such as Waymo<br />

(Waymo is an autonomous car<br />

development company and<br />

subsidiary of Google's parent<br />

company, Alphabet Inc.), Uber,<br />

Tesla, GM and many others,<br />

from Mazda to Maserati, have<br />

been testing their driverless cars<br />

(fig. 6).<br />

While all of them consider<br />

Fig. 7 - Uber Simplified Merging of Satellite SNRs and 3D Maps<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 9

FOCUS<br />

standard-precision GNSS as an<br />

indispensable component of<br />

their automated vehicle sensor<br />

suite, they still view it as a secondary<br />

sensor, not accurate or<br />

reliable enough for positioning<br />

the vehicle within the lane.<br />

In order to achieve the level<br />

of positioning required for the<br />

safe operation of autonomous<br />

vehicles, an intimate fusion of<br />

on-board sensors, computer 3D<br />

modelling and GNSS technologies<br />

is needed.<br />

One well known problem is<br />

that ground vehicles often operate<br />

under sky-obstructed areas,<br />

where GNSS signals can be<br />

altered or blocked by buildings<br />

and trees. In these cases, GNSS<br />

receivers<br />

can become wildly inaccurate,<br />

just when they would be most<br />

needed, i.e. in densely populated<br />

and highly built-up urban<br />

areas (where incidentally most<br />

of the users are located).<br />

Multi-constellation and dualfrequency<br />

are partially solving<br />

the problem. To further overcome<br />

this challenge, companies<br />

like Google and Uber are developing<br />

software applications<br />

to substantially improves location<br />

accuracy in urban environments<br />

utilizing 3D maps together<br />

with fairly sophisticated<br />

ray-tracing, probabilistic computations<br />

on GNSS raw data<br />

available from the on-board<br />

user receiver (fig. 7).<br />

Conclusion<br />

These recent developments in<br />

the “race” for higher positioning<br />

accuracy prove on one side<br />

that there is no single technology<br />

capable of providing a reliable<br />

and continuous solution<br />

in all environments, so the<br />

need for integration and fusion;<br />

on the other hand, that high<br />

accuracy navigation is part of<br />

a much larger technological revolution,<br />

triggered by 5G, IoT,<br />

unmanned vehicles, vehicle-toeverything<br />

(V2X), augmented<br />

reality.<br />


In the last few months we have been witnessing<br />

a remarkable (and, to some extent,<br />

surprising) increase of interest for GNSS<br />

high accuracy positioning, involving both<br />

systems and receivers.<br />

In particular, this growing demand for increased<br />

positioning accuracy is evident for<br />

mass-market applications, in areas such as:<br />

IoT tracking devices, wearable tracking<br />

devices, automotive, UAV’s; Robotic vehicles.<br />

Several GNSS augmentation methods<br />

have been developed over the years, aiming<br />

at improving the navigation system<br />

performance not only in terms of positioning<br />

accuracy, but also in terms of reliability,<br />

availability and sometime integrity.<br />


High positioning accuracy; GNSS; autonomous<br />

driving; RTK; PPP; 5G; IoT; UAV<br />

AUTHOR<br />

Dr. ing. Marco Lisi<br />

marco.lisi@esa.int<br />

European Space Agency – ESTEC<br />

Noordwijk, The Netherlands<br />

Via Indipendenza, 106<br />

46028 Sermide - Mantova - Italy<br />

Phone +39.0386.62628<br />

info@geogra.it<br />

www.geogra.it<br />

10 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

FOCUS<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 11

REPORT<br />

Seismic vulnerability of existing<br />

buildings: non-invasive approach for<br />

dynamic behaviour assessment<br />

by Gianluca Acunzo, Michele<br />

Vicentino, Antonio Bottaro<br />

In recent years, the partnership<br />

between the Department of<br />

Mathematics and Physics of Roma Tre<br />

University and GEOWEB S.p.A. has led<br />

to the creation of an applied research<br />

program named Metior. The main aim<br />

of this program is the research and<br />

development of a set of innovative<br />

tools for the creation of easy-tomanipulate<br />

virtual models, where<br />

the concept of measurement and<br />

geometric survey can be enhanced.<br />

Such virtual reality environments<br />

are built through<br />

photogrammetric techniques<br />

like stereoscopy, orthophotography,<br />

Digital Terrain<br />

Modeling (DTM), Digital<br />

Surface Modeling (DSM)<br />

and 3D Point Clouds joined<br />

with advanced 3D modeling<br />

and computational geometry<br />

techniques developed by the<br />

research groups of Roma Tre<br />

University (Fig. 1).<br />

Nowadays, it is well known<br />

how 3D virtual reality, and augmented<br />

virtual reality as well,<br />

can support any kind of geometric,<br />

topologic and numerical<br />

ex-post analysis just by relying<br />

on a certified instrumental data<br />

acquisition campaign.<br />

In the framework of this agreement,<br />

also a research fellowship<br />

Fig. 1 - Example of 3D point cloud created in the Metior platform.<br />

has been set up with the purpose<br />

of researching and developing<br />

new techniques and tools<br />

which may give a contribution<br />

to the workflow aimed to the<br />

reduction of the seismic risk for<br />

civil buildings.<br />

In the field of seismic vulnerability<br />

assessment there is a<br />

very useful, non-invasive and<br />

not so well-known typology of<br />

survey that can provide significant<br />

added value to such a<br />

kind of assessment. This measurement<br />

is commonly known<br />

as environmental vibration<br />

measurement. In order to understand<br />

the potential of the<br />

environmental vibrations and<br />

how they can be used, we will<br />

give a brief overview of some<br />

of the key concepts to keep in<br />

mind when talking about “seismic<br />

risk”.<br />

Therefore, what do we mean<br />

when we talk about seismic risk<br />

for a civil building?<br />

To answer this question, it is<br />

appropriate to briefly introduce<br />

the three main factors that are<br />

involved and whose combination<br />

defines the seismic risk:<br />

12 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

REPORT<br />

seismic hazard (H), seismic<br />

vulnerability (V) and exposure<br />

(E). The seismic hazard is<br />

related to the site where the<br />

building is located: the hazard<br />

of a certain area is determined<br />

by the characteristics (in terms<br />

of frequency and intensity) of<br />

the earthquakes that may occur.<br />

On the other hand, seismic vulnerability<br />

is something related<br />

to the building itself and to the<br />

potential damage that could<br />

occur during a seismic event<br />

of a given intensity. Finally,<br />

exposure is related to the number<br />

of assets that are exposed<br />

to risk and takes into account<br />

the possible consequences of<br />

an earthquake, such as loss of<br />

human lives, damage to cultural<br />

heritage and damage in economic<br />

terms.<br />

The so-called seismic risk is<br />

given by the combination of<br />

these three factors and can be<br />

conceptually expressed as the<br />

product of the previously introduced<br />

terms:<br />

R=HxVxE<br />

In the first part of this article<br />

we will synthetically discuss<br />

some aspects related to hazard<br />

and vulnerability, in order to<br />

understand how the expected<br />

seismic input at the base of the<br />

building is determined for a<br />

considered site and what is important<br />

to consider when a seismic<br />

vulnerability verification is<br />

performed for a civil building.<br />

The current Italian legislation<br />

envisages that only architects<br />

and engineers are the professional<br />

figures who can deal<br />

with the seismic vulnerability<br />

assessment, in particular with<br />

regard to the aspects related to<br />

numerical modeling, structural<br />

analysis and retrofitting design.<br />

Moreover, GEOWEB strongly<br />

believes that the role of the surveyor,<br />

who is typically involved<br />

in the due diligence processes<br />

related to the certification of<br />

the actual state of buildings,<br />

can undoubtedly be actively<br />

involved in the seismic vulnerability<br />

analysis by designing,<br />

executing and validating the<br />

results of environmental vibration<br />

measurements, supporting<br />

the following structural analysis<br />

delegated by the legislation to<br />

architects and civil engineers.<br />

So, after the overview about<br />

the environmental vibrations<br />

analysis approach, some of the<br />

tools that are being developed<br />

in the context of the cooperation<br />

between GEOWEB S.p.A.<br />

and Roma Tre University, will<br />

be discussed.<br />

Fig. 2 - Seismic hazard map for Italian peninsula (INGV).<br />

Seismic hazard and expected<br />

seismic input<br />

As previously introduced, the<br />

seismic hazard of an area is basically<br />

given by its seismicity: it is<br />

expressed in probabilistic terms<br />

and it is defined, in a given<br />

area and in a certain interval of<br />

time, as the probability of an<br />

earthquake occurring beyond a<br />

certain intensity threshold.<br />

Thinking about the seismic<br />

hazard in the Italian peninsula,<br />

the first image that comes<br />

to mind is the Seismic<br />

Hazard Map produced by the<br />

Italian National Institute of<br />

Geophysics and Volcanology<br />

(INGV) (Fig. 2).<br />

The colors show the value of<br />

the Peak Ground Acceleration<br />

(PGA) for each area of the<br />

Italian soil, with colors ranging<br />

from light gray (lowest value) to<br />

purple (highest value).<br />

How should this map be read?<br />

We have just said that the<br />

hazard is defined in probabilistic<br />

terms as the probability<br />

that in a certain time lapse an<br />

earthquake with a certain intensity<br />

occurs: in this map, as<br />

described in its upper banner,<br />

what we can read is the maximum<br />

ground acceleration that<br />

has a probability of 10% to be<br />

exceeded in a time lapse of 50<br />

years on stiff soils. Without<br />

going into the details of formulas,<br />

this means that the value of<br />

acceleration we are reading is<br />

the one that has a return period<br />

of 475 years, that is the one<br />

of the seismic action used to<br />

design and verify ordinary buildings<br />

according to the Italian<br />

Building Code (NTC).<br />

Table in Fig. 3 shows the relation<br />

between the value of PGA<br />

and the corresponding seismic<br />

Fig. 3 - Seismic zone classification and PGA values.<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 13

REPORT<br />

Fig. 4 - Amplification of seismic waves (site effect).<br />

Fig. 5 - Simple oscillator.<br />

zone, from Zone 1 (highest<br />

hazard) to Zone 4 (lowest hazard).<br />

Furthermore, as specified in<br />

the description of the map, the<br />

value of PGA we can read is<br />

the one expected on a hard soil,<br />

corresponding to the bedrock.<br />

This allows us to introduce<br />

another fundamental aspect<br />

that must be considered to<br />

determine the value of acceleration<br />

expected at the base of the<br />

building: the soil effect.<br />

The layers of soft soil act like<br />

a filter and modify the seismic<br />

waves that arrive from the bedrock,<br />

emphasizing some of the<br />

frequencies in the signal and<br />

modifying the actual accelerations<br />

that will reach the base of<br />

the building (Fig. 4). Basically,<br />

it is like an equalizer in a hi-fi<br />

audio system: the original input<br />

signal passes through the filter<br />

that modifies its frequency<br />

content, giving the equalized<br />

signal as its output. In terms<br />

of amplitude, when a seismic<br />

wave passes from a stiffer layer<br />

to a softer one, it decreases its<br />

speed. As a consequence, in<br />

order to conserve the energy, its<br />

amplitude increases. In general,<br />

we can say that the softer the<br />

ground is, the more the accelerations<br />

on the ground level will<br />

be amplified. In light of the<br />

above, the soil plays an important<br />

role in the seismic hazard<br />

of a given site: depending on<br />

the situation, a building lying<br />

on a soft soil in a seismic zone<br />

3 could be actually subject to<br />

a higher acceleration than the<br />

one lying on a hard soil in a<br />

seismic zone 2.<br />

In conclusion, the seismic hazard<br />

gives us the value of acceleration<br />

we expect at the base<br />

of a given building, depending<br />

on the site location and the<br />

characteristics of the soil.<br />

Can we say that this acceleration<br />

is the same that acts on the<br />

building?<br />

To answer this question, let’s<br />

make a little mental experiment:<br />

let’s consider a sphere<br />

with a given mass m that lies<br />

on top of a stick, with a given<br />

stiffness k (Fig. 5). If we take<br />

the base of this object and<br />

start to move the base back<br />

and forth, the sphere on the<br />

top will start to move as well.<br />

It is easy to imagine that the<br />

sphere will not exactly follow<br />

the movement of the base, but<br />

will move in a different way,<br />

depending on the stiffness k<br />

of the stick and the mass m<br />

of the sphere. This is exactly<br />

what happens when a building<br />

is subject to an earthquake:<br />

the way in which the building<br />

tends to behave depends on<br />

the input excitation, obviously,<br />

but also on its characteristics in<br />

terms of stiffness and mass. In<br />

particular, the way a structure<br />

behaves when subject to vibration<br />

is described by its mode of<br />

vibration, that will be described<br />

further into this article.<br />

Seismic vulnerability of buildings:<br />

the local mechanism of<br />

collapse<br />

When an earthquake occurs,<br />

the ground starts moving horizontally<br />

and vertically and<br />

the building starts to sway and<br />

deform. The way in which<br />

buildings respond to a given<br />

seismic action can be very different,<br />

depending on factors like<br />

structural typology, materials,<br />

age, level of maintenance.<br />

The seismic action at the base<br />

results in an additional load<br />

that induces a further stress<br />

distribution in the structural<br />

parts. When the building has a<br />

box-like behaviour and acts as<br />

a single body, the stresses are<br />

distributed among the elements<br />

according to their stiffness and<br />

the whole structure gives a contribution<br />

in terms of resistance.<br />

This is the typical behaviour<br />

of a Reinforced Concrete (RC)<br />

building, where the frame composed<br />

by beams and columns is<br />

a continuous structure that internally<br />

distributes the stresses<br />

14 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

REPORT<br />

among the elements.<br />

Unfortunately, although this<br />

kind of behaviour is highly<br />

desirable, this too often doesn’t<br />

happen in masonry structures:<br />

during the seismic event the<br />

masonry building can experience<br />

partial collapses due to<br />

the loss of equilibrium of some<br />

masonry portions. These kinds<br />

of collapses are called local collapse<br />

mechanisms and they are<br />

one of the main issues in the<br />

seismic analysis of masonry buildings.<br />

The causes of this behaviour<br />

generally lie in the lack<br />

of construction (e.g. poor masonry<br />

quality, poor connection<br />

between orthogonal walls, no<br />

connection between slabs and<br />

walls) or lack of maintenance<br />

during the building’s lifecycle.<br />

One of the most common and<br />

dangerous mechanisms of local<br />

collapse is the overturning of<br />

the perimeter walls (Fig. 6):<br />

due to poor connection with<br />

the transversal walls, a portion<br />

of the building subject to the<br />

earthquake comes loose from<br />

the rest and overturns on its<br />

base, involving one or more<br />

floors depending on the connections<br />

between the elements.<br />

When the condition of the building<br />

makes this local mechanism<br />

possible, this is generally<br />

the one that activates first, for<br />

relatively low levels of acceleration.<br />

Another local mechanism<br />

that is pretty common in masonry<br />

building is the vertical<br />

bending (Fig. 7): during the<br />

seismic event, the slab pushes<br />

against the facade and the wall<br />

bends out of its plane.<br />

This kind of mechanism is<br />

generally caused by a poor masonry<br />

quality and no connection<br />

between slabs and vertical<br />

walls and the level of acceleration<br />

required for its activation<br />

is pretty higher than the previously<br />

described overturning.<br />

For this reason, it can take<br />

place when the first mechanism<br />

is prevented by an effective<br />

connection at the top of the<br />

perimeter wall.<br />

Seismic vulnerability of buildings:<br />

the global response<br />

From a seismic point of view,<br />

a well-designed building must<br />

not be damaged by a low intensity<br />

earthquake, not structurally<br />

damaged by a medium intensity<br />

earthquake and must not collapse<br />

when a strong earthquake<br />

occurs, despite severe damages.<br />

The concept of low, medium<br />

and strong intensity is closely<br />

related to the previously described<br />

seismic hazard of the site.<br />

This is the basic philosophy of<br />

today’s seismic codes.<br />

A building in its operating<br />

conditions is mainly subject<br />

to the static loads induced by<br />

the permanent and variable<br />

loads, where the former are<br />

the weights of its structural<br />

and non-structural parts and<br />

the latter are those that are not<br />

constant over the time (e.g., the<br />

presence of people, furniture in<br />

the rooms and the action of the<br />

wind).<br />

The analysis of the previously<br />

described local mechanisms is<br />

a fundamental part in the seismic<br />

vulnerability assessment of<br />

masonry buildings, as their prevention<br />

shall ensure the desired<br />

box-like behaviour in which<br />

the structure responds to the<br />

seismic action as a single body<br />

involving all of its structural<br />

parts.<br />

In order to check how this single<br />

body will behave under a<br />

given seismic event, we have to<br />

introduce the concept of mode<br />

of vibration.<br />

Each building, and more in<br />

general each physical object, is<br />

characterized by a series of vibration<br />

modes that describe the<br />

way in which the system tends<br />

to oscillate naturally, i.e. with<br />

Fig. 6 – Example of overturning of perimeter wall.<br />

no excitation force. The frequency<br />

value at which it oscillates<br />

is called natural frequency<br />

and the shape it assumes during<br />

the oscillation is called mode<br />

shape.<br />

When the frequency of the<br />

exciting vibration is equal,<br />

or very close, to the natural<br />

frequency of a given mode of<br />

vibration, we have the phenomenon<br />

of the resonance and<br />

the system starts to oscillate<br />

according to the mode shape.<br />

A simple example of this<br />

phenomenon is given by the<br />

diapason: when you hit the<br />

diapason, it starts to vibrate ac-<br />

Fig. 7 - Example of vertical bending.<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 15

REPORT<br />

Fig. 8 - Apartment complex collapsed after the 1985 Mexico<br />

City earthquake.<br />

cording to its natural frequency<br />

at 440 Hz (corresponding to<br />

the musical note A4) and if we<br />

put a vibrating diapason near a<br />

still one, after a few seconds the<br />

latter will start to oscillate in<br />

the same way.<br />

The same happens for buildings:<br />

the seismic waves of an<br />

earthquake contain a number<br />

of frequencies and if the frequency<br />

content is very close to<br />

the natural frequencies of the<br />

building the resonance phenomenon<br />

induces an amplification<br />

of the strong motion. An<br />

even worse case is the double<br />

resonance phenomenon: this<br />

happens when the soil and the<br />

building have similar frequencies<br />

and they are both strongly<br />

excited by the earthquake, so<br />

that they both acts as amplifiers<br />

of the seismic motion. One of<br />

the most famous cases of double<br />

resonance is the earthquake<br />

which struck Mexico City in<br />

1985 (Fig. 8).<br />

In general, the damages produced<br />

by an earthquake tend to<br />

decrease as the distance from<br />

the epicenter increases, because<br />

the seismic waves are subject to<br />

an attenuation but in the case<br />

of Mexico City the most of the<br />

damage occurred at about 400<br />

Km from the epicenter: the<br />

softness of the soil where the<br />

city lies caused an amplification<br />

of the seismic waves and<br />

the very similar frequencies of<br />

buildings and soil has led to a<br />

double resonance phenomenon<br />

(Fig. 9).<br />

In the light of above, the correct<br />

estimation of the structural<br />

modes of vibration plays a<br />

fundamental role in the seismic<br />

vulnerability assessment. In<br />

general, they are determined<br />

through a modal analysis using<br />

a numerical model like a Finite<br />

Element (FE) model, built on<br />

the basis of data like the structural<br />

geometry, the mechanical<br />

features of the materials, the<br />

masses and their disposition<br />

(Fig. 10).<br />

Once a suitable seismic input is<br />

defined, the stress acting on the<br />

structural elements due to the<br />

seismic action are determined<br />

on the basis of the vibrational<br />

characteristics obtained with<br />

the modal analysis. Finally,<br />

the structural elements of the<br />

buildings are verified according<br />

to their material strength,<br />

considering the state of stress<br />

induced by both the static and<br />

dynamic loads, in order to<br />

assess the vulnerability of the<br />

considered building.<br />

The accuracy of the results<br />

clearly relies on the accuracy of<br />

the numerical model and one<br />

of the key aspects is a proper assessment<br />

of the mode of vibration<br />

of the structure. Upstream<br />

of a numerical model, a number<br />

of inspections and surveys<br />

are carried out in order to get<br />

the information about geometrical<br />

and mechanical features<br />

of the structural elements<br />

which will be included in the<br />

FE model.<br />

Of course, the more comprehensive<br />

these local surveys<br />

are the more accurate the global<br />

model will be in terms of<br />

modes of vibration estimation<br />

and, consequently, assessment<br />

of dynamic response of the<br />

structure. Which begs the question:<br />

is it possible to identify<br />

the real modes of vibration of<br />

an existing building, in order<br />

to compare them with the ones<br />

calculated numerically?<br />

Yes, it is. Through the dynamic<br />

identification.<br />

Dynamic identification of existing<br />

buildings<br />

Basically, a building subject to a<br />

vibration tends to act as a filter<br />

which modifies the original signal<br />

on the basis of its physical<br />

characteristics. Once again, the<br />

Fig. 9 - Soil effect during the 1985 Mexico City earthquake.<br />

Fig. 10 - Example of FE model.<br />

16 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

REPORT<br />

Fig. 11 – A vibrodyne used to apply an input<br />

to a building.<br />

example of the equalizer in a<br />

hi-fi audio system that we used<br />

when talking about the soil has<br />

a good match with our specific<br />

case. The way in which the original<br />

signal is modified when<br />

passing through the building is<br />

highly dependent on its dynamic<br />

characteristics and a suitable<br />

analysis of these signals allow<br />

us to extract the vibrational<br />

characteristics of the building,<br />

i.e. its modes of vibration.<br />

The dynamic identification<br />

of an existing building can be<br />

carried out using two main<br />

techniques, which differ in<br />

terms of required equipment<br />

and implementation rules: the<br />

Experimental Modal Analysis<br />

(EMA) and the Operational<br />

Modal Analysis (OMA).<br />

Both of the techniques require<br />

the positioning of sensors in<br />

different points of the building<br />

under examination (typically<br />

accelerometers or velocimeters)<br />

in order to acquire the structural<br />

response, but the main difference<br />

between the former and<br />

the latter is due to the exciting<br />

force.<br />

In EMA, the structure is<br />

artificially excited by using<br />

equipment which applies an<br />

external known excitation (Fig.<br />

11). As these machines must<br />

be able to induce forces that<br />

involve the entire building, it<br />

is easy to imagine that they are<br />

massive equipment that have to<br />

be fixed to the structural parts,<br />

generally at the top level of the<br />

building, making their transportation<br />

and assembly very<br />

onerous. As a consequence, this<br />

kind of measurements are quite<br />

invasive and lead to the interruption<br />

of the serviceability in<br />

the examined building until all<br />

the equipment has been removed.<br />

On the contrary, in the case of<br />

OMA no external excitation<br />

force is required: the sensors<br />

placed in the structure acquire<br />

the very small vibrations induced<br />

by external factors like<br />

the people moving inside, the<br />

wind, the traffic in neighboring<br />

streets and so on. This feature<br />

implies an important advantage<br />

over the previously described<br />

EMA: such measures do not<br />

require the building to become<br />

off-limits location, as the target<br />

of the measurements are the<br />

vibrations of the building in<br />

its operational condition when<br />

subject to the so-called environmental<br />

noise. Furthermore,<br />

due to the low level of vibrations,<br />

the sensors can be often<br />

just placed on the floor with no<br />

need to drill holes in the walls.<br />

Of course, there is also some<br />

drawback: as the amplitude of<br />

the environmental vibrations<br />

can be orders of magnitude<br />

lower than the ones induced<br />

by the heavy machines used in<br />

EMA, the accelerometers to be<br />

used must have a very high sensitivity,<br />

which leads to a higher<br />

equipment cost.<br />

Despite this, it’s quite clear that<br />

in the application to the civil<br />

engineering field a non-invasive<br />

approach like the Operational<br />

Modal Analysis is much more<br />

suitable than the Experimental<br />

Modal Analysis, which remains<br />

a profitable technique widely<br />

used in fields like mechanics<br />

and aerospace engineering.<br />

Regardless of whether EMA<br />

or OMA is performed for the<br />

identification, the knowledge<br />

of the experimentally identified<br />

modes of vibration provides<br />

a significant added value to<br />

the seismic vulnerability assessment<br />

of buildings. When<br />

performing a typical seismic<br />

vulnerability analysis, the theoretical<br />

frequencies and mode<br />

shapes computed through the<br />

numerical model can be compared<br />

with the experimental<br />

ones in order to improve the<br />

accuracy of the calculation model,<br />

making it closer to the real<br />

behaviour of the considered<br />

structure.<br />

For example, the model can be<br />

calibrated by fine-tuning some<br />

of the parameters characterized<br />

by a greater uncertainty,<br />

e.g. the stiffness of the infill<br />

walls in a Reinforced Concrete<br />

building. When modeling<br />

complex buildings, the comparison<br />

between the numerical<br />

and experimental mode shapes<br />

can also highlight the need to<br />

include other structural blocks<br />

whose influence on the dynamic<br />

global response cannot be<br />

neglected.<br />

Furthermore, experimental<br />

modes of vibration can also<br />

be used to check and valida-<br />

Fig. 12 - Tool for the analysis of the local mechanisms<br />

of collapse (top) and example of two<br />

custom mechanisms (bottom).<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 17

REPORT<br />

te the efficiency of a seismic<br />

retrofitting, by verifying the<br />

actual match between the real<br />

dynamic behaviour and the designed<br />

one.<br />

Another application is in the<br />

structural health monitoring:<br />

the natural frequencies of a building<br />

depends on its mechanical<br />

features. The occurrence of<br />

a damage produces a reduction<br />

of the structural stiffness and<br />

a decrease in the natural frequencies.<br />

As a consequence, the<br />

comparison between the modes<br />

of vibration identified before<br />

and after a seismic event may<br />

point out a non-visible damage,<br />

which can be also located and<br />

quantified by using appropriate<br />

techniques.<br />

Fig. 13 - 3D model created from 2D floor plan in Planner.<br />

Tools and instruments: work<br />

in progress<br />

As part of the collaboration<br />

between Roma Tre University<br />

and GEOWEB S.p.A., some<br />

tools are being developed relating<br />

to the topic of seismic risk.<br />

In particular, two of them are<br />

related to the topics briefly described<br />

in this article.<br />

The first one is designed for<br />

masonry buildings and allows<br />

the practitioner to verify the<br />

potential occurrence of local<br />

mechanisms of collapse (Fig.<br />

12 - top), in accordance with<br />

the provisions of the Italian<br />

building code. This tool will<br />

be integrated in the Planner,<br />

the 2D/3D graphical editor<br />

developed by GEOWEB in its<br />

Metior Platform, which easily<br />

allows the user to create 3D<br />

models of buildings from the<br />

2D floor plans (Fig. 13), to<br />

be used for several purposes:<br />

in the context of the Selective<br />

Deconstruction, for instance,<br />

they allow to schedule, quantify<br />

and support either the demolition<br />

or the refurbishment activities<br />

aiming to maximize the<br />

amount of materials recycled<br />

or even reused, and minimizing<br />

the amount of materials<br />

dumped to landfill; an ad-hoc<br />

version of the Planner, named<br />

BaM (Building and Modeling),<br />

has been adopted in an education<br />

program which is currently<br />

being carried out at the first<br />

level of Italian secondary school<br />

to promote the adoption of<br />

recycling best practices and to<br />

raise awareness about energy<br />

saving issues.<br />

Thanks to the implementation<br />

of the previously described tool,<br />

its integration in the Planner<br />

will enable the user to choose<br />

the portion of the building –<br />

i.e. its modeled geometry - to<br />

analyze and to calculate the<br />

acceleration required for the<br />

activation of a local mechanism<br />

of collapse, comparing it with<br />

the provisions of the building<br />

code.<br />

In addition to the more common<br />

mechanisms like the<br />

previously described ones, the<br />

user is also able to define and<br />

analyze custom mechanisms,<br />

which may be required for the<br />

structural situation under examination<br />

(Fig. 12 - bottom).<br />

The second tool is focused on<br />

the dynamic identification of<br />

existing buildings and allows<br />

the practitioner to analyze the<br />

environmental vibration signals<br />

acquired by the accelerometers,<br />

supporting all the steps that<br />

lead from the model definition<br />

to the identification of the experimental<br />

modes of vibration.<br />

The software implements some<br />

robust and reliable algorithms<br />

from scientific literature for the<br />

modal parameters extraction<br />

and offers several advanced<br />

tools for signal preprocessing<br />

and the validation of the final<br />

results (Fig. 14).<br />

The software is specifically designed<br />

for application in the field<br />

of civil engineering, and thanks<br />

to its building-oriented nature,<br />

specific control indices have<br />

18 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

REPORT<br />

been implemented given their<br />

relevance in the identification<br />

of buildings dynamics.<br />

The geometric information<br />

input is very flexible: geometry<br />

data import can be carried<br />

out from several widespread<br />

formats, like spreadsheets and<br />

CAD files; it is also possible to<br />

directly import geometry data<br />

from a model created in the<br />

Planner (Fig. 15).<br />

The equipment used for the<br />

acquisition is generally quite<br />

expensive, due to the high level<br />

of sensitivity required to detect<br />

small amplitude vibrations like<br />

environmental ones, and when<br />

a significant number of measuring<br />

points is required this set<br />

of instruments can cost several<br />

thousand Euros. Given the importance<br />

that this kind of measurements<br />

has in the seismic<br />

behaviour assessment of buildings,<br />

efforts are being made to<br />

develop a measurement system<br />

with a suitable trade-off between<br />

the required performance<br />

and the cost.<br />

A significant cost reduction,<br />

both in terms of hardware and<br />

software, together with the development<br />

of tools able to assist<br />

the user during the design and<br />

the execution of the measurement<br />

phase, would certainly<br />

help to increase the usage of<br />

the dynamic identification in<br />

the seismic vulnerability assessment.<br />

The implementation of a lowcost<br />

hardware will also lead<br />

to the development of an affordable<br />

monitoring system,<br />

designed to be permanently<br />

installed on the building, in<br />

order to periodically acquire<br />

environmental vibrations and<br />

perform a check of its vibrational<br />

characteristics over time.<br />

Nowadays, the Building<br />

Information Modeling (BIM)<br />

process is becoming increasingly<br />

important and widespread<br />

in the building sector,<br />

playing a key role in<br />

all stages of the building’s<br />

lifecycle - from<br />

its design to its maintenance.<br />

The tools developed<br />

in the framework of<br />

the Metior research<br />

project allow the user<br />

to create a virtual reality<br />

in which the 3D<br />

representation of the<br />

real-world objects is<br />

combined with their<br />

semantics, i.e. their<br />

features and the role they play<br />

in the building system, in full<br />

accordance to the BIM philosophy<br />

whose aim is to create a digital<br />

representation of physical<br />

and functional features of the<br />

building.<br />

As a consequence, with a view<br />

to enhancing this 3D virtual<br />

reality model, relevant information<br />

which would be helpful in<br />

safeguarding and maintaining<br />

Fig. 14 - Software for dynamic identification: signal acquisition and preprocessing<br />

panel.<br />

of existing buildings can be added.<br />

One of the next targets in<br />

the Metior platform is the integration<br />

of the semantic model<br />

with the data related to the experimental<br />

modes of vibration<br />

of the building.<br />

And this is something that, as<br />

we have seen throughout this<br />

article, can offer a huge added<br />

value in understanding the real<br />

dynamic behaviour of the existing<br />

building stock.<br />

Fig. 15 - Import of geometry from Planner 3D model.<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 19

REPORT<br />


Acunzo, G., Fiorini, N., Mori, F., Spina, D., (<strong>2018</strong>), Modal mass estimation from ambient vibrations measurement: A method for civil buildings,<br />

Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 98C, 580-593<br />

Acunzo, G., Gabriele, S., Spina, D., Valente, C., (2014), MuDI: a multilevel damage identification platform, Proceedings of the 12th International<br />

Conference on Computational Structures Technology (CST2014), Naples, Italy, paper 123.<br />

Di Carlo A., Shapiro V., and Paoluzzi A., Linear Algebraic Representation for Topological Structures, Computer-Aided Design, Volume 46,<br />

Issue 1, January 2014, Pages 269-274<br />

Marino, E., Spini, F., Paoluzzi, A., Salvati, D., Vadalà, C., Bottaro, A., Vicentino, M. (2017), Modeling Semantics for Building Deconstruction,<br />

Proceedings of the 12th International Joint Conference on Computer Vision, Imaging and Computer Graphics Theory and Applications<br />

(VISIGRAPP 2017), Porto, Portugal, 274 - 281<br />

Norme Tecniche per le Costruzioni - Approvate con Decreto Ministeriale 17 gennaio <strong>2018</strong><br />

Ranieri, G., Fabbrocino, Operational Modal Analysis of Civil Engineering Structures: An Introduction and Guide for Applications, Springer,<br />

Berlin (2014)<br />


Structural engineering; seismic risk; environmental vibration; operational modal analysis; BIM; 3D modeling<br />


This paper presents a brief overview of the concept of seismic risk, with particular regard to existing civil buildings. Given that the seismic risk can be<br />

expressed as a combination involving seismic hazard and seismic vulnerability, these aspects are both discussed, describing the factors that lead to the<br />

expected seismic input at the base of a building as well as the ones determining its vulnerability.<br />

The way a building tends to react when it is subject to an external vibration is closely connected to its geometrical and mechanical features, which<br />

determine what in structural engineering are commonly called “vibrational modes”. As a consequence, an accurate estimation of these modes is a<br />

fundamental condition in order to assess the structural response under seismic action. Several experimental techniques aimed at the identification<br />

of the vibrational modes for existing buildings and the way in which such parameters can be used in the vulnerability assessment field are described<br />

in the present work.<br />

AUTHOR<br />

Gianluca Acunzo , gacunzo@os.uniroma3.it<br />

Michele Vicentino, mvicentino@geoweb.it<br />

Antonio Bottaro, abottaro@geoweb.it<br />

Geoweb<br />



- Pubblicazione autonoma di progetti QGIS per la condivisione<br />

delle proprie realizzazioni<br />

- Pubblicazione di servizi OGC WMS e WFS<br />

- Gestione degli accessi (anche con integrazione LDAP)<br />

- Creazione di gestionali cartografici web configurabili<br />

direttamente da QGIS<br />

- Creazione flussi di lavoro configurabili direttamente da QGIS<br />

- Strumenti di editing per la raccolta condivisa di dati geografici<br />

- Client dedicati all'utilizzo su tablet per il lavoro su campo<br />


www.gis3w.it 20 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> - info@gis3w.it - Phone +39 349 1310164

REPORT<br />

Try the S900A with the<br />

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Fax +39 039 2789576<br />

www.stonex.it<br />

info@stonex.it - sales@stonex.it<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 21

REPORT<br />


Ground movements are common<br />

phenomena across Europe and<br />

worldwide. It is known that<br />

sometimes they can be quite<br />

severe, causing displ There is a<br />

tide in the affairs of men.<br />

Which, taken at the flood, leads<br />

on to fortune; Omitted, all the<br />

voyage of their life Is bound in<br />

shallows and in miseries. dal<br />

“Giulius Caesar” di Shakespeare<br />

acement of upto one meter over<br />

few years. Actually, movements of<br />

only few centimetres can cause<br />

damage around buried pipes and<br />

infrastructures.<br />

This Manifesto is addressed<br />

to all the participants of the<br />

Digital Revolution (scientists,<br />

technologists, administrators, entrepreneurs)<br />

who, in the context<br />

of social transformations induced<br />

by new technologies, want to contribute<br />

to creating the future of<br />

our children according to ideals<br />

of positive and sustainable values.<br />

Today, we are at the beginning of<br />

the Digital Revolution and like all<br />

revolutions, at this stage, it is not<br />

possible to predict with certainty<br />

what the social outcomes will be.<br />

Premise<br />

Social development has always<br />

been featured by epic transitions<br />

enabled by technological innovation.<br />

Nowadays technology is<br />

not just more powerful than it<br />

used to be in the past, it is different<br />

too: it generated a Digital<br />

Revolution that is creating a new<br />

knowledge ecosystem that includes<br />

all the topics.<br />

The Manifesto of Society 5.0<br />

is a call to action. Through the<br />

Manifesto I wanted to state, in<br />

this early stage of Digital revolution,<br />

the importance of a<br />

model of society called ‘Society<br />

5.0’ which, setting Man and his<br />

needs in the focus point, is able<br />

to answer the challenges of his<br />

own time balancing economic<br />

progress and social issues solutions.<br />

With the ‘Society 5.0’ the<br />

look on Industry 4.0 becomes<br />

wider: from the optimisation of<br />

production processes to the actual<br />

treatment of social subjects,<br />

with the aim of reaching a<br />

complete cooperation between<br />

Technology, Artificial intelligence<br />

and Mankind.<br />

In order to realize the Vision<br />

of Society 5.0 is necessary a paradigma<br />

that starts from needs<br />

& solutions mapping to C2B<br />

(citizen to business) concrete<br />

resolutions. In other words starting<br />

from citizens’ needs. The<br />

enabling element of this paradigma<br />

is the ‘Science of Where’,<br />

because everything starts from<br />

Humanity’s necessities.<br />

I think we can operate to determine<br />

our future to produce positive<br />

outcomes for Man, working<br />

not just at technologies but at<br />

their destination.<br />

The ‘Society 5.0’ development<br />

will happen in different geographical<br />

areas and at different<br />

times because it is a result of the<br />

meeting - on land – between government<br />

actions and Research<br />

and Industry’s initiatives.<br />

For the objective of establishing<br />

this model of society and<br />

sharing the Manifesto, I make<br />

Geoknowledge Foundation<br />

(www.geoknowledgefoundation.<br />

com) available, as founded by<br />

me, with the aim of promoting<br />

the use of geographic knowledge<br />

for ethical-social purposes.<br />

Bruno Ratti - Founder of<br />

Geoknowledge Foundation<br />

We can instead provide innovative<br />

products and services generating<br />

technologies that vertebrate this<br />

revolution.<br />

So we can, using the Shumpeter's<br />

model, predict the possible impacts<br />

on society, but we have no answer<br />

to the question: Will the progress<br />

of technologies lead to a society<br />

that is oblivious to human needs<br />

or will it generate a society that<br />

is polarized only on productive<br />

efficiency with a labor force humiliated<br />

by the competition with<br />

Artificial Intelligence? We can only<br />

22 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

REPORT<br />

say that everything will depend<br />

on how the process of change will<br />

be governed. So, it is essential to<br />

operate in order to affirm the paradigm<br />

of a society that, by leveraging<br />

new technologies, is better<br />

able to respond to the challenges<br />

of its time such as:<br />

• the protection of Creation,<br />

• safety from natural and manmade<br />

disasters,<br />

• preservation of natural and cultural<br />

heritage,<br />

• socio-economic development,<br />

• the education of the new generations,<br />

that is, "a society, with man at<br />

the center, that balances economic<br />

progress with the solution<br />

of social problems through a<br />

system that strongly integrates<br />

cyber space with physical space",<br />

defined as Society 5.0 in the 5th<br />

Science and Technology Basic<br />

Plan document published by the<br />

Japanese Government in April<br />

2016. With the Society 5.0 the<br />

Vision of the Industry 4.0 is<br />

extended, going from the optimization<br />

of production processes<br />

to the treatment of social problems,<br />

with the aim of achieving<br />

a complete collaboration between<br />

Technology, Artificial Intelligence<br />

and Man. In order to implement<br />

the Vision of the Society 5.0, a<br />

paradigm is needed which starts<br />

from the mapping of needs and<br />

solutions in terms of C2B (citizen<br />

to business), so that starts from<br />

the needs of citizens. The enabling<br />

element of this paradigm<br />

is the Science of Where, because<br />

everything starts from where<br />

human needs are. The Science<br />

of Where brings benefits in all<br />

the processes of knowledge because<br />

it combines the dimension<br />

of Where with the traditional<br />

dimensions of How, When and<br />

Why and allows to direct the focus<br />

of the social development on<br />

the individual needs.<br />

The methods and enabling<br />

technologies of the Science of<br />

Where derive from the progress<br />

of Digital Geography generated<br />

by the research and development<br />

carried out in the laboratories of<br />

the Esri (Environment Systems<br />

Research Institute). Through the<br />

Esri WebGIS platform technologies<br />

and the systemic analysis<br />

of Big Data, coming from the<br />

Internet of Things and aerospace<br />

sensors, the Science of Where is<br />

defining new ways of designing<br />

and living the environment and<br />

the city. By predicting the social<br />

consequences of the Digital<br />

Revolution, we are faced with a<br />

dilemma: will the innovation process<br />

be governed only to increase<br />

the production capacity of the<br />

machines, or will the innovation<br />

process be governed to respond to<br />

the vital needs of man?<br />

It does not seem opportune to<br />

me to leave to historians the task<br />

of diagnosing, once things are<br />

done, how social development<br />

will have been determined as a<br />

result of the Digital Revolution.<br />

I call for action in order to<br />

contribute to the realization<br />

of the Vision of our future according<br />

to a humanistic ideal.<br />

It is essential to act, because as<br />

Jack Dangermond says: Vision<br />

without Action is only a dream,<br />

Action without Vision is a hobby,<br />

Vision and Action together<br />

can change the world. To implement<br />

this action I propose to<br />

apply the Futurecraft method,<br />

"the art of building the future:<br />

hypothesizing future scenarios<br />

examining the consequences and<br />

needs and sharing the results, to<br />

allow an exchange of ideas and<br />

open a public debate", as Carlo<br />

Ratti writes in his book "The<br />

City of Tomorrow". The target<br />

is therefore to create a society<br />

vision, where a higher value is<br />

recognized for human interaction<br />

with technology and the Society's<br />

ethical, social and economic values<br />

are rooted throughout the<br />

Society 5.0. The development of<br />

a Society 5.0 will take place in<br />

different countries with different<br />

methods and timing, because it<br />

will depend on the meeting that<br />

will take place between the actions<br />

of governments and the initiatives<br />

of Industry and Research.<br />

In order to do this, I propose that<br />

all those who wish to contribute<br />

to the realization of this Vision<br />

constitute in their countries a<br />

Community which, operating<br />

according to the sharing and reuse<br />

paradigms of the Knowledge<br />

Society, guarantee:<br />

• the verbalization of a common<br />

epistemology 5.0;<br />

• coordination of public or private<br />

initiatives;<br />

• sharing and reuse of the results<br />

of the experiments;<br />

• assessment of the social impact<br />

of initiatives;<br />

• conducting a public debate on<br />

the results achieved.<br />

As a community aggregation<br />

point, I make available the<br />

Academy of the Geoknowledge<br />

Foundation founded by me to<br />

promote the use of Geographical<br />

Knowledge for ethical and social<br />

purposes www.geoknowledgefoundation.it.<br />

The action of the Communities<br />

will realize our ideal of contributing<br />

to the creation of a future<br />

with a human face.<br />

Bruno Ratti<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 23

Cabo Verde<br />

For World Oceans Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite<br />

takes us over the Atlantic Ocean and the Republic of Cabo<br />

Verde.<br />

Several of the small islands that make up the archipelago of Cabo Verde can<br />

be seen peeking out from beneath the clouds. These volcanic islands lie in the<br />

Atlantic Ocean about 570 km off the west coast of Senegal and Mauritania, which<br />

frame the image on the right.<br />

The most striking thing about this image, however, is the dust and sand being carried<br />

by the wind towards Cabo Verde from Africa. The sand comes mainly from the Sahara and<br />

Sahel region. Owing to Cabo Verde's position and the trade winds, these storms are not uncommon<br />

and can disrupt air traffic.<br />

However, this sand also fertilises the ocean with nutrients and promotes the growth of phytoplankton,<br />

which are microscopic plants that sustain the marine food web.<br />

The iron in the dust is particularly important. Without iron mammals cannot make haemoglobin<br />

to transport oxygen around the bloodstream and plants cannot make chlorophyll to photosynthesise.<br />

Research has shown that around 80% of iron in samples of water taken across the North Atlantic<br />

originates from the Sahara. It can be assumed, therefore, that life in the deep ocean<br />

depends on this delivery of fertiliser from one of the worldís most parched regions.<br />

World Oceans Day takes place on 8 June each year and celebrates the ocean, its importance<br />

in all our lives, and how we can protect it.<br />

This image was captured on 30 May <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

(Credits: ESA - Image of the week: "Capo Verde".






We worked with farmers, agronomists and breeders to shape<br />

Pix4Dfields. Over the past two months, a select group of beta testers<br />

has used the product all over the world. Their feedback not<br />

only demonstrates that Pix4Dfields values real-world situations,<br />

but has also set the pace for new features you can expect to see in<br />

the coming months.<br />

Today, we are happy to announce that Pix4Dfields is now commercially<br />

available and open for everyone on both macOS and<br />

Windows.<br />

Why you should consider Pix4Dfields for your agriculture<br />

workflow:<br />

• This product is developed with input from farmers, agronomists<br />

and breeders, meaning Pix4Dfields focuses on what matters<br />

when it comes to agriculture fields of application.<br />

• Pix4Dfields is equipped with our instant results processing engine<br />

that provides accurate results faster than before.<br />

• The software has an easy-to-use interface with tools tailored to<br />

agricultural workflows.<br />

• Pix4Dfields allows you to produce results efficiently and rapidly<br />

in the field, while performing more detailed analysis in<br />

the office.<br />

• The built-in analysis tools allow you to produce accurate and<br />

repeatable measurements of crop health.<br />

‘The processing speed of Pix4Dfields is excellent. You can have<br />

your data in real time‘, Federico Alva, Consultant, ATYGES<br />

Ingeniería.<br />

‘Pix4Dfields has solved the processing bottleneck and without<br />

compromising in image resolution’, Greg Crutsinger, Drone ecologist,<br />

Scholar Farms<br />

This product will continue to grow and evolve rapidly.<br />

Pix4Dfields was designed with input from the agricultural industry,<br />

and so will continue to evolve with the feedback from<br />

our users.<br />

Pix4Dfields is now available for both macOS and Windows<br />

and supports RGB, Parrot Sequoia and MicaSense RedEdge<br />

cameras(awaiting latest firmware update)<br />

To learn more about Pix4Dfields, visit the Pix4Dfields product<br />

page and test it out one month for free.<br />

www.pix4d.com/<br />


INTERGEO <strong>2018</strong><br />

vidaLaser, leading company in the production of laser for tunnel<br />

excavation since 1975 with instruments designed for this specific<br />

use. vidaLaser is able to customize its products following the<br />

user's requirements and is able to produce instruments starting<br />

from the specific requirements of the user following design, construction<br />

and certification.<br />

vidaLaser is the official importer of the FOIF Company, it follows<br />

the commercialization and the official technical assistance.<br />

FOIF has been producing topographic instruments since 1958<br />

and is the world's leading company in this sector with official<br />

offices all over the world.<br />

vidaLaser has a laboratory equipped with primary instruments<br />

certified by ACCREDIA for the calibration / calibration of topographic<br />

instruments.<br />

vidaLaser uses only original and official FOIF spare parts.<br />

The technical staff, with a thirty-year experience in the service of<br />

topographic instruments, a professional training matured with<br />

refresher courses and daily experience, guarantees assistance and<br />

professionalism in the official technical assistance of all FOIF<br />

products in all its aspects.<br />

FOIF products, famous all over the world for their precision and<br />

reliability, include a wide range of topographic instruments, all<br />

characterized by a constructive excellence and a care for details<br />

that distinguish them on the world market.<br />

26 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>


GNSS:<br />

- multi-constellation systems for creating CORS networks.<br />

- Multi-constellation receivers with connection to CORS<br />

networks in RTK and connection in the local BASE-<br />

ROVER system via uhf radio or via 3G telephone network<br />

- Static multi-constellation receivers for the PPK<br />

- GIS dedicated receivers<br />

Total stations:<br />

- Instruments for topographic and cadastral use.<br />

- High-precision engineering and construction tools.<br />

- Structural monitoring tools.<br />

- Tools for tunnelling with gyroscope integrated in the total<br />

station system - gyroscope, specific topographic programs<br />

and resistance to the specific work environment.<br />

Theodolites:<br />

- Mechanical instruments of very fine construction and precision<br />

in the best tradition.<br />

- Electronic instruments also with high brightness laser<br />

pointer integrated in the optical unit.<br />

Mechanical optical levels:<br />

- Self-levelling instruments for constructions.<br />

- Self-levelling instruments for high precision levelling with<br />

micrometer and reading at the invar rod.<br />

Electronic optical levels:<br />

- Instruments for levelling in the construction sector with<br />

reading of the horizontal distance, calculation of the difference<br />

in height and storage of the detected data.<br />

- High precision levelling instruments with reading at the<br />

bar code rod.<br />

vidaLaser and FOIF invite you to discover all the <strong>2018</strong> news<br />

at:<br />

INTERGEO <strong>2018</strong> 16-18 October <strong>2018</strong> Francoforte stand<br />

No: 12.0C.071<br />

info@vidalaser.com<br />

www.vidalaser.com<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 27





SEonSE (Smart Eyes on the SEas), Leonardo’s geospatial maritime<br />

security platform is now available online. Thanks to the use<br />

of cloud computing and of advanced big data analysis models,<br />

SEonSE makes it possible to access in real-time, even from tablets<br />

or smartphones, customised information on what happens at sea.<br />

The announcement was made at the “Farnborough International<br />

Airshow” exhibition being held in theUnited Kingdom, where<br />

the solution implemented by e-GEOS (a joint venture between<br />

Telespazio 80%and ASI 20%) was presented. This platform integrates<br />

data coming from multiple sources and provide smultiple<br />

services for maritime security and surveillance, monitoring of illegal<br />

traffic, environment protection as well as fight against piracy.<br />

“With SEonSE, maritime security can fully leverage on the advantages<br />

offered by digital technology. A huge amount of data is automatically<br />

processed in real-time for the protection of people and<br />

the maritime environment” declared Luigi Pasquali, Leonardo’s<br />

Coordinator of Space activities and Telespazio’s CEO. “This revolutionary<br />

platform is based on the knowledge of an industrial<br />

Group, Leonardo, a leader in the development and supply of integrated<br />

systems and technologies for maritime domain awareness,<br />

and on 25-years of experience in the Earth observation domain,<br />

with e-GEOS as an international leader.”<br />

SEonSE processes information acquired from satellites and coastline<br />

radars and merges them on an automatic and continuous basis,<br />

thanks to proprietary algorithms, with positioning data sent by<br />

vessels (AIS, VMS, LRIT), registries of ships and various databases<br />

along with meteorological and oceanographic information. This<br />

data is then compared with historical information and customary<br />

behaviors, making it possible to identify anomalous activities and<br />

potential threats to security. The result is timely and easily accessible<br />

information, crucial to identifying possible risks which are<br />

signaled by automatically generated alerts to intercept the vessel<br />

in question, to plan the actions of the relevant authorities and to<br />

trace secure routes in hostile environments.<br />

Crucial in terms of security and monitoring is the contribution<br />

of satellite images, which allow the observation on a global scale<br />

of cooperating or non-cooperating vessels – therefore even the<br />

ones that do not comply with identification requirements at sea<br />

– in any weather conditions, in remote areas, by day and night.<br />

SEonSE, in particular, combines the high resolution and the flexibility<br />

of the Italian COSMO-SkyMed radar satellite constellation<br />

with the frequency of programmed acquisitions of the Sentinels of<br />

the Copernicus European programme. In addition, the platform<br />

already allows the integration of data generated by the constellations<br />

of mini-satellites, like Planet and BlackSky, granting a nonstop<br />

and complete updating of the situation at sea.<br />

SEonSE also leverages on, in real-time, over 7 million AIS signals<br />

sent every day by about 165,000 vessels which are managed by<br />

exactEarth, the worldwide leader in Satellite AIS data services,for<br />

global tracking of commercial ships. e-GEOS and exactEarth have<br />

signed a partnership agreement at the Farnborough show.<br />

SEonSE is based on an e-GEOS’ patent for the processing of satellite<br />

data, already used in many activities for maritime security<br />

and in international projects, like OCEAN2020, the European<br />

Defence Fund strategic research programme for naval surveillance<br />

technology and maritime safety, that is led by Leonardo.<br />



The European Copernicus Sentinel open<br />

data together with the power of cloud infrastructures<br />

provide players in the EO sector<br />

with the unprecedented opportunity to<br />

design operational Earth monitoring services,<br />

shifting from the provision of data<br />

to the provision of continuous monitoring<br />

services.<br />

At the forefront of this new innovative<br />

model there is Rheticus®, a cloud-based<br />

hub that processes satellite imagery and<br />

geospatial data automatically, and delivers<br />

geo-information services ready-to-use by<br />

end-users. Actionable information are provided by means of thematic<br />

maps, geo-analytics, pre-set reports, and alerts. Contents are<br />

dynamically displayed through an intuitive and user-friendly web<br />

dashboard, available 24/7 on any device.<br />

By integrating contents generated by Rheticus® Platform with<br />

Hexagon Geospatial’s Smart M.App technology, Planetek Italia<br />

succeeded in creating several monitoring services that provide timely<br />

solutions to address users’ needs in various industries. The<br />

result is a series of Smart M.Apps, which are able to present users<br />

with analytical views and help organizations<br />

in easily detect varied patterns<br />

and trends in data.<br />

Rheticus® Network Alert is the first<br />

successful Smart M.App developed.<br />

It helps utility companies in the complex<br />

and expensive task of the management<br />

of inspections and maintenance<br />

activities over their integrated water<br />

and sewerage networks. Among our<br />

Rheticus® active users, there are some<br />

of the largest European utility companies,<br />

as Hera Group, MM SpA, Acea.<br />

Other industry-focused Smart<br />

M.Apps are: Rheticus® Bridge Alert,<br />

Rheticus® Road Alert, Rheticus® Railways Alert and Rheticus®<br />

Infrastructure Alert, all designed around Rheticus® Displacement<br />

fueled by radar data. These vertical services transform data into<br />

actionable knowledge thanks to our business intelligence tools,<br />

overcoming the concept of static maps.<br />

By visiting https://www.rheticus.eu, it is possible to read further<br />

information and case histories, or to start using a Free Trial<br />

DEMO.<br />

28 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

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<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 29


calibration help you refine raw data for further analysis: you<br />

can correct images for atmospheric effects and obtain the real<br />

ground radiance or reflectance values.<br />



Most of your image analysis tasks that required ENVI or Erdas<br />

Imagine software are now available online thanks to EOS<br />

Platform. This new game-changing cloud service launched by<br />

EOS Data Analytics provides GIS professionals with a one-stop<br />

solution for search, analysis, storing, and visualization of large<br />

amounts of geospatial data.<br />

With EOS Platform you get access to an ecosystem of four<br />

mutually integrated EOS products, which together provide a<br />

powerful toolset for geospatial analysts. Image data is stored in<br />

cloud-based EOS Storage and is available for image processing<br />

or remote sensing analysis at any time; this can be a raw user file,<br />

an imagery obtained from LandViewer or an output file from<br />

EOS Processing.<br />

There are at least two reasons why image processing is the platform’s<br />

major asset: the processing of large data amounts runs<br />

online and offers as many as 16 workflows with even more coming<br />

soon. On top of that, users can get the best cartographic<br />

features of EOS Vision for vector data visualization and, as announced<br />

for the future, its analysis.<br />

Data agnostic platform<br />

When it comes to raster data, you can work with a variety of<br />

satellite and airborne datasets in LandViewer, EOS Processing,<br />

and EOS Storage. Users can also upload their own GeoTiff,<br />

JPEG, JPEG 2000 files and apply GIS data processing algorithms<br />

via API or from the web interface. EOS Vision is your tool<br />

for vector data operations with multiple formats support (ESRI<br />

Shapefile, GeoJSON, KML, KMZ).<br />

The whole package for image processing<br />

EOS Processing offers a great experience with its sixteen processing<br />

workflows, including the popular raster tools (merge,<br />

reprojection, pansharpening), remote sensing analytics, photogrammetry,<br />

and proprietary feature extraction algorithms<br />

that can’t be found anywhere else. Get your data ready for the<br />

upcoming LiDAR analysis and 3D modeling as they’ll become<br />

available soon.<br />

Such pre-processing tasks as cloud detection or radiometric<br />

Object detection, change detection, and classification<br />

The convolutional neural networks, pre-trained by EOS Data<br />

Analytics to extract features from imagery, let you apply stateof-art<br />

methods to detect objects and track changes from space.<br />

4Having only a set of multi-temporal images and change detection<br />

workflow, you can track how illegal deforestation progresses<br />

over time.<br />

4Edge detection can show the exact boundaries of your agricultural<br />

lands down to the last pixel.<br />

4It is possible to estimate the parking lot traffic of largest shopping<br />

centers with car detection algorithm.<br />

The best of spectral analysis<br />

Products within EOS Platform support almost all remote sensor<br />

types and the user can choose from a long list of spectral indices<br />

to calculate on the fly. Aside from the complete set of vegetation<br />

indices (NDVI, ReCI, ARVI, SAVI, AVI, etc.), there are<br />

also indices to outline landscape features (water, snow and ice<br />

– NDWI, NDSI) and burned areas (NBR). The greatest thing<br />

is that here you get the freedom of experimenting with spectral<br />

bands and can create custom band combinations that best fit<br />

your purposes.<br />

Customize and analyze<br />

The user-friendly interface of EOS Processing makes it easy to<br />

manage processing workflows depending on the user’s business<br />

needs. You can set the parameters for processing and repeatedly<br />

use such customized workflow to automate high-frequency<br />

analytical tasks. The coming updates will add an ability to create<br />

custom algorithms from the available data processing operations.<br />

Agriculture, forestry, oil and gas, and more industries<br />

A tandem of EOS products offers a much-needed solution for<br />

individuals, businesses, and organizations across numerous industries.<br />

With vegetation indices and crop classification feature, agronomists<br />

can continuously monitor crop conditions to detect plant<br />

diseases, pests, droughts. Forestry specialists can assess fire damages,<br />

monitor forest health, track and enforce logging restrictions.<br />

EOS Platform is a great choice for regional and urban planning,<br />

helping users identify land cover classes to generate a vegetation<br />

map. It can also make a complete list of urban features like buildings,<br />

roads, and other major features in the region.<br />

The platform can tackle disaster management by measuring flood<br />

extent and finding fire boundaries. When it comes to oil<br />

and gas, it is capable of identifying oil rigs and assessing the<br />

environmental impact.<br />

EOS Data Analytics uses cloud-based services to address different<br />

verticals with a single platform, scientifically proven<br />

analytics, scale-ups and it builds products that could add value<br />

to remote sensed data to deliver expert-level results for your business.<br />

Unlock the full potential of Earth observation data with EOS<br />

Platform, directly in your browser: https://eos.com/platform<br />

30 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

www.esriitalia.it<br />

Soluzioni e Tecnologie<br />

Geografiche per<br />

la Trasformazione<br />


REPORT<br />

Copernicus Sentinels missions and<br />

crowdsourcing as game changers for<br />

geospatial information in agriculture<br />

by Flavio Lupia, Vyron Antoniou<br />

Fig. 1 - Yearly occurrences of papers indexed by Google Scholars containing the<br />

keywords: "Sentinel-1" AND "agriculture"; "Sentinel-2" AND "agriculture"; "Sentinel-3"<br />

AND "agriculture".<br />

Today, new advances in science and technology and,<br />

above all, the open flow of rich datasets play a pivotal<br />

role when it comes to better manage territory and its<br />

resources. Agriculture is one of the relevant domains<br />

where data from Earth Observation and their integration<br />

with data from different sources (i.e. proximal and<br />

ground sensors and even in-situ data from human<br />

sensors) will provide many benefits. Such data-driven<br />

opportunities are the backdrop of the transition toward<br />

an innovative agriculture (see the concepts of smart<br />

farming, farming 2.0, precision farming/agriculture,<br />

digital agriculture, etc.). The following paragraphs<br />

describes briefly two new opportunities for the<br />

generation of data usable for agricultural application:<br />

remotely sensed data from the Copernicus programme<br />

and user generated data through crowdsourcing.<br />

New options for mapping and<br />

monitoring agriculture remotely<br />

Agricultural sector is getting ever<br />

more attention due to its role in<br />

feeding a growing world population<br />

by maximizing productivity<br />

and optimizing natural resources<br />

usage. At European level, agriculture<br />

has great economic<br />

relevance. According to 2013<br />

Eurostat figures, 42.5 % of the<br />

area of EU-28 was occupied by<br />

agriculture and globally the EU-<br />

28’s share was above the world<br />

average (37.9 %).<br />

More accessible data and information<br />

can benefit the agricultural<br />

sector and the effective implementation<br />

of policies such as<br />

the Common Agricultural Policy<br />

(CAP). Though the current CAP<br />

(2014-2020) has contributed<br />

to agricultural sustainability,<br />

the future CAP (beyond 2020)<br />

will strive further to facilitate<br />

smart and resilient farming and<br />

actions to meet environmental<br />

EU targets and to improve the<br />

socio-economic tissue of rural<br />

areas. Achieving these goals requires<br />

a step up in research and<br />

innovation.<br />

Copernicus, the programme for<br />

the establishment of a European<br />

capacity for Earth Observation<br />

(EO), is the chief example with<br />

its geospatial big data delivered<br />

with open data policy enacting a<br />

big leap in agricultural mapping<br />

and monitoring.<br />

Copernicus is satellite-borne<br />

EO, in-situ data and services<br />

32 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

REPORT<br />

such as the Copernicus Land<br />

Monitoring Service (https://<br />

land.copernicus.eu/) providing<br />

information on land cover/land<br />

use and variables for vegetation<br />

and water cycle monitoring for<br />

applications in several domains<br />

such as agriculture.<br />

The Programme with its global<br />

coverage, powerful sensors, continuity<br />

of acquisition and open<br />

data policy is opening up new<br />

options to manage and control<br />

actions needed by CAP objectives<br />

for European agriculture.<br />

Agricultural analysis can benefit<br />

from products delivered by the<br />

first three Copernicus Sentinels<br />

missions operating with twin<br />

satellites (A and B).<br />

Sentinel-1 (S1), launched on 3<br />

April 2014 (1A) and 25 April<br />

2016 (1B), provides all-weather<br />

and day/night microwave acquisition<br />

(C-band Synthetic<br />

Aperture Radar) in four exclusive<br />

imaging modes with spatial resolutions<br />

down to 5 m and a swath<br />

width from 20 to 400 km.<br />

Sentinel-2 (S2), launched on<br />

23 June 2015 (2A) and on 7<br />

March 2017 (2B), has a spatial<br />

resolution (10, 20 and 60 m) suitable<br />

for average size of parcels<br />

in Europe, a low revisit time (5<br />

days at Equator), a multispectral<br />

sensor (visible, near-infrared<br />

and red-edge channels) and 290<br />

km swath width. These features<br />

enable applications related to<br />

seasonal and within-season crop<br />

status analysis, yield prediction<br />

and determination of nutrient<br />

and irrigation needs. The integration<br />

of S1 and S2 allows to<br />

create very dense time series for<br />

agricultural studies. Moreover,<br />

S1 complements the multispectral<br />

information of S2 by<br />

acquiring under the clouds and<br />

trough vegetation canopy.<br />

Sentinel-3 (S3), launched on<br />

16 February 2016 (3A) and 25<br />

April <strong>2018</strong> (3B), has near-daily<br />

acquisition at low resolution<br />

(300 m), two swath widths of<br />

1270 and 1420 km, a sensor<br />

with high spectral quality with<br />

three high accuracy thermal<br />

bands usable for vegetation stress<br />

monitoring. Co-location of bands<br />

between S2 and S3 and the<br />

existence of bands devoted to atmospheric<br />

corrections ensure the<br />

full integration of the products<br />

generated.<br />

As a whole, Sentinels will generate<br />

long term time series<br />

boosting several applications,<br />

including change detection of<br />

agricultural land, yield forecast<br />

and definition and calibration of<br />

agricultural models. Analytical<br />

possibilities will be much more<br />

powerful if integration with<br />

others EO open data is considered<br />

(e.g. Landsat missions).<br />

The interests about Sentinels<br />

missions and their potential application<br />

in agriculture started<br />

well in advance their operational<br />

deployment, this is well depicted<br />

by the growing trend of the<br />

occurrences of the two terms<br />

“Sentinel-x” and “agriculture”<br />

within papers indexed by Google<br />

Scholar (Figure 1).<br />

Among the relevant projects<br />

exploiting Sentinels data for<br />

agriculture, Sen4CAP (http://<br />

esa-sen4cap.org/) and Sen2-Agri<br />

(http://www.esa-sen2agri.org/)<br />

are two examples worth mentioning.<br />

Aimed at developing<br />

EO products and services with<br />

open source code, Sen4CAP is<br />

developed to increase efficiency,<br />

traceability and to reduce costs<br />

of the system managing the<br />

payments for farmers under the<br />

CAP. Sen2-Agri is designed to<br />

demonstrate, through a useroriented<br />

approach, the usability<br />

of S2 time series for agricultural<br />

monitoring for a wide range of<br />

crops and farming practices. The<br />

main output is a free and open<br />

source processing system which<br />

delivers several near real time<br />

products (e.g. vegetation status<br />

map, monthly cropland masks,<br />

crop type maps).<br />

Big geospatial data that is being<br />

generated by Sentinel’s missions<br />

call for a shift in data management<br />

and analysis in order to<br />

effectively extract powerful information<br />

to support agricultural<br />

management. New technological<br />

solutions such as cloud-based<br />

platforms and multi-core processing<br />

systems are needed to effectively<br />

manage these huge datasets.<br />

The Thematic Exploitation<br />

Platform (https://tep.eo.esa.<br />

int/) and the Copernicus Data<br />

and Information Access Services<br />

(http://copernicus.eu/news/<br />

upcoming-copernicus-data-andinformation-access-services-dias)<br />

are two interesting solutions.<br />

Crowdsourcing: the option for<br />

bottom up data generation<br />

In parallel with the authoritative<br />

initiatives for systematic EO and<br />

the collection of big geospatial<br />

data for further analysis, there<br />

are equally interesting developments<br />

at the other end of<br />

the spectrum: the citizens. The<br />

evolution of crowdsourcing,<br />

i.e. tapping the power of the<br />

crowd to achieve specific goals,<br />

usually through open and inclusive<br />

processes, has evolved<br />

into Volunteered Geographic<br />

Information (VGI) for the<br />

Geomatics domain. VGI, defined<br />

as the harnessing of tools to<br />

create, assemble, and disseminate<br />

geographic data provided voluntarily<br />

by individuals (Goodchild,<br />

2007), has transformed the way<br />

that geographic information can<br />

be collected and maintained and<br />

today intertwines with Citizen<br />

Science (CS) which promotes<br />

the volunteer from the position<br />

of simple data provider to designer<br />

and practitioner of scientific<br />

work. These developments and<br />

efforts have not been left without<br />

support by the authorities.<br />

In EU, a number of projects has<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 33

REPORT<br />

been funded that aim to promote<br />

the engagement of citizens<br />

to scientific endeavours (see for<br />

example Horizon 2020 DITOS<br />

project - http://www.togetherscience.eu/<br />

- or the funding of<br />

multiple projects through the<br />

COST Action Scheme).<br />

In this context, and given the<br />

individual advantages of the<br />

authoritative data acquisition on<br />

the one hand and the bottomup<br />

process of data collection on<br />

the other, a new challenge has<br />

appeared: how to combine the<br />

best of the two worlds in a way<br />

that will add value to the final<br />

products and services that reach<br />

the users. For example, effective<br />

exploitation of EO for terrestrial<br />

monitoring, and specifically<br />

for agriculture, cannot avoid<br />

the use of in-situ data necessary<br />

for calibration/validation of<br />

any derived product. Beyond<br />

the classical tools for collecting<br />

ground data, nowadays new<br />

opportunities derive from CS<br />

and VGI, where laypersons<br />

or interested stakeholders can<br />

actively or passively generate<br />

georeferenced information that<br />

can be merged with EO data.<br />

For example, both volunteers<br />

and farmers can provide relevant<br />

in-situ data on bio-geophysical<br />

properties of soils and crops. A<br />

recent study (Dehnen-Schmutz<br />

et. al., 2016) carried out in UK<br />

and France showed that farmers<br />

are confident in the use of apps<br />

and expressed interest to participate<br />

in CS projects especially<br />

for data collection and real-time<br />

monitoring. All these data can<br />

be collected and analysed with<br />

dedicated platforms so to deploy<br />

advisory services for farmers that<br />

will help them to improve crop<br />

management and production.<br />

Other examples can be found<br />

at the Spece4Agri (http://space4agri.irea.cnr.it/it),<br />

and the<br />

FOODIE (http://www.foodieproject.eu/index.php)<br />

projects<br />

which use VGI for agriculture<br />

or the LandSense (https://landsense.eu/)<br />

project that uses<br />

VGI for collecting Land Use<br />

and Land Cover (LULC) data.<br />

Space4Agri, developed a system<br />

for integrating remotely sensed,<br />

multi-source and heterogeneous<br />

data, authoritative datasets<br />

and in-situ data on crop development<br />

and agro-practices created<br />

by volunteer (agronomists,<br />

farmers and citizens) to support<br />

sustainable and precision agriculture<br />

(Bordogna et al. 2016).<br />

FOODIE is building a platform<br />

hub on the cloud where spatial<br />

and non-spatial data related to<br />

agricultural sector are available<br />

for agri-food stakeholders and<br />

can be integrated for supporting<br />

decision making process.<br />

Data are collected from different<br />

sources and made openly<br />

available (e.g. OpenStreetMap,<br />

voluntary collected data about<br />

market situation, crops yield,<br />

etc.). Finally, LandSense Citizen<br />

Observatory aggregates innovative<br />

EO technologies, mobile<br />

devices, community-based environmental<br />

monitoring, data<br />

collection, interpretation and<br />

information delivery systems in<br />

order to empower communities<br />

to monitor and report on their<br />

environment.<br />

While there are enormous potentials<br />

from the synergy of<br />

authoritative and crowdsourced<br />

EO efforts, there are equally<br />

some important caveats that<br />

need to be addressed. Perhaps,<br />

the most important one is data<br />

quality. Quality issues can be<br />

analysed from different perspective<br />

and can affect heavily<br />

the results when are used for<br />

validating remotely sensed data<br />

or used for modelling applications<br />

in agriculture. Therefore,<br />

knowing these issues is relevant<br />

as quality can affect decisions<br />

making process from the farming<br />

level (i.e. precise management<br />

of the agricultural production<br />

process) to the policy<br />

level (good implementation and<br />

monitoring of economic and environmental<br />

measures). Quality<br />

evaluation of crowdsourced data<br />

owes to cover multiple facets<br />

of data at hand, facets that are<br />

usually not considered when<br />

dealing with authoritative data.<br />

Thus, apart from the welldefined<br />

spatial quality elements<br />

(ISO 2013) of completeness,<br />

logical consistency, positional<br />

accuracy, temporal accuracy, thematic<br />

accuracy and usability that<br />

need to be thoroughly evaluated,<br />

crowdsourced geographic information<br />

should be also examined<br />

against inherent biases. It is not<br />

uncommon for volunteered<br />

datasets to suffer from temporal<br />

biases, as volunteers might be<br />

able to contribute data only on<br />

weekends or after-work hours;<br />

positional biases, as it is easier<br />

for volunteers to reach and<br />

collect data from areas in their<br />

vicinity or wherever the access is<br />

not obstructed; or participation<br />

biases, as there are social imbalances<br />

regarding the people that<br />

volunteer (i.e. it usually requires<br />

for people to have enough free<br />

time and the means to acquire<br />

the needed equipment for data<br />

collection). All these factors<br />

need to be carefully considered<br />

and evaluated (e.g. by defining<br />

protocols for data collection<br />

(Minghini et al., 2017) before<br />

using crowdsourced geographic<br />

information with authoritative<br />

EO data.<br />

34 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

REPORT<br />


Bordogna, G.; Kliment, K.; Frigerio, L.; Stroppiana, D.; Brivio, P.A.; Crema, A.; Boschetti, M.; Sterlacchini, S. Spatial Data<br />

Infrastructure integrating multisource heterogeneous geospatial data and time series: A study case in agriculture. ISPRS Int.<br />

J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5, 73.<br />

Dehnen-Schmutz, K., Foster, G.L., Owen, L. et al. Agron. Sustain. Dev. (2016) 36: 25. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13593-<br />

016-0359-9<br />

Goodchild, M.F. (2007). "Citizens as sensors: the world of volunteered geography".<br />

GeoJournal. 69 (4): 211–221. doi:10.1007/s10708-007-9111-y.<br />

International Organisation for Standardisation, 2013. ISO19157:2013 Geographic information - Data quality, Geneva:<br />

ISO.<br />

Joint Research Centre, (2016). Concept Note - Towards Future Copernicus Service Components in support to Agriculture?<br />

Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/sites/jrcsh/files/Copernicus_concept_note_agriculture.pdf<br />

Minghini, M, Antoniou, V, Fonte, C C, Estima, J, Olteanu-Raimond, A-M, See, L, Laakso, M, Skopeliti, A, Mooney, P,<br />

Arsanjani, J J, Lupia, F. 2017. The Relevance of Protocols for VGI Collection. In: Foody, G, See, L, Fritz, S, Mooney, P,<br />

Olteanu-Raimond, A-M, Fonte, C C and Antoniou, V. (eds.) Mapping and the Citizen Sensor. Pp. 223–247. London:<br />

Ubiquity Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/bbf.j.<br />


Crowdsourcing; geospatial; remote sensing; monitoring; mapping; agriculture; Copernicus sentinels<br />


A big leap in the agricultural sector is expected thanks to the operational deployment of Copernicus data and services, the new Earth Observation<br />

program of the European Commission. The huge quantity of data delivered freely along with the good level of resolution (spatial, temporal and<br />

spectral) will open up new opportunities for achieving the well-known sustainability of agriculture. At the same time, the new trends of crowdsourcing<br />

and citizen science are delivering a great deal of geographical data collected by ordinary users with a bottom-up process. The two type of data<br />

and their integration will be the base for the future application in the agricultural sector, albeit management of big geospatial dataset and quality of<br />

user generated data are issues to be addressed.<br />

AUTHOR<br />

Flavio Lupia<br />

flavio.lupia@crea.gov.it<br />

Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA)<br />

Via Po, 14 00198 Roma, Italy<br />

Vyron Antoniou<br />

Multinational Geospatial Support Group<br />

Frauenberger Str. 250, 53879, Euskirchen, Germany<br />

v.antoniou@ucl.ac.uk<br />

L’eccellenza dei dati geografici<br />

Toponomastica e numerazione civica<br />

A beneficio degli ambiti di utilizzo più maturi ed esigenti, per la gestione e per la pianificazione geografica e quotidiana<br />

delle reti e delle utenze, della grande e media distribuzione, della raccolta RSU, dei sistemi navigazionali e del car-sharing,<br />

per l’attività politica e per quella amministrativa. www.studiosit.it • info@studiosit.it<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 35

REPORT<br />

Rheticus: Satellite-based<br />

Information Services for Utilities<br />

by Vincenzo Massimi<br />

Ground movements are<br />

common phenomena across<br />

Europe and worldwide. It<br />

is known that sometimes<br />

they can be quite severe,<br />

causing displacement of<br />

up to one meter over few<br />

years. Actually, movements<br />

of only few centimetres<br />

can cause damage<br />

around buried pipes and<br />

Fig. 1 - Satellite monitoring to prevent risks over water and sewer networks<br />

infrastructures.<br />

Traditional campaigns for<br />

the regular monitoring<br />

of large and remote<br />

areas, however, employ considerable<br />

financial resources and<br />

time, and are often complex to<br />

implement. This is the case of<br />

utility companies, which need<br />

to manage large and distributed<br />

networks buried under the<br />

ground.<br />

Even if pipes and underground<br />

networks are made with longlasting<br />

materials, they are stressed<br />

and damaged by ground<br />

movements. This leads utility<br />

companies to face continually<br />

the complex and expensive task<br />

of the maintenance of underground<br />

pipelines, in order to<br />

avoid possible heavy stress conditions<br />

and, eventually, leaks in<br />

the pipes.<br />

These leaks can then accelerate<br />

the erosion around the problem<br />

area, disrupting services<br />

and possibly creating larger<br />

problems, damage to surface facilities,<br />

properties and/or infrastructures,<br />

or exposing people<br />

to risks.<br />

Utilities spend a lot of money<br />

maintaining their networks<br />

and fighting against leakages<br />

and structural problems. Right<br />

now, companies' maintenance<br />

policies are strictly oriented to<br />

recovery their assets in case of<br />

disrupting service due to major<br />

problems. A great number of<br />

utility companies put in place<br />

activities for pipe replacement<br />

only in areas where severe subsidence<br />

phenomena reveals leaks<br />

in the pipes. Identifying ground<br />

movements before they become<br />

critical is a challenge.<br />

The use of satellite data allows<br />

overcoming these limitations<br />

and obtaining frequent, accurate<br />

and accessible information<br />

thanks to the wide availability<br />

of spatial information,<br />

even in open data mode (e.g.<br />

Copernicus Sentinels data,<br />

INSPIRE data, etc.).<br />

Satellite radar technology can<br />

give a good predictive indicator<br />

for where this may be occurring<br />

by measuring where the<br />

ground is subsiding around the<br />

pipelines. Radar data, when<br />

pushed through Interferometric<br />

Synthetic Aperture Radar<br />

(InSAR) analysis, can provide<br />

changes in the ground level<br />

with millimetre accuracy. The<br />

European Space Agency’s<br />

Copernicus programme includes<br />

SAR data from the<br />

Sentinel-1 constellation. Thus,<br />

Sentinel-1 data can be exploited<br />

to identify with high precision<br />

where the ground starts subsiding,<br />

allowing maintenance<br />

36 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

REPORT<br />

Fig. 2 - List of applications by industry of the satellite-based Rheticus services.<br />

strategies focused on those areas<br />

under high risk, and before<br />

structural problems occur.<br />

Copernicus Sentinels + Cloud<br />

infrastructures: the shift to<br />

Information as-a-Service<br />

The Sentinel open data together<br />

with the power of cloud infrastructures<br />

provide players in the<br />

EO sector with the unprecedented<br />

opportunity to design operational<br />

Earth monitoring services.<br />

Shifting from the provision<br />

of data to the provision of<br />

continuous monitoring services<br />

(i.e., continuous access to information)<br />

is the key point upon<br />

which addressing real users’<br />

needs in the new Era of Big<br />

Data. Moreover, shifting from<br />

monitoring services on request<br />

to long time information services<br />

available under subscription<br />

is the real disruptive innovation<br />

in the field of EO: end-users<br />

pay for the information not for<br />

the processing.<br />

At the forefront of this new<br />

innovative model there is<br />

Rheticus, a cloud-based hub<br />

that processes satellite imagery<br />

and geospatial data automatically,<br />

and delivers geo-information<br />

services ready-to-use by endusers.<br />

Designed and developed<br />

by Planetek Italia, Rheticus<br />

moves beyond mapping visualisation,<br />

thanks to a broad range<br />

of advanced geo-analytics. It<br />

allows end-users to gain insight<br />

into patterns not easily<br />

identified through traditional<br />

approaches to better understand<br />

the whole story that lives within<br />

data related to their assets (e.g.<br />

roads, railways, buildings,<br />

dams, mines, water supply networks<br />

and utilities), combining<br />

historical and daily/weekly<br />

satellite imagery acquisitions.<br />

Actionable information are<br />

provided by means of thematic<br />

maps, geo-analytics, pre-set reports,<br />

and alerts. Contents are<br />

dynamically displayed through<br />

an intuitive and user-friendly<br />

web dashboard, available 24/7<br />

on any device or in Machineto-Machine<br />

(M2M) mode directly<br />

within users’ systems.<br />

By integrating contents generated<br />

by Rheticus Platform with<br />

Hexagon Geospatial’s Smart<br />

M.App technology, Planetek<br />

Italia succeeded in creating several<br />

monitoring services that<br />

provide timely solutions to<br />

address users’ needs in various<br />

industries and vertical markets.<br />

Planetek released four Smart<br />

M.Apps: Rheticus Network<br />

Alert, Rheticus Bridge Alert,<br />

Rheticus Railways Alert and<br />

Rheticus Infrastructure Alert,<br />

all designed around Rheticus<br />

Displacement fuelled by radar<br />

data. These vertical services<br />

transform data into actionable<br />

knowledge thanks to our business<br />

intelligence tools, overcoming<br />

the concept of static<br />

maps.<br />

Rheticus Network Alert: using<br />

satellite Radar data to identify<br />

ground instabilities.<br />

Rheticus Network Alert is a<br />

turnkey web service that helps<br />

utility companies in the management<br />

of inspections and<br />

Fig. 3 - Screenshot of the Rheticus platform showing displacement monitoring over the city of Milan, Italy.<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 37

REPORT<br />

maintenance activities over their<br />

integrated water and sewerage<br />

networks. By using satellite<br />

radar data to identify ground<br />

instabilities, Rheticus Network<br />

Alert provides operators with an<br />

always updated log of hot spots<br />

within their network that can<br />

reveal leaking pipes.<br />

Thus, network's operators can<br />

act on the information they<br />

have. The service provides all the<br />

information by means of geoanalytics,<br />

maps and reports, released<br />

on a monthly basis. Instead<br />

of replacing pipes and connectors<br />

after major leakage evidence,<br />

Rheticus Network Alert allows<br />

an 'a priori' approach, replacing<br />

those pipes classified as possibly<br />

at risk and before larger problems<br />

occur. As a matter of fact,<br />

companies better manage their<br />

financial resources and reduce<br />

service disruptions and/or threats<br />

for people.<br />

Among our Rheticus active<br />

users, there are some of the largest<br />

European utility companies,<br />

which generally face costs per repair<br />

ranging between 2.500,00-<br />

5.000,00 €/km. Benefits of<br />

subscribing our Rheticus services<br />

ensure a high return on investment<br />

thanks to the chance of<br />

prevent severe damages, perform<br />

focused maintenances, and avoid<br />

costs for major repairs. Those<br />

impacts on companies’ financial<br />

statements were remarked<br />

also by EARSC in “Copernicus<br />

Sentinels’ Products Economic<br />

Value: A Case Study”. Benefits<br />

are even larger in areas exposed<br />

to landslides, subsidence<br />

and earthquakes.<br />

Hera Group: exploiting satellite<br />

data to enable the preventive<br />

maintenance of pipelines<br />

Hera, the second largest operator<br />

in Italy by volumes of water supplied<br />

(300 million cubic meters<br />

per year), has always looked with<br />

enthusiasm towards innovation,<br />

the development of new technologies<br />

and their testing. For<br />

this reason, in 2016 it was the<br />

first company in Italy to adopt<br />

a system to search of water via<br />

satellite to address the problem<br />

of hidden leaks from water networks.<br />

Subsequently, HERA decided<br />

to start a test using Rheticus system,<br />

with the aim of providing<br />

an automatic system to exploit<br />

satellite data in order to perform<br />

complex analyses, and simplify<br />

inspection planning.<br />

In 2017, HERA first subscribed<br />

to our Rheticus Displacement<br />

service, activated over the<br />

Province of Modena. In <strong>2018</strong>,<br />

HERA has adopted Rheticus<br />

Network Alert and extended the<br />

area of interest, now including<br />

also the Province of Bologna,<br />

reaching more than 6,200 km of<br />

pipelines monitored from Space<br />

over an area of about 3,500<br />

square kilometres.<br />

Furthermore, HERA Group<br />

incorporates sophisticated<br />

equipment (e.g., smart meters,<br />

traffic-monitoring systems) together<br />

with information from<br />

citizens (e.g., distribution of<br />

relevant emergency calls) into<br />

its management processes, collecting<br />

a great amount of data<br />

related to its assets. It is not<br />

feasible to exploit all those data<br />

through traditional approaches.<br />

Artificial Intelligence is the only<br />

reasonable way to exploit them.<br />

Machine learning algorithms<br />

integrated in Rheticus Network<br />

Alert will enable to better exploit<br />

historical and real-time data,<br />

thus supporting decision-making<br />

about all relevant aspects of<br />

HERA assets, from demand forecasting<br />

to workforce capacity<br />

management, emergency planning,<br />

predictive maintenance,<br />

optimized scheduling, more<br />

accurate travel times, seasonal<br />

service patterns, and so forth.<br />

Since HERA is in charge of a<br />

wide network covering a broad<br />

area that requires great management<br />

effort, following a proposal<br />

from HERA, Rheticus Network<br />

Alert will be increased with a<br />

specific add-on functionality: the<br />

ingestion of various information<br />

layers to achieve a predictive<br />

operational level alongside the<br />

current support on daily inspection<br />

planning and mid-term<br />

network management.<br />

In 2017, Planetek won the<br />

“EARSC European Earth<br />

Observation Company of the<br />

Year Award”, and recently received<br />

the “<strong>2018</strong> Best Go-to<br />

Market Strategy <strong>2018</strong> Award”<br />

from Hexagon Geospatial,<br />

announced at the HxGN Live<br />

<strong>2018</strong> Conference in Las Vegas –<br />

Nevada.<br />

Rheticus will be showcased<br />

at INTERGEO <strong>2018</strong> (stand:<br />

D.051 Hall: 12.1) in cooperation<br />

with the global network of<br />

Hexagon’s partners. By visiting<br />

https://www.rheticus.eu, it is<br />

possible to read further information<br />

and case histories, or to start<br />

using a Free Trial DEMO.<br />


Rheticus; network alert; satellite data; radar;<br />

copernicus sentinels; cloud infrastructures;<br />

ground instabilities<br />


Ground movements can cause damage around buried<br />

pipes and infrastructures. Satellite radar technology<br />

can give a good predictive indicator for where<br />

this may be occurring, helping utility companies face<br />

the complex and expensive task of the maintenance<br />

of underground pipelines. Rheticus Network Alert is<br />

a turnkey cloud-based service that processes satellite<br />

imagery and geospatial data automatically to deliver<br />

geo-information services, helping utility companies<br />

in the management of inspections and maintenance<br />

activities over their integrated water and sewerage<br />

networks. Hera Group decided to start using Rheticus<br />

system over the Provinces of Modena and Bologna,<br />

Italy, with the aim of providing an automatic<br />

system to exploit satellite data in order to perform<br />

complex analyses, and simplify inspection planning.<br />

AUTHOR<br />

Vincenzo Massimi<br />

massimi@planetek.it<br />

Pre-Sales Technical Assistant Rheticus<br />

Planetek Italia – https://www.planetek.it<br />

38 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>




[Italy’s National Archive of<br />

Aerial Photography]<br />

by Elizabeth J. Shepherd<br />

Fig. 1 – © AFN archives. August 10, 1943. Sicily, Siracusa. German Luftwaffe photo over the Great<br />

Harbour, taken one month after the Allied landing, with analysis of the enemy’s naval forces.<br />

Italian archives of aerial photographs have<br />

rich and varied holdings, which are a valuable<br />

source for the study of the landscape<br />

and of cultural heritage, especially in the<br />

vast parts of the country that have been<br />

affected by significant transformation in<br />

the second half of the 20th century.<br />

These archives are mostly military<br />

(Istituto Geografico Militare www.igmi.<br />

org and the Air Force historical archives<br />

http://www.aeronautica.difesa.it/storia/ufficiostorico/)<br />

with a single exception:<br />

the Aerofototeca Nazionale (AFN)<br />

http://www.iccd.beniculturali.it/index.<br />

php?it/98/aerofototeca-nazionale, the<br />

Italian national archive of aerial photography,<br />

today part of the Ministero<br />

dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del<br />

Turismo (Ministry of Cultural Heritage<br />

and Tourism http://www.beniculturali.it).<br />

AFN holds 20th century photographs<br />

over the whole of Italy. It was established<br />

in 1958 as a branch of the Gabinetto<br />

Fotografico Nazionale (National<br />

Photographic Lab & Archive) and, since<br />

1975, has been part of the Istituto Centrale<br />

per il Catalogo e la Documentazione<br />

(ICCD– Central Institute for Catalogue<br />

and Documentation), based in Rome.<br />

AFN houses many collections produced<br />

by public and private organizations. Some<br />

of these have been purchased or donated,<br />

while others are on loan to AFN from<br />

military or civil institutions which retain<br />

ownership. Aerial photographs were<br />

produced by military bodies (Italian Air<br />

Force, Istituto Geografico Militare, Allied<br />

Forces during World War II), public organizations<br />

(research institutes, regional<br />

authorities) and private companies, most<br />

of which are no longer in existence. A few<br />

companies which are still operating have<br />

deposited their historical collections with<br />

the AFN, together with copies of recent<br />

flights, of which they hold the copyright.<br />

AFN also holds unique imagery from<br />

World War II, that are not duplicated<br />

elsewhere, despite the large numbers of<br />

photographs of Italy in UK and USA<br />

archives. These include ‘post-strike’ photographs<br />

taken to help assess the success<br />

of bombing raids. They highlight the potential<br />

importance of this imagery in helping<br />

to write history, recording as they do<br />

events, alongside ongoing processes and<br />

landscapes now<br />

changed in many<br />

ways.<br />

AFN also houses<br />

a large number of<br />

maps drawn from<br />

aerial photographs,<br />

most of them accessed<br />

through the<br />

purchase of the<br />

EIRA collection<br />

(= Ente Italiano<br />

Riprese Aeree)<br />

http://www.iccd.<br />

beniculturali.it/<br />

index.php?it/553/<br />

fondi-cartografici<br />

and also https://<br />

www.flickr.com/<br />

people/aerofototecanazionale-iccd/<br />

. There are also<br />

a number of aerial<br />

cameras, acquired with the Fotocielo<br />

collection, and an exceptional array of<br />

aerial photography-based map-making<br />

equipment, part of the Aerofoto Consult<br />

collection. They all illustrate the history<br />

of aerial-photogrammetry in Italy since<br />

World War II.<br />

The large collection of aerial photographs<br />

of Italy taken for military reconnaissance<br />

purposes by the Allies during<br />

the Italian campaign of 1943–1945 are<br />

of course of extraordinary historical interest.<br />

They were produced by strategic<br />

photo-reconnaissance units of the Royal<br />

Air Force (RAF) and the United States<br />

Army Air Forces (USAAF), part of the<br />

Mediterranean Allied Photographic<br />

Reconnaissance Wing (MAPRW). The<br />

sheer quantity of these photographs (roughly<br />

1 million) and their historical significance<br />

make this the most important collection<br />

of aerial photographs in Italy. This<br />

material includes unique imagery that is<br />

not duplicated in the large holdings of<br />

photographs of Italy held by NARA and<br />

TARA.<br />

Just as large is the historical collection<br />

of the Aeronautica Militare Italiana<br />

(Italian Air Force) deposited in AFN since<br />

its foundation. The initiative of Gen.<br />

Domenico Ludovico was crucial in this<br />

regard, since he arranged for the transfer<br />

to the archive of a large number of military<br />

photographs which included areas<br />

of archaeological interest; the collection<br />

was subsequently enlarged with other<br />

photographs, taken up to the 1970s. As<br />

well as Gen. Ludovico, an important contribution<br />

to the birth of AFN was made<br />

by archaeologist Dinu Adamesteanu, who<br />

was its first director, and Gen. Giulio<br />

Schmiedt of the Istituto Geografico<br />

Militare in Florence.<br />

A photographic analyst of international<br />

Fig. 2 – © AFN archives. Villafranca di Verona, Base Camp of the 3rd<br />

Storm AM, May 1967. Activities of the photographers of an RF84F.<br />

Courtesy Aeronautica Militare, Historical Photo Library.

standing, Gen. Schmiedt spent the whole<br />

of 1960 organizing the AFN photographic<br />

collections into an accessible archive. In<br />

establishing a system that functions to<br />

this day (www.iccd.beniculturali.it/aerofototeca/),<br />

Schmiedt sought to put into<br />

practice the aims of the founders, which<br />

were, in the words of Adamesteanu, to<br />

“gather, coordinate and make available to<br />

the archaeological authorities all the aerial<br />

photographs in our possession that may be<br />

useful in streamlining surveys of the terrain”.<br />

In the sixty years since its creation, the<br />

fundamental task of AFN has been to gather<br />

aerial photographs from all available<br />

sources, provide for their conservation,<br />

cataloguing and study, thus making them<br />

available for a wide range of research and<br />

survey purposes. Over time this has become<br />

an irreplaceable resource for both historical<br />

research in various disciplines and<br />

regional planning, providing fundamental<br />

documentation for many of the activities<br />

of regional organizations in Italy.<br />

WWII aerial photos in AFN<br />

During World War II reconnaissance<br />

flights by RAF and USAAF proved decisive<br />

to the advance and victory of the Allied<br />

Forces; however in southern Italy, immediately<br />

after the Allied landing in Sicily in<br />

July 1943, there were flights by the Regia<br />

Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) and<br />

the German Luftwaffe. These flights are<br />

today a powerful historical record of the<br />

appearance of the country before the great<br />

infrastructural works and urbanization<br />

that, from the early 1950s, have often deeply<br />

altered the Italian agrarian landscape.<br />

Regia Aeronautica<br />

(Italian Royal Air Force)<br />

Since 1923 every Italian army corps had<br />

a group for aerial observation, assigned<br />

aircraft already in use during WW I. In<br />

1943 Guidonia (a military airport near<br />

Rome) was chosen as the base for the<br />

310th Photographic Recognition squadron,<br />

equipped with panoramic cameras<br />

mounted on the Macchi MC 205 aircraft.<br />

German Luftwaffe (LW)<br />

Some of the German photographic reconnaissance<br />

flights were carried out before<br />

the beginning of World War II, and<br />

LW supplied Italy with various kinds of<br />

aircraft, so that after four years the Italian<br />

Air Force stood at 700 aircraft. War time<br />

reconnaissance was carried out over Italy<br />

by both German and Italian crews. AFN<br />

holds in its archives about 100 images in<br />

a 30 × 30cm format, generally taken after<br />

the landing in Sicily and covering various<br />

strategic areas in Southern Italy, such as<br />

Fig. 3 - © AFN archives. May 4, 1944. Pontedera, near Pisa: the Allied bombing of the Piaggio<br />

factory. MAPRW-RAF 683 Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron aerial photo.<br />

harbours and airports. Aerial coverage in<br />

the same format carried out by the Regia<br />

Aeronautica with the same equipment has<br />

also been acquired by AFN.<br />

British Royal Air Force (RAF)<br />

Photographic reconnaissance by the<br />

RAF over Italian territory began as early<br />

as September 1940, covering southern<br />

Italy and Sicily from Malta and went on<br />

until the end of hostilities. This included<br />

the aerial reconnaissance by Adrian<br />

Warburton on 10th November 1940 in<br />

advance of the large-scale attack on the<br />

Italian Fleet the following day – the Night<br />

of Taranto.<br />

The MAPRW-RAF collection was transported<br />

from Puglia to Rome at the end<br />

of World War II and deposited nearly entirely<br />

in the British School at Rome, from<br />

where it was loaned to AFN in 1974.<br />

MAPRW-RAF aerial photographs in the<br />

AFN holdings cover the years 1943–44.<br />

These missions generally maintained<br />

high altitudes (c.27,000 feet) in order to<br />

avoid flak and used a 24-inch focal length<br />

camera (c.1:10,000) and a 6-inch focal<br />

length camera (c.1:50,000), generally<br />

carried by Spitfires and Mosquitoes. The<br />

MAPRW-RAF photographs are identifiable<br />

by the squadron numbers (e.g. 680,<br />

683 and 684) and are mostly of a 7 × 8<br />

inch format. The makeshift airports of<br />

the Tavoliere delle Puglie were used in order<br />

to photograph the effects of the earlier<br />

attacks, and these images focus on those<br />

areas where the British military missions<br />

were directed. They are a unique and irreplaceable<br />

document for the study of a<br />

historical situation of the Italian territory<br />

in a particular moment of its evolution,<br />

before the great urban and agrarian transformations.<br />

The majority of the images taken of southern<br />

Italy and the larger islands from<br />

North Africa appear to have been taken<br />

to Britain after the war, though some of<br />

the 1943 imagery in the AFN will have<br />

been taken by Allied units based in North<br />

Africa.<br />

United States Army Air Force (USAAF)<br />

USAAF started its strategic reconnaissance<br />

in Italy during the spring of 1943<br />

when the Allies began preparing for the<br />

invasion of Sicily, following the Trident<br />

Conference in Washington. This imagery<br />

mostly covers north-east Italy, complementing<br />

MAPRW-RAF coverage which<br />

is concentrated in the south. The USAAF<br />

produced square prints at 9 × 9 inches<br />

with prefi xes in the style of 23PS, 32S,<br />

15SG, 5PRS and 12PRS indicating squadrons.<br />

MAPRW-USAAF photos were donated<br />

by the American Academy in Rome to<br />

the AFN in March 1964, and are arguably<br />

the most important part of the collection<br />

as they fill large gaps in the holdings<br />

of NARA and TARA of photographs taken<br />

after air raids. However, they are not<br />

as accessible as might be desired, as they<br />

are stored in their original boxes making<br />

consultation difficult and conservation an<br />

absolute priority (please note that AFN is<br />

asking for financial contributions in this<br />

regard: http://artbonus.gov.it/1070-fondo-aerofotografico-storico-united-statesarmy-air-force-(usaaf,-1945)-dell’aerofototeca-nazionale-iccd.html).<br />

More on the subject in http://www.<br />

iccd.beniculturali.it/index.php?it/98/<br />

aerofototeca-nazionale and (also in<br />

English) https://beniculturali.academia.<br />

edu/ElizabethJaneShepherd/Aerial-<br />

Photography<br />


AFN; Italian archives; aerial photographs; historical<br />

collections; cultural heritage;<br />

AUTORE<br />

Elizabeth J. Shepherd,<br />

elizabethjane.shepherd@beniculturali.it<br />

AFN director<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 41

REPORT<br />


Italian civic addresses and<br />

the quest for accuracy<br />

By Valerio Zunino<br />

The quality of toponymy data<br />

has come increasingly under the<br />

microscope in recent years in direct<br />

correlation to the surge in the number<br />

and functional versatility of new<br />

products available to the geographical<br />

information market.<br />

These augmentations infiltrating the<br />

sector require extremely precise<br />

and comprehensive databases, most<br />

crucially in respect of, for example:<br />

the automatic driving project, 118<br />

emergency services, applications<br />

inherent in civil protection, and other<br />

civil service sectors responsible for<br />

urban and environmental intervention.<br />

STUDIO SIT Srl was<br />

conceived of in 1991, the<br />

dim and distant past for<br />

many, when the few precious<br />

and elusive resources available<br />

were employed to ask the most<br />

talented hackers to find us the<br />

formidable MapInfo, the former,<br />

and in all likelihood best<br />

desktop GIS software ever. At<br />

the time a version had just been<br />

released for MS Windows.<br />

Ever since then the company<br />

has co-operated with pertinent<br />

networks and participated in<br />

the development of flagship<br />

products released by the different<br />

market players; initially<br />

concentrating on the world of<br />

Autodesk and then expanding<br />

its focus to include the production<br />

of applications for the<br />

benefit of local authorities and<br />

others dedicated to the territorial<br />

survey activities on civic<br />

addresses (from 1998).<br />

In 2007/8 two aircraft were<br />

acquired in the service of aerial<br />

mapping, both endowed with<br />

autonymous equipment and restitution<br />

software. In 2010 one<br />

of the first small-to-mediumsized<br />

drones available to civilians<br />

was purchased and subsequently<br />

developed - this having<br />

been produced in Germany and<br />

adapted to the photogrammetric<br />

instrumentation already<br />

available.<br />

The same year saw the resumption<br />

of the surveying and<br />

mapping of civic numbers, so as<br />

not to be aban-doned. At that<br />

time the company’s software development<br />

activity concentrated<br />

first on the Environment Map<br />

Server, then QGIS, and finally<br />

the world of ESRI - a culmination<br />

of nearly thirty years of<br />

development and experience.<br />

For suppliers such as HERE<br />

Global Content B.V. and<br />

42 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

REPORT<br />

TOMTOM Global content<br />

B.V. involved with the surveying<br />

and mapping of Italian<br />

civic numbering, the Ligurian<br />

company has been able meet<br />

current requirements for very<br />

high-level accuracy, for the positioning<br />

of points and for the<br />

entirety of national built territory.<br />

These needs derive fundamentally<br />

from two causal factors,<br />

manifested gradually over<br />

the last two decades – the catalyst<br />

being predominantly the<br />

evolution of the toponymy data<br />

market and mobile communications<br />

sector, which has seen<br />

its scope of application expand<br />

from the initial world of car<br />

navigation, fleet management<br />

and market research, into the<br />

Multiutilities (the planning and<br />

management of utilities) i.e.<br />

emergency services, politics and<br />

the electorate. These latter areas<br />

of interest demand the availability<br />

of a complete and precise<br />

geo-referenced civic numbering<br />

database, as well as an enhanced<br />

sense of responsibility towards<br />

its users, who have over the past<br />

few years become much more<br />

sophisticated, finally reaching a<br />

necessary qualitative standard,<br />

inexistent until a few years ago<br />

and therefore not applied to either<br />

supply or demand.<br />

It’s fair to say that the causal<br />

factors that have mobilized the<br />

market in question initially<br />

were the evolution of a product<br />

which is today able to reach<br />

more and more people comprising<br />

a wide range of end-users,<br />

along with the ensuing awareness<br />

of the need to finally have<br />

geographic data that is much<br />

more reliable and complete<br />

than in the past.<br />

In order to maintain a high<br />

level of satisfaction among its<br />

customers, STUDIO SIT has<br />

remained true to the initial<br />

specialities of its own surveying<br />

activities – fieldwork that covers<br />

the entirety of our national<br />

territory - through a network of<br />

professionals that now numbers<br />

almost 50, assembled through<br />

programs of education and<br />

experience pertaining to rigid<br />

selection criteria. A network<br />

consistently looking to cooperate<br />

on integrative interventions<br />

with reference to the dynamic<br />

regulatory framework, in-depth<br />

cartographic data and software<br />

applications used in the context<br />

of digitalizing, editing and autovalidating<br />

operations and data<br />

pretesting.<br />

The resulting qualitative system<br />

exceeds a 95% degree of accuracy,<br />

completeness and high-level<br />

updating, a unique case in our<br />

country.<br />

These three elements already<br />

mentioned combine to apply<br />

the same values to the sphere<br />

of geographical toponymy. The<br />

issue of quality, until a few decades<br />

ago passively suffered by<br />

the end-users that characterized<br />

the demand, cannot be disregarded<br />

and has today assumed<br />

crucial importance, even for the<br />

very survival of some areas of<br />

operation.<br />

Stemming from the three qualitative<br />

factors above, a comprehensive<br />

survey of the whole<br />

municipal territory, accuracy in<br />

the positioning of the numbers<br />

and the degree of updating,<br />

where located and verified,<br />

generates a greater interest on<br />

the part of a wide nucleus of<br />

users, who in the past did not<br />

deem certain geographical information<br />

sufficiently detailed<br />

for their own purposes. Among<br />

those looking to exploit the<br />

mapping of addresses are the<br />

management of multiutilities<br />

(in the context of the maintenance<br />

operations of networks<br />

and utilities, as well as those<br />

involved in administrative management),<br />

professional services<br />

firms, car sharing companies,<br />

large commercial distribution<br />

activities and, furthermore,<br />

some departments responsible<br />

to the Ministries of the<br />

Republic.<br />

Also relevant is the fact that in<br />

Italy there is an increasingly<br />

sharp contrast between the<br />

perceived quality of geographical<br />

toponymy data at central<br />

government level, compared to<br />

that experienced by most sectors<br />

of industry, including multinationals<br />

and the SME world.<br />

This first example, central government,<br />

does not anticipate<br />

a need for geographical data<br />

pertaining to addresses that is<br />

comprehensive and geometrically<br />

precise. While the second<br />

category, industrial players<br />

(including their end-users) of<br />

car navigators and other mobile<br />

mapping application, up to the<br />

most cutting-edge apps employed<br />

by those in creative fields,<br />

insist on yet higher quality in<br />

the form of accuracy, completeness<br />

and maximum updating of<br />

information.<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 43

REPORT<br />

At the forefront are the major<br />

players involved in car navigation<br />

who, along with Google,<br />

currently have a stranglehold<br />

on the market due to a competitive<br />

advantage accumulated in<br />

now well over two decades of<br />

data collecting and acquisition;<br />

these majors being involved<br />

in perpetual competition to<br />

adapt the quality of their data,<br />

augmenting its reliability and<br />

completeness, often to the<br />

point of rebuilding their geographic<br />

databases from scratch.<br />

All this is driven by the demand<br />

from the multiutilities, which<br />

have identified the need to<br />

maintain management services<br />

using GIS, which are based on<br />

the civic addresses in their territories<br />

of interest. At the same<br />

time, some smaller companies<br />

have specialized in the field of<br />

geographical toponymy data,<br />

making their services widely<br />

available through distribution<br />

to a clientele that ranges from<br />

transport and logistics, modern<br />

geomarketing, civil protection<br />

and emergency services. In all<br />

these areas of demand, there<br />

is now a need to have all civic<br />

numbers geo-referenced in the<br />

correct position, given that this<br />

information plays a fundamental<br />

and decisive role, for example,<br />

even the saving of human<br />

lives.<br />

The market's drive towards improving<br />

the quality of the data<br />

is fuelled by two imperatives:<br />

one coming from a product<br />

where each frequent new version<br />

renders the previous version<br />

obsolete, and one from the<br />

demand by increasingly more<br />

discerning users - an awareness<br />

that requires a higher and higher<br />

quality level, composed of<br />

accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive<br />

data to ensure the<br />

development and maintenance<br />

of modern, toponymy-based,<br />

mobility applications.<br />

As regards the availability of<br />

open data, some Italian regions<br />

and large cities offer a good<br />

quality open data service, which<br />

also includes civic numbering.<br />

However, these are rare<br />

exceptions since the process of<br />

surveying and mapping civic<br />

numbering is hampered by the<br />

fact that it has often been based<br />

within some regional procure-<br />

44 <strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong>

REPORT<br />

ment procedures awarding these<br />

contracts to construct topographic<br />

databases, which were<br />

containing a preponderance of<br />

cartographic details and a paucity<br />

of requirements for qualitative<br />

mapping components, such<br />

as civic addresses.<br />

These same contracting companies<br />

are traditionally tied to<br />

pure aerial photogrammetry,<br />

with no other corresponding<br />

competencies and therefore<br />

consider/have considered the<br />

logical level of civic numbering<br />

as an accessory, an appendix of<br />

the photogrammetric activity<br />

of restitution and cartographic<br />

dressing.<br />

This situation allows companies<br />

to interpret this meagre<br />

specification to their advantage,<br />

detailing just the position of the<br />

existing:<br />

- without the insertion of the<br />

corresponding toponym;<br />

- without the inclusion of buildings<br />

which were displaying no<br />

number.<br />

Unfortunately it is also necessary<br />

to take into account the fact<br />

that often the contracting companies<br />

produce georeferenced<br />

house numbers according to<br />

mere mathematical algorithms<br />

(or Google Street View...), in<br />

which numbers are distributed<br />

in an unreal, uniform way,<br />

adhering to the vagaries of the<br />

road network which is in itself<br />

already inaccurate in terms of<br />

length and route.<br />

All this inevitably leads to an<br />

average quality reduction of<br />

around 65% of the value of the<br />

geographical civic toponymy<br />

data. As a consequence, italian<br />

toponymy open data, is largely<br />

unusable on many of today's<br />

most widespread applications,<br />

whose procedures require data<br />

capable of withstanding a level<br />

of use almost unimaginable until<br />

a few years ago.<br />

As of today (30/06/<strong>2018</strong>), considering<br />

a total of 19.5 million<br />

civic numbers, STUDIO SIT<br />

srl has comprehensively mapped<br />

territory equal to 12 million of<br />

them (whose place names are<br />

taken from official municipal<br />

routes). This coverage comprises<br />

5000 municipalities with<br />

their approximately 42 million<br />

inhabitants. The average update<br />

of data refers to the year 2016.<br />

Among provincial capitals the<br />

coverage is 98%, that of the<br />

130 most populous cities is close<br />

to 96%, and that of municipalities<br />

with more than 40,000<br />

inhabitants is now 89%. By<br />

2020 we predict that we will<br />

reach 16 million civic numbers<br />

contained within 6900 municipalities.<br />

We're still running up<br />

that hill !<br />


GIS; map; localization; civic address; italian<br />

toponymy data; georeferenced; multiutilities<br />


The quality of toponymy data has come increasingly<br />

under the microscope in recent years. These<br />

augmentations infiltrating the sector now require<br />

extremely accurate, up-to-date and comprehensive<br />

data, most crucially in respect of, for example,<br />

the automatic driving project, emergency services,<br />

and applications inherent in civil protection.<br />

STUDIO SIT Srl was conceived of in 1991, the<br />

dim and distant past for many. For suppliers such<br />

as HERE and TOMTOM involved with the surveying<br />

and mapping of Italian civic numbering,<br />

the Ligurian company has been able to exceed a<br />

95% degree of accuracy, completeness and updating,<br />

unique in this country, which traditionally<br />

lacks the availability of good quality toponymy<br />

opendata.<br />

AUTHOR<br />

Valerio Zunino<br />

Valerio.zunino@studiosit.it<br />

STUDIOSIT srl<br />

Droni Idrografici polivalenti<br />

• Rilievi batimetrici automatizzati<br />

• Acquisizione dati e immagini<br />

• Mappatura parametri ambientali<br />

• Ispezione fondali<br />

Dighe, laghi, cave in falda, bacini, fiumi e<br />

canali fino a 15 4 m/s. Km/h. Insensibili ai bassi ai bassi<br />

fondali e alla presenza di alghe e detriti<br />

Vendita - Noleggio - Servizi chiavi in mano,<br />

anche con strumentazione cliente<br />

<strong>GEOmedia</strong> n°3-<strong>2018</strong> 45

AGENDA<br />

3-5 ottobre <strong>2018</strong><br />

TechnologyforAll <strong>2018</strong><br />

Roma (Italy)<br />

www.geoforall.it/ku3y8<br />

15-18 ottobre <strong>2018</strong><br />

Year in Infrastructure <strong>2018</strong><br />

London (UK)<br />

www.geoforall.it/ku3yu<br />

16 - 18 ottobre <strong>2018</strong><br />

INTERGEO <strong>2018</strong><br />

Frankfurt (Germany)<br />

www.geoforall.it/kwux9<br />

8 - 9 novembre <strong>2018</strong><br />

Conferenze di Geotecnica di<br />

Torino <strong>2018</strong><br />

Torino (Italy)<br />

www.geoforall.it/kuhk4<br />

27-29 novembre <strong>2018</strong><br />

XXII Conferenza Nazionale<br />

ASITA<br />

Bolzano (Italy)<br />

www.geoforall.it/ku69r<br />

16 - 19 gennaio 2019<br />

TUSE The Unmanned System<br />

Expo<br />

Rotterdam (The Netherlands)<br />

https://tusexpo.com<br />

20 - 22 Febbraio<br />

FOSS4G-IT 2019<br />

Padova (Italy)<br />

www.geoforall.it/kur83<br />

2 - 4 aprile 2019<br />

Amsterdam (The Netherlands)<br />

Geospatial World Forum<br />

www.geoforall.it/kuqk8<br />

Teorema has been working<br />

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