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Rivista bimestrale - anno XXV - Numero 3/2021 - Sped. in abb. postale 70% - Filiale di Roma






















May/June 2021 year XXV N°3










Italy in the GeoInformation worldwide

In this issue, traditionally released in English language every year, GEOmedia provide

its readers the presentation of two international projects where Italian companies play an

important role.

AMPERE (Asset Mapping Platform for Emerging countRies Electrification), a project created

to bring to Dominican Republic, a GNSS-based integrated platform for energy decision

makers. It is finalized to the solution to one of the problems in the Central and South

America countries regarding the precarious, often chaotic status of large part of the electricity

distribution network, which, besides making the service unreliable and sometimes dangerous,

takes away from the simple beauty of the area. The old lines are being replaced with several

dedicated interventions to make areas more appealing. Moreover, the electricity distribution

companies experience serious problems with electricity leakages and were losing vast amounts

of resources from illegal connections to the grid. AMPERE, with the participation of the

Italian company Sistematica SpA, proposes a solution based on a GIS cloud mapping

technology, collecting on field data acquired with optical/thermal cameras and LIDAR installed

on board to an UAV as well as other data captured with conventional sensors on ground.

DeepCube is an Horizon 2020 project implemented by 9 European partners coordinated

by the National Observatory of Athens. In this project the Italian company TREA Altamira

(TREA) will analyze the deformation trend change detection on PSI (Persistent Scatterer

Interferometry) time series for critical infrastructure monitoring using InSAR derived services.

TRE has been a pioneer in developing new products from satellite SAR data, born as a

Politecnico of Milan University spin-off in 2000, the company was funded to market the first

PSI technique worldwide and in 2016, it merged with Altamira, an InSAR service company

too. When asked to join the DeepCube project, TRE was thrilled to contribute to the challenge

of exploiting the mass amount of Sentinel-1 SAR data combined with in-situ geodetic and

other measurements with the final goal of creating a commercial service to monitor critical

infrastructure at large scales.

Another important contribution is coming from the Italian Register of Territorial Data

(RNDT) talking about the Data Discoverability. This is described as one of the main

tasks, next to availability and interoperability, that public policy makers and implementers

should take into due consideration in order to foster access, use and re-use of public sector

information, particularly in case of Open Data.

An overview on the Team of HERE Technologies working on modern map-making and

maintenance that requires the normalization and conflation of combined datasets from many

different sources and channels. The Local Data Intelligence Team (known as LDI team) is

a global team, with geo spatial experts in each region. Different cultures and local knowledge

allow for a rainbow of expertise in this team. Although they are local, they state to contribute

toward global solutions.

Finally an interview to Kevin Dowling , CEO of Kaarta will bring us a new vision of actual

modern cartography. Kevin explain us that the name ‘Kaarta’ is a phonetic reference to the

science or practice of map making in cartography. The name captures the company’s pioneering

on mapping to produce 3D models in real time, and it is not about the technique used, but it’s

about the problems solved.

Enjoy your reading,

Renzo Carlucci







24 ESA Image
























View of famous landmark

of Columbus Statue and

Cathedral, Parque Colon.


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

geomatics. Since more than 20 years publishing to open a

worldwide window to the Italian market and vice versa.

Themes are on latest news, developments and applications in

the complex field of earth surface sciences.

GEOmedia faces with all activities relating to the acquisition,

processing, querying, analysis, presentation, dissemination,

management and use of geo-data and geo-information. The

magazine covers subjects such as surveying, environment,

mapping, GNSS systems, GIS, Earth Observation, Geospatial

Data, BIM, UAV and 3D technologies.















GIS3W 31




















Lake Mar Chiquita

In the background the Copernicus

Sentinel-1 mission

image taken over Lake Mar

Chiquita – an endorheic salt

lake in the northeast province

of Córdoba, Argentina.

Several small islands lie in the

lake, the most important of

which is El Médano. Vast expanses

of saline marshes can

be seen on the lake’s northern

shore. The lake has been designated

as a Ramsar Site of

International Importance,

and is considered one of the

most important wetlands in

Argentina owing to its rich

biodiversity. Over 25 species

of fish are known to breed in

Lake Mar Chiquita, with fishing

and livestock being the

principal land uses.

The colours of this image

come from the combination

of two polarisations from the

Copernicus Sentinel-1 radar

mission, which have been

converted into a single image.

This image was acquired on

17 November 2020.

(Source: ESA - Image of the

week: "Lake Mar Chiquita")

una pubblicazione

Chief Editor

RENZO CARLUCCI, direttore@rivistageomedia.it

Editorial Board

Vyron Antoniou, Fabrizio Bernardini, Mario Caporale,

Luigi Colombo, Mattia Crespi, Luigi Di Prinzio,

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

Beniamino Murgante, Aldo Riggio, Mauro Salvemini,

Domenico Santarsiero, Attilio Selvini, Donato Tufillaro

Managing Director

FULVIO BERNARDINI, fbernardini@rivistageomedia.it

Editorial Staff



Marketing Assistant

TATIANA IASILLO, diffusione@rivistageomedia.it


DANIELE CARLUCCI, dcarlucci@rivistageomedia.it

MediaGEO soc. coop.

Via Palestro, 95 00185 Roma

Tel. 06.64871209 - Fax. 06.62209510


ISSN 1128-8132

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

Stampa: System Graphics Srl

Via di Torre Santa Anastasia 61 00134 Roma

Paid subscriptions

GEOmedia is available bi-monthly on a subscription

Science & Technology



The annual subscription rate is € 45. It is possible to subscribe at any time via

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Magazine founded by: Domenico Santarsiero.

Issue closed on: 28/08/202

Science & Technology Communication


AMPERE (Asset Mapping Platform for

Emerging CountRies Electrification)

a GNSS-based integrated platform

for energy decision makers

by Marco Nisi, Marco Lisi, Alberto Mennella, Pedro Cabrera, Pere Molina,

Giancarmine Fasano, Roberto Muscinelli, Simone Maurizi

Despite global electrification

rates are significantly

progressing, the access to

electricity in emerging countries

is still far from being achieved.

Indeed, the challenge facing such

communities goes beyond the

lack of infrastructure assets; what

is needed is a holistic assessment

of the energy demand and its

expected growth over time, based

on an accurate assessment of

deployed resources and their

maintenance status.

As an example, one

big problem plaguing

Dominican Republic is

the precarious, often chaotic

status of large part of the electricity

distribution network

(figure 1), which, besides

making the service unreliable

and sometimes dangerous,

takes away from the simple

beauty of the area.

The old lines are now being

replaced with several dedicated

interventions to make areas

more appealing. Moreover,

the electricity distribution

companies experience serious

problems with electricity leakages

and were losing vast

amounts of resources from

illegal connections to the grid.

Based on the above scenario,

the AMPERE solution aims to

support the decision-making

process – including activities

planning, data acquisition

and final reporting - for investments

and network maintenance,

based on infrastructural

and geomorphological

assets mapping intended as a

service provided by AMPERE

consortium (figure 2).

The concept

The original need for

AMPERE platform comes

from issues related to operations

performed by on-field

surveyors to collect information

about mapping and

status of electrical assets. In

this operational scenario, the

surveyors have to operate in

a time-efficient and safe way,

using hand-held cameras

and geomatic tools to collect

data, which are then processed


AMPERE provides an important

contribution, being

the survey also supported by

Remotely Piloted Aircraft’s

(RPA’s) performing operations

in a semi-automated

way, i.e., exploiting on-board

sensors (optical/ thermal

6 GEOmedia n°3-2021


cameras, LIDAR and GNSS

receivers) to keep their trajectory

as close as possible to

the targets to be surveyed.

electric assets, thus achieving

high-resolution details while

maintaining a safe distance to

avoid collisions.

It is worth noting that the use

of GNSS (GPS and Galileo)

receivers allows not only a

precise navigation of the

drones, but also a highly accurate

geo-referencing of the

collected data. These features

will be in the future further

enhanced taking advantage of

the soon operational Galileo

High Accuracy Service


AMPERE proposes a solution

(figure 3) based on a GIS

cloud mapping technology,

collecting on field data acquired

with optical/thermal

cameras and LIDAR installed

on board an RPA as well as

other data captured with conventional

sensors on ground.

In particular, an RPA will be

able to fly over selected areas

performing semi-automated

operations to collect optical

and thermal images as well as

3D LiDAR-based reconstruction

products. Such products

are post processed at the

central cloud GIS platform,

allowing operators to perform

planning and monitoring activities

by means of different

screen views. Analytic tools

can resolve data accessibility

issues and improve the decision-making


AMPERE system elements

RPA platforms

Two RPA typologies have

been considered in AMPERE:

Fixed Wing RPA’s and

Multirotor RPA’s.

A Fixed Wing RPA, flying

high and fast, is very suitable

for a rapid inspection

over a long power line, but it

cannot observe small details

(e.g., signs of deterioration)in

electric towers, distribution

boxes, wires and insulators.

However, it can provide the

general topology of the network

by flying even 80 Km

per flight (Beyond Visual

Line of Sight, BVLOS), embarking

an RGB camera and/

or a thermal (IR) imager as


The AMPERE fixed-wing

RPA is based on the Believer

1960 mm Wingspan platform.

This flight platform

features a high portability,

stability and durability, making

it ideal for industry class

aerial survey. The Fixed Wing

RPA has been designed with

active tracking antenna system

(ATAS) needed for long

range flight operations.

Figures 4 and 5 show, respectively,

the fixed-wing drone

and its portable control and

communications system.

A multi-rotor aircraft is the

most suitable choice to provide

very detailed thermal and

optical images by hovering in

the air at close distance from

the various components of

the power line; moreover, it

is suggested for rural as well

as for sub-urban and urban

Figure 2: AMPERE service value chain

Figure 1: aerial power lines in Dominican Republic

environments. The only

disadvantage of this type of

drone comes from the relatively

limited autonomy: about

half an hour, working on batteries.

The main platform used

for powerline inspections

in AMPERE is the DJI

MATRICE 300 RTK. It is

a powerful industrial drone

platform with an advanced

GEOmedia n°3-2021 7


Figure 3: AMPERE architectural concept

Figure 4: Fixed wing drone developed in AMPERE project

flight controller system,

6 Directional Sensing,

Positioning system and FPV

camera. This system can implement


operations, thanks to the

high-end onboard sensors

and sophisticated data fusion

algorithms. Moreover, this

platform has different mechanisms

(SDK) to integrate specific

third-party equipment.

Specifically, in the AMPERE

application the drone is

equipped with a payload,

including a LIDAR instrument,

which implements a

complete 3D Laser scanning,

providing a high-resolution

map of the power line,

with a centimetric level resolution;

a Synchronized

Stereo Optical Camera and

a Triple Frequency Multi-

Constellation E-GNSS

Receiver, used for georeferencing

the acquired data and

for they synchronization.

Figures 6 and 7 show the

main multi-rotor RPA and its

multi-instrument payload.

Finally, in addition to the

fixed-wing and the main multi-rotor

RPA’s, a small multirotor

drone with a Maximum

Take-Off Mass (MTOM) of

less than 250 g, including

payload, will be used. The

main advantage of this category

is the possibility to fly

over people not informed of

drone operations, making it

suitable to be employed even

in crowded cities.

AMPERE Cloud GIS Platform


Electric utility companies

need accurate information

on their asset inventory, basically

based on two types

of geographical information:

(i) asset mapping of

the distribution network,

containing crucial technical

information and locations of

infrastructural assets as poles,

power lines, lights, circuits,

equipment, facilities etc.; and

(ii) information about the

customers, including their

locations and consumption

details to determine the areas

for potential new customers

and network expansion..

Indeed, the biggest problem

electric utilities are facing is

storing the historical data and

updating it due to the realtime

changes on the field.

8 GEOmedia n°3-2021


Accordingly, AMPERE Cloud

GIS solution provides utilities

with an overview of the

entire process visualized on

a map from campaign planning,

execution, acquisition

and processing to generate a

final automated report (figures

8 and 9).

AMPERE Cloud GIS platform

is a multi-sensor mapping

system, featuring both

3D reconstruction capabilities

(based on LiDAR) and

vision-based products (based

on RGB/thermal cameras),

that are already geo-referenced

for their straight-forward

use by end-user platforms

in AMPERE. Moreover,

AMPERE foresees co-registration

and combination

of RGB images and LiDAR

point clouds. The key concept

is that the LiDAR point

cloud can provide 3D information

to image data, while

in an inverse fashion, LiDAR

points can be associated to

image windows where these

points are observed, thus supporting

visual inspection.

The greatest benefit is the

real-time collaboration

between top management

and field operators where

maps and layers can be shared

with different levels of

access. Moreover, AMPERE

Cloud GIS solution can be

used with no need for extensive

education of operators:

the solution is implemented

in a process workflow immediately

and it is suitable for

non-GIS users as well as for

professionals. The option to

collect line features in the

field with high GNSS accuracy

and to store them in the

database can increase time

and cost efficiency of the entire

organization as it offers a

more convenient way to collect


As such, in the context of

AMPERE, Galileo – the

European GNSS system - is a

key enabler, especially when

leveraging its unique features:

a free-of-charge High

Accuracy Service (HAS) and

highly precise E5 AltBOC

code measurements. These

features are of great benefit

for the industry of mapping

in general -and electric utilities

in particular-, as they

simplify the mapping methodology

(less supporting

infrastructure needed) and

therefore increase time and

cost efficiency, offering a

more convenient way to manage

energy distribution. The

core component in this task

is GeoNumerics’ NEXA, a robust

non-linear least-squares

generic sequential estimation

engine to compute trajectories

of any type. NEXA has

been designed to be extensible

and adaptative, provided

with the appropriate plugand-play

toolboxes (GNSS,


plus other sensors).

Figure 6: AMPERE multi-rotor RPA

Future works

and conclusions

The AMPERE system is

being tested in Europe. After

on factory tests performed

at partners’ premises in Italy

and Spain, a dedicated campaign

covering technical (accuracy

of sensors installed on

the drone) and operational

(user experience) aspects is

planned in September 2021

for the complete system acceptance.

Figure 5: fixed wing drone

control & communications


GEOmedia n°3-2021 9


Figure 7: AMPERE multi rotor RPA payload

Figure 8: ACGP. Project creation for campaign planning

Figure 9: ACGP. Network assets topology acquisition with attached products

Furtherly, a validation campaign

with Stakeholder’s

involvement will be conducted

in Santo Domingo,

in November 2021. The

sessions will measure the

benefit of the AMPERE

solution in terms of time of

operations and accuracy of

collected data when compared

to traditional state-ofthe-art

approaches based on

the usage of geodetic GNSS


The area is already selected

after agreement with

Corporation Dominicana de

Empresas Eléctricas Estatales

(CDEEE), also supporting

with formal interest the

consortium together with

Instituto Dominicano de

Aviación Civil (IDAC).

The AMPERE solution will

be used to map “Los Tres

Brazos” sector, eastern side

(ML69-02 EDEESTE) circuit,

in a popular district of

Santo Domingo.. The campaign

in Santo Domingo,

with involvement of the

above mentioned stakeholders,

will be an important

pillar for qualification review

also from a market perspective,

providing necessary

feedbacks upon the maturity

of the envisaged business

models (figure 10):

• AMPERE as a Product

(AaaP): This option includes

the provision of

the overall needed fleet of

drones (already tested and

integrated with the payload),

a training session (in

which installation activities

will be performed), the

maintenance and post-sales

service (for both physical

assets – e.g. drones and

payloads - and platform

customer care/updates);

10 GEOmedia n°3-2021


• AMPERE as a

Service (AaaS): This

option includes the

provision of the overall

service, meant

as gridline mapping

and inspection and

production of reports

and management

of the ACGP.

As a final output

the client would get

a detailed report of

the As-Is situation of

the network, based

on the surveys made

by an allocated team

of engineers and

drone operators.

C’è vita nel nostro mondo.

Figure 10: AMPERE business models


Galileo, Copernicus, Powerlines, Electrical Asset Mapping, Emerging



The purpose of the AMPERE (Asset Mapping Platform for Emerging

countRies Electrification) project is to provide a dedicated solution for

electrical power network information gathering: AMPERE will support

decision making actors (e.g. institutions and public/ private companies

in charge to manage electrical network) to collect all needed info to

plan electrical network maintenance and upgrade. AMPERE solution

is based on a GIS Cloud mapping technology, collecting on field data

acquired with optical/thermal cameras and LIDAR installed on board a

Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA).

AMPERE project has received funding from the European GNSS

Agency (grant agreement No 870227) under the European Union’s

Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


Marco Nisi


Simone Maurizi, Free Soft and Tech s.r.l.,

Marco Lisi, Independent consultant,

Alberto Mennella, TOPview

Pedro Cabrera, UNPHU University

Pere Molina, GeoNumerics S.A.,

Giancarmine Fasano, University of Naples Federico II,

Roberto Muscinelli, Business Integration Partners S.p.A.

AMPERE Consortium


Trasformazione e pubblicazione di dati

territoriali in conformità a INSPIRE

Assistenza su Hight Value Datasets,

APIs, Location Intelligence, Data Spaces

INSPIRE Helpdesk

We support all INSPIRE implementers


Viale della oncordia,

endicino S

el e a




GEOmedia n°3-2021 11


An interview with

Kevin Dowling,


What does Kaarta

mean and why you

choose this name for

your company?

Kevin Dowling: The

name ‘Kaarta’ is a

phonetic reference to

cartography, the science

or practice of map making,

and all things cartographic.

Kaarta, the

company, is all about

mapping and localization.

The name – with

the extra a added for effect

– captures the company’s

pioneering take

on mapping to produce

3D models in real time.

The name is not about

the technique we use,

it’s about the problems

we solve.

Kaarta is a relatively

recent company, but

has grown a lot in

recent years. What is

your magic potion?

There’s little that is

magical about growing

a company. It’s a lot

of time, effort and

plain hard work, but if

anything is our magic

potion it would be the

core algorithms and

approaches to solving a

long-standing problem

of figuring out where

you are and what is

around you. It’s a hard

problem and many

groups have attempted

to solve it. There is no

simple closed-form

solution. It is truly a

chicken and egg problem:

Kaarta uses the

world around us to

figure out where we

are while using where

we are to figure what is

around us. That’s both

magical and bewildering!

Kaarta is specialist in

real-time mobile 3D

reality capture. Which

is the core business of

the company?

Capturing the real

world as a 3D digital

representation is important,

and Kaarta does

it quickly and accurately.

But that is

just the first step of

what Kaarta does and

what customers ultimately

need. Kaarta’s

core business is helping

our customers get to

the representation of

the world that they

need. This might be a

floor plan, a 3D model,

tagged and labelled assets

and more. It starts

with data capture and

ends with a model, or a

plan, or a decision.

What are your best

product and why?

We have several products

that are suitable

for different applications

so it’s hard to say

what is best since each

product is tailored for

particular needs.

• Contour - Simple

handheld indoor reality

capture. Fast and

you can see results in

real-time on an easyto-use

touch screen.

• Stencil 2 - Long range,

lightweight, can

be flown, carried, or

driven. 100m range

in all directions.

Two flavours of lidar

-16 and -32 line

for the best quality.

• Stencil Pro - The

flagship - rugged

outdoor or vehicle

scanning yet can be

carried when needed.

Integrated GNSS,

Rugged IP65 rating,

200m range, and

four 4K HD cameras

provide real-time

panoramic views.

• Kaarta Cloud - Postprocessing


easy, visual, and

collaborative. Kaarta

Cloud even works

with raw data files

direct from lidar.

• Kaarta Engine -

Mostly licensed to

robotics companies

for robot localization

and mapping. Easily

integrated and interfaced

into customer


Now you can see

why there are multi-

12 GEOmedia n°3-2021


ple ‘best’ products.

They each serve their

markets well!

Kaarta recently introduced

Stencil Pro.

Users who have tried

it have called it amazing:

what is the secret

of this MMS?

Stencil Pro is a turnkey

system advancing

next generation mobile

surveying. It is a new

class of product for

Kaarta, and for the

industry as a whole. It

marries the speed and

ability to work in

GNSS denied areas of

a SLAM-based system

with the distance and

accuracy of a traditional

mobile mapping

system, at a fraction of

the cost. Stencil Pro

offers a fully integrated

seamless design

that incorporates an

advanced lidar with

200m of range in all

directions, four 4K

HD cameras to provide

images that can be

made into panoramic

images. It offers a high

quality Trimble GNSS

with corrections capabilities,

an excellent

antenna, and a path to

further upgrades. Also,

a fully-integrated IMU

is used for building accurate

trajectories and

therefore point clouds.

Stencil Pro is also

made for tougher

environments and is

rated IP 65. It’s not so

much a secret as a lot

of effort to make a great


What will be the role

of SLAM technology

and Mobile Mapping in

the creation of a digital

world in the future?

[The last question is

completely open. We

would like to understand

how your company is

contributing to autonomous

robots. If you are

developing particular

sensors for autonomous

robots, maps that are

used by robots, SLAM

for robots or new algorithms

that allow robots

to improve their ability

to positioning, avoid

collisions or make quick

SLAM solutions

enable many new

and novel realms of

capture, modeling,

planning, and assessment.

Because of

the speed of SLAM

and ever improving

accuracy sufficient for

all but the most stringent

applications, the

world can be modeled

rapidly from the

air, from vehicles, by

people and by robots.

Applications including

subsurface and

new multi-sensory

capabilities will help

The name is not

decisions. We kindly

ask you to go into this

last subject as much as


Kaarta’s highly mobile

approach has

many advantages over

traditional capture

approaches including

fast speed, quick response,

and minimum

site access. In addition,

Kaarta provides

100% coverage

in the most complex

environments. We can

scan environments

impossible for stationary

scans including

partially flooded mines,

shipboard applications,

small spaces,

and more.

about the technique

we use, it’s about the

problems we solve

model the world

in unprecedented

ways by mapping

everything from

acoustics, radiation,

lighting, RF, chemicals,

and much more.

Robots will increasingly

be part of our

lives - even if they

don’t look like the

robots of fiction and

movies. Whether navigating

a warehouse

or a retail store aisle,

cleaning floors,

or making a last mile

home delivery, autonomous

robots need

a map and need to

know where they are

on the map. Kaarta

provides a new level

of understanding of

spaces for humans and

autonomous machines


Kaarta Engine is a

set of purpose-built

3D mapping and localization


that artfully solve the

simultaneous location

and mapping problem

of both capturing what

is around it (mapping)

and where it is in

that environment (location).

Kaarta’s unparalleled

expertise in

localization – a result

of our deep robotics

roots – is fundamental

to our patentpending

approach to

solving the SLAM problem,

reducing drift

error of other SLAM

systems by an order of


Kaarta Engine is at the

heart of our Stencil

and Contour products,

and it is also the mapping

and localization

intelligence behind an

array of third-party

geospatial and mobile

autonomous robotics

solutions that need to

quickly and accurately

assess and understand

the fundamental questions

of where they

are and what is around



Mapping, Cartography,3D

reality capture


GEOmedia Editorial Staff


GEOmedia n°3-2021 13


Italy, discoverability in practice

by Gabriele Ciasullo, Giovanna

Scaglione and Antonio Rotundo

Data discoverability is one

of the main tasks, next to

availability and interoperability,

that public policy makers and

implementers should take into

due consideration in order to

foster access, use and re-use of

public sector information (PSI),

particularly in case of open data.

Users shall be enabled

to easily search and

find data they need for

the most different purposes.

That is clearly highlighted in

the introduction statements

of the INSPIRE Directive,

where we can read that “The

loss of time and resources in

searching for existing (spatial)

data or establishing whether they

may be used for a particular

purpose is a key obstacle to the

full exploitation of the data


Metadata and data portals/

catalogues are essential assets to

enable that data discoverability.

In Italy, AgID (Agency for

Digital Italy,) is in charge of

managing the National Open

Data Portal (dati.gov.it,) and

the National Catalogue for

Spatial Data (RNDT - geodati.

gov.it). These catalogues are

the core components of an

overall PSI infrastructure to be

intended as the knowledge base

of all PSI, implemented by the

actions defined in the Three-

Year Plan for ICT in the Public

Administration 2019-2021.

Recently the new version of

both catalogues was released

with important new features

aimed at further improving the

user experience in the search,

access and use of public data

and at facilitating the use of

the functionalities for the

documentation of data and

services by the administrations.

Some examples of these new

features are:

harvesting by dati.gov.it

of data sources consistent

with the national metadata

profile DCAT-AP_IT;

dataset search for

each data provider, as

well as for catalogue,

under the new section

“Administrations, Link

opens in a new window” in

dati.gov.it; and

the pre-defined view

for “priority datasets” in

geodati.gov.it as defined

under the INSPIRE


The main aim of these

activities is to make public data

available to an ever wider and

diversified audience. In this

regard, the most significant

action, defined in the threeyear

plan mentioned above, has

concerned the interoperable

integration and coordination

of the two catalogues through

the implementation of

GeoDCAT-AP, Link opens in a

new window to ensure aligned,

up-to-date and not conflicting

descriptions of spatial data even

available as open data. Thanks

to that, open spatial data

documented in the RNDT are

also discoverable in the open

data portal, without any other

burden for data providers.

Linked to that, specific

pre-defined views were

implemented in both catalogues

in order to immediately


open data in geodati.gov.it,

using DCAT-AP themes as

search criteria;

open spatial data coming

from RNDT in dati.gov.it,

using the INSPIRE themes

as search criteria.

14 GEOmedia n°3-2021


The classification of open

spatial data against the

DCAT-AP themes is based on

the alignments between the

controlled vocabularies used

in ISO 19115 / INSPIRE

metadata and those used in

DCAT-AP defined under

the ISA 2 programme. Other

alignments needed for the

implementation of GeoDCAT-

AP and the coordination of

the two catalogues are being

published in the registry

managed by AgID too (an

example of a cross-map register

is available at this URL.

Finally, in order to address

a wider audience, including

non-GI experts, spatial data

documented in RNDT

is also available through

the web search engines,

specifically Google Dataset

Search. A relevant current

example on how that

discoverability, outlined in

this blog post, concretely

works is the COVID-19

open data, published by the

Italian Department for Civil

Protection, including national

trends, provinces and regions

data and areas, under the license

CC-BY 4.0.

Metadata for those datasets

were published in RNDT as

spatial data (e.g. see metadata

for the dataset of zones at

national level for containing

COVID-19 contagion) and,

consequently, those datasets are

also made discoverable:

in dati.gov.it, as open data;

in the European Data

Portal, as both dati.gov.

it and geodati.gov.it are


in the INSPIRE

Geoportal, as geodati.gov.it

is harvested;

in Google Dataset Search.

In summary, Open Data are

available in an ‘universal’ way,

regardless the search tool used

by the users. Additional features

are being implemented in both

catalogues and will be presented

in a future blog post.

Interview on GeoDCAT-AP - Insights from Agency

for Digital Italy

Interview with Antonio Rotundo, Geographic Information

Expert, and Gabriele Ciasullo, Head of Databases and

Open Data Office, Agency for Digital Italy (AgID)

Why did your agency opt for GeoDCAT-AP?

AgID (Agency for Digital Italy) has been working on a

national strategy for an overall public sector information

infrastructure as knowledge base of all public information

resources, implemented by the actions defined in the

Three-Year Plan for ICT in the Public Administration.

The core components of that infrastructure are the national

catalogue for spatial data (RNDT) and the national

open data portal.

The Agency decided to implement GeoDCAT-AP to

achieve an interoperable integration and coordination of

the two catalogues. The aim was also to ensure aligned,

up-to-date and not conflicting descriptions of spatial data

even available as open data.

Furthermore, it supports the general objectives to apply

the once-only principle and to improve coordination

between the INSPIRE implementation and eGovernment,

open data and other relevant processes at the

national level. This is recommended in several EU official

documents, such as the eGovernment Action Plan, the

European Interoperability Framework, etc.

How was the implementation of GeoDCAT-AP carried

out in Italy?

The implementation of GeoDCAT-AP in Italy (named

GeoDCAT-AP_IT) was addressed as a specific action in

the previously mentioned Three-Year Plan for ICT in the

Public Administration. The Plan is a strategic policy document

for all public administrations established by the

government which oversees the digital transformation of

the country.

The actions foreseen for the implementation of

GeoDCAT-AP are:

the definition of national guidelines (published in

January 2018);

the implementation of these guidelines and the development

of the tools needed for their implementation

(already done);

and the full engagement of the Italian organisations

managing local catalogues.

The tools developed include the XSLT script extended

(to take into account the extensions introduced in the

national metadata profiles) and the GeoDCAT-AP_IT

API reusing and extending the one developed under the

ISA² Programme.

GEOmedia n°3-2021 15


Can you give examples of how public administrations

in Italy can use GeoDCAT-AP today?

Thanks to GeoDCAT-AP, public administrations can

document open spatial data ONLY in the national catalogue

for spatial data that will directly enable and provide

access to spatial data also in the national open data


Public administrations at the local level are expected to

adopt the national approach also for their catalogues. For

this purpose, we make the API available for reuse under

the European Union Public Licence (EUPL) to facilitate

the implementation also at the local level.

Users and developers can also use the API to have a different

format (RDF/XML and JSON-LD) for the metadata

published in the national catalogue for spatial data.

What are the benefits of GeoDCAT-AP for your organisation?

How could it benefit other public administrations?

We can identify benefits both on the side of the public

administrations and on the side of the users.

The use of GeoDCAT-AP allows our organisation to

make open spatial data available to a wider and diversified

audience, beyond the geospatial domain.

Moreover, it allows to avoid the double burden on public

administrations concerning the documentation of open

geodata in both catalogues. Consequently, GeoDCAT-

AP helps overcome the possible misalignments between

the metadata for the same dataset published in the two


On the side of users, GeoDCAT-AP allows to improve

the user experience in the discoverability of data. The

more the metadata quality increases, the more effective

the search becomes.

Can you give an insight into your involvement in the

work on GeoDCAT-AP?

We actively participated in the development and revision

of GeoDCAT-AP specification as members of the

Working Group established under the ISA² Programme.

In that context, we also provided a study comparing ISO

19115:2003, INSPIRE and ISO 19115-1:2014 (the latest

version of ISO 19115), included in Annex III to the


Moreover, we contributed to the activity carried out for

the definition of the alignments between the controlled

vocabularies used in ISO 19115 / INSPIRE metadata

and those used in DCAT-AP.

Finally, based on our experience in implementing

GeoDCAT in Italy, we will further contribute to improve

the GeoDCAT-AP specification by reporting issues

and gaps as well as extensions included in the national



In Italy, AgID (Agency for Digital

Italy) is in charge of managing the

National Open Data Portal (dati.

gov.it) and the National Catalogue

for Spatial Data (RNDT, geodati.

gov.it). Data discoverability is one

of the main tasks, next to availability

and interoperability, that public

policy makers and implementers

should take into due consideration

in order to foster access, use and

re-use of public sector information

(PSI), particularly in case of open



RNDT, AGID, Open Data


Gabriele Ciasullo


Giovanna Scaglione

Antonio Rotundo


Italian National

Open Data Portal


National Catalogue for

Spatial Data


16 GEOmedia n°3-2021


Sede in Italia

Più di 100 distributori nel mondo

Una linea di prodotti Made in Italy

Dove siamo Chiamaci Contattaci

Seguici sui Social

Viale dell’Industria 53

20037, Paderno Dugnano (MI)

Tel. +39 02 78619201


info@stonex.it - italia@stonex.it

GEOmedia n°3-2021 17


Local Change Detection


A mirror to the world

by Here Technologies

Who are the Local Data

Intelligence Team

and what is the important

of location services?

The Local Data Intelligence

Team (known as LDI team) is

a global team, with geo spatial

experts in each region. Different

cultures and local knowledge

allow for a rainbow of expertise

in this team.

Although we are local, we contribute

toward global solutions.

Our team is in a truly unique

position given the global context,

we carry the responsibility

of receiving and processing

information in order to identify

changes and solutions.

Local Change Detection

and its world

(Superior) Local Change

Detection is one of the main

activities of the Local Data

Intelligence Team.

Today and every day, reality is

changing and so are our maps!

Local Change Detection aims at

pro-actively identifying and prioritizing

real-world changes that

need to be reflected in HERE

maps. We focus on the freshness

staying one step ahead. This

Modern map-making and maintenance require the normalization and

conflation of combined datasets from many different sources and channels.

“The challenge is to mirror the real world by refreshing our maps as quickly

and consistently as we possibly can.”

"We deliver fresh

maps in order to

experience an

optimal location


18 GEOmedia n°3-2021


“We are a Global

high-tech team

with a Local Flavor,

we are the eyes

and ears wherever

you are!”

We are the Local

Change Detection

team and we know

what tomorrow is

going to be, today”

is why we strive to proactively

identify approaching changes,

soon to manifest in the near


The team monitors through

tools (externally and internally

developed) how our physical

reality is continuously evolving

and changing. All relevant

changes are verified and supported

during the ingestion

process, according to priorities

and reducing turnaround time

between detection and data ingestion.

All of this ensures the

freshness and competitiveness of

HERE maps. Media reports are

one major source for this kind

of information. Considering,

however, that millions of news

stories are published every day,

drowning in this flow of data

becomes a real possibility.

Real word changes can start

from major updates, passing

through Admin postal code

changes, neighborhood expansion

to traffic road closure.

Major Updates are changes affecting

major communication

arteries, or changes requested by

customers regarding e.g. Points

of Interest. These changes are

crucial for the mobility experience,

for our customers and

the end users, who are always at

the core of our business.

The Local Change Detection

Team detects changes through

different sources of data such as

Media monitoring, GPS Probe

Points, Satellite images, local

knowledge and many other data

flows. These detected real world

changes then proceed to feed

different tools assisting in the

update of HERE maps.

Team members are in contact

with local authorities and government

agencies, to receive

updates, thus transforming information

into data available in

our HERE maps as well.

The hidden complexity in creating

a digital clone of reality covering

more than 400 navigable

attributes, geometry, 2D and

3D building footprints could

easily be mistaken for magic.

The challenge is to identify the

information that matters most,

in a flood of millions of articles

produced every day. To achieve

these optimal results HERE

digests thousands of articles

per week using in house software

solutions combined with

Machine Learning algorithms.

In this way we guarantee competitiveness

in what we produce

and release.

The process never ceases and is

a cardinal step for HERE map

maintenance, providing value

in areas that are also updated by

other detections methodologies

and processes. Additionally, innovation

and improvements are

a crucial part of our journey.

By definition a map is a symbolic

representation of selected

characteristics of a place, usually

drawn on a flat surface. Maps

present information about the

world in a simple, visual way.

They teach us about the world

by showing sizes and shapes, locations,

features and distances.

We would like this representation

in our HERE maps to

provide a service that everyone

can enjoy with a truly enjoyable

navigation experience, in real



Modern map-making and maintenance require the normalization

and conflation of combined datasets from many

different sources and channels. All of this ensures the freshness

and competitiveness of HERE maps.


Mapping, Cartography, HERE


Maria Elena Ceci

Communication & Learning Lead for

Local Data Intelligence Team at HERE


GEOmedia n°3-2021 19








XR 2020:

News & Events

by Tiziana Primavera

Innovative Tech

Evangelist - AR/VR

senior expert

Augmented Reality, a

young computer discipline

that deals with the superimpression

of digital content

to the observed real world, has

the appropriate requirements

to guarantee a good threshold

of interactivity to applications

dedicated to the design and use

Example application of markerless geolocalized AR (Byod experience)

of spaces in general, whether

they are designed or virtually

rebuilt, completely distorting

the usual and limited paradigm,

now consolidated, of the classic

desktop configuration, mouse,


Augmented Reality is a computer

discipline that studies projective

systems able to increase

reality with digital content, it

could be defined as the ability

to superimpose on reality observed

by the subject a set of information

related to the context.

In summary, the perception of

an Augmented Reality user is

implemented, "augmented" by

the presence of digital objects in

its field of view, enriching the

observed view with additional

information of any complex

contents of 3D graphics (threedimensional

objects - 3D animations)

or more elementary

(two-dimensional type: video

- infographic data)

Therefore, in a sensory overcoming

made possible thanks to

the computer system implemented,

Reale and Virtual apparently

coexist in the observed scene

and the user of the interactive

visual experience thus conceived,

can move quietly in the

real space, thus comfortably

observing virtual objects from

various points of view, in the

desired scale, also therefore on

the natural scale 1 :1.

It should be pointed out that in

more advanced applications, not

augmented reality, but Mixed

Reality with the integration

into the system of appropriate

sensors, sensory overrun can be

extended as well as to the view

to the simulated touch, or the

user active in the experience,

can not only visually inspect the

three-dimensional digital object

placed in real-time mode in the

desired Real Space , but also to

move it as it pleases, raising the

level of potential interactivity.

Mainly immersive technologies

such as Virtual Reality and

interactive such as Augmented

reality, have found happy application

in multiple and heterogeneous

contexts of use, both

at the entreprise leveland in the

various professional application

areas (training on the job, maintenancecontexts,

site management,

interactive communication-presentation

of projects on

aplanimetric basis at the desired

scale or on-site at the real scale,

20 GEOmedia n°3-2021


enhancement of archaeological

assets, etc.). The display of these

"three-dimensional digital holograms"

can take place via tablet/

smartphone or wearable device

(technological headsets).

AR in the architectural sector

In building contexts, augmented

reality can be particularly

functional in the visualization

of projects under construction

and in the visualization of the

operations to be carried out on

site. It can be used for on-site

project analysis and to identify

potential problems by visually

inspecting the completedmodel

or in itsconstituent, architectural

and plant engineering


The computer-generated digital

structure can be superimposed

on the real environment in

which it will be built, before it

happens, thus making possible

design errors evident during

thepreliminary phase of visual

control with huge economic savings,

allowing you to save a lot

of financial resources before any

construction work begins.

Land soon companies able to

use augmented reality to visualize

georeferenced construction

site models, underground structures,

cablesand tubactions,

simply by using BYOD (mobile

devices) technologies.

In this way, the construction

problems can be reviewed and

actively collaborated on useful

changes between design and


But this technology can also be

interesting to support design

operations in the architect's

studio and in remotely participatory

design, being able to

intervene on the same digital

plastic, although operating in

separate studios.

Clearly being a visual technology,

its killer application

consists in communicating the

project to the customer, which

Project viewable on site in scale 1:1, inspectable and modifiable in real - time mode

can be implemented in different

ways, at the desired scale,

displaying a simple floor plan

or at the real scale, to allow interactive

walktroughs to the customer

in the three-dimensional

space, sometimes using mixed

AR-VR applications.

The user experience can be improved

with AR applications,

allowing not only to visualize

objects and layouts within a

building to better understand

the space planning and project

display, but also allowing them

to display in real-time mode

Integration of the AR system - Bim data for prefiguring the overall dimensions.

GEOmedia n°3-2021 21


Interactive mixed reality application, two designers, albeit remotely, are placed in the condition of being able to

modify the morphology of the project (Microsoft application)

different finishes or furnishings

or distribution layout options

foreshadowed appropriately.






The powerful representative potential

of AR technology therefore

allows, even in professional

contexts oriented to the restoration

and restoration of bodies of

high historical and architectural

value, to be able to offer an

exact three-dimensional foreshadowing

of the various predefined

intervention concepts

directly on-site and in real-time

mode, as if they were photorealist

holograms perfectly consistent

Mixed reality application (Hololens device)

with pre-existence, constantly

recorded from the point of view

of the observer, in order to be

able to evaluate with greater

accuracy the design or technical

aesthetic solution considered

optimal and more responsive

to the essential specifies of the

historical-architectural context

of intervention.

The orientation of the type of

restoration to be undertaken

clearly depends on a series of

factors that go to frame in detail

the structure on which to intervene,

its conditions, the type of

intervention and its complexity,

Augmented Reality Technology

allows a particular and more

exhaustive verification, thanks

to the accurate interactive visualization,

since it takes place di-

rectly on the building organism

subject to the intervention.

By innovatively introducing the

"third dimension" and where

necessary the photorealistic

rendering of materials, it guarantees

the technician and the

client to be able to implement

a critical-evaluation analysis of

the MOST accurate and more

exhaustive intervention in terms

of technical and perceptual verification.

This clearly represents a substantial

progress and a dialectical

overcoming of the previous

visual communication methods

of the previous generation

project (rendering, post-production

video photomontages, desktop-walktrough)


by the simple two-dimensional

nature and the constrained view

of use.





Potential and further application

contexts of contemporary

visual technologies are also

foreshadowed to support the

different phases of the design

process characteristic of restoration

interventions, such as

those related to the knowledge

and diagnosis of the building


In fact, the project of the recovery

/restoration interventions

requires, as a preliminary step,

the qualification and evaluation

of the morpho-typological,

material-constructive, technicaltechnological

characteristics, the

conservation status and residual

performance, because of relief,

investigations, and analysis in


Thanks to Virtual Reality techniques

it is also possible to systemoticize

the different information

/ data / data sheets etc.

identifying a tool that collects

22 GEOmedia n°3-2021


and shares accurate representations

of the state of the places

and documents of multiple


The technology is able to support

the development of virtual

tours thanks to interactive

hotspots that geoloize spherical

photos. In immersive display

mode, available through VR


It is possible to configure a virtual

tour of 360° panoramas, to

simulate in an immersive way,

the direct use and visual survey

of the state of the places, returning

the intuitive-immersive

perception of the spatiality and

materiality of the building.

In more advanced and interactive

VR systems, with a view to

outlining a complete cognitive

framework, with an important

transversal role with respect to

the design, implementation and

control of conservative actions

of architectural heritage, it is

also possible to relate to the

aforementioned digital environment

the various multiple

and heterogeneous survey data

produced in advance, making

them accessible and easily accessible.


Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality,

Participatory Design


The scenarios that characterize the evolution

of the professions related to technical

design/representation in the light of the

new interactive visualization technologies

are outlined.


Tiziana Primavera


AR Advisor, Ph.D.



GEOmedia n°3-2020 23


24 GEOmedia n°3-2021


Lima, Peru

Lima, the capital and largest

city of Peru, is featured in this Copernicus

Sentinel-2 image. The commercial and industrial centre

of Peru, Lima is located on the mostly flat terrain in the Peruvian

coastal plain, within the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers.

The city is bordered on the east by the foothills of the Andes Mountains and

on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Lima can be seen directly on the south bank of

the Rímac River, which flows for around 200 km through the Lima Region, before

emptying near Callao – a seaside city and port in the Lima metropolitan area (the largest

metropolitan area of Peru). Lima’s historical centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage

Site in 1988 owing to its large number of historical buildings dating from the Spanish colonial

era. One of the most notable characteristics of Lima is the barren desert that surrounds the city,

with the sand supporting little to no plant life, with the exception of where water has been artificially

provided. Although Lima is located at a tropical latitude, the cool offshore Humboldt Current

(also known as the Peru Current) produces a year-round temperate climate. The cooling of the coastal

air mass produces thick cloud cover throughout winter and the dense sea mist, known locally as garúa,

often rolls in to blanket the city. In this image, captured on 20 April 2020, several cloud formations

can be seen dotted along the coast. Callao is Peru’s main seaport and home to its main airport, Jorge

Chávez International Airport. Several small boats and vessels can be seen near the port. Callao has

several islands: San Lorenzo Island (currently used as a military base), El Frontón (a former high

security prison), the Cavinzas Islands, and the Palomino Islands, where numerous sea lions and

sea birds live. The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission consists of a pair of twin satellites that orbit

Earth once every 100 minutes, together imaging a path on Earth’s surface 580 kilometres

wide. The satellites observe in 13 spectral bands – from visible to infrared light – giving

various perspectives on land and vegetation. This means that the mission can

be used to retrieve a wealth of different information about Earth’s surface.

(Source: ESA - Image of the week: "Lima, Peru")

GEOmedia n°3-2021 25


DEEPCUBE: Explainable AI

Pipelines for Big Copernicus Data

by Chiara Gervasi, Alessia Ferrari, Ioannis Papoutsis, Souzana Touloumtzi

DeepCube is a Horizon 2020

project implemented by 9

European partners coordinated

by the National Observatory

of Athens. It will unlock the

potential of big Copernicus data

with Artificial Intelligence and

Semantic Web technologies,

aiming to address problems of

high socio-environmental impact.

Figure 1: DeepCube implementation workflow from technology development to demonstration in Use Cases.

According to the recently

published (19 June

2020) European White

Paper on Artificial Intelligence




Intelligence (AI) is a strategic

technology that, among other

things, “offers important efficiency

and productivity gains

that can strengthen the competitiveness

of European industry

and improve the wellbeing of

citizens”, while “it can also

contribute to finding solutions

to some of the most pressing

societal challenges, including

the fight against climate change

and environmental degradation,

and the challenges linked to

sustainability and demographic

changes”. The same paper

acknowledges Earth Observation

(EO) and space as domains

in which the race for global leadership

is open.

DeepCube (https://deepcubeh2020.eu/)

is a 3-year (January

2021 - December 2023) Horizon

2020 project that leverages

advances in the fields of AI and

Semantic Web to unlock the

potential of the vast amounts

of data produced by the Copernicus

program. DeepCube has

the goal to address problems of

high environmental and societal

impact while enhancing our understanding

of Earth’s processes

correlated with Climate Change,

in order to respond to the

urgent challenges addressed by

the EU Green Deal. To achieve

this, the project develops an

open, scalable and interoperable

platform, integrating novel

Information and Communication

Technologies such as the

Earth System Data Cube, the

Semantic Cube, the Hopsworks

platform for distributed Deep

Learning, and state-of-the-art

data visualization tools, providing

solutions for all phases of

an EO-based AI pipeline, from

data ingestion and organization

in data cubes, to feature engineering,

semantic reasoning

and visualization. In addition,

DeepCube tests a hybrid modeling

approach for Earth System

Science, combining data-driven

modeling bound by physical

parameters, further enhanced

through explainable AI and

Causality for “physics-aware” AI


Contextual background

DeepCube contributes to the

European Commission's Destination

Earth, an initiative that

aspires to create a digital model

of the Earth’s physical resources,

to help us plan and prepare for

major environmental degradation

and disasters due to Climate

Change. To support this,

the European Space Agency

has put forward the concept of

Digital Twin Earth to develop a

dynamic, digital replica of our

planet. A model powered by

observations that provides an

accurate representation of the

26 GEOmedia n°3-2021


Figure 2: TRE Altamira’s wide area monitoring over different countries around the world -

the UK, Denmark, France and Japan.

The Copernicus program

The Copernicus Earth Observation program,

providing free, open, and high

quality data about our planet at large

scales, is believed to be a game changer

for both science and the industry. Today,

Copernicus is producing 15 terabytes of

data every day, while every product is

downloaded on average 10 times. However,

the availability of the sheer volume

of Copernicus data outstrips our capacity

to extract meaningful information. That

is why the Earth Observation community

is in need of technology enablers to propel

the development of entirely new applications

at scale.

past, present and future changes

of our planet to support us in

preparing a better response to

future challenges.

We consider DeepCube as a

showcase of the Digital Twin

Earth potential, addressing all

of its elements from data to

infrastructure, to technology,

to Research & Development,

to new business models, with

Artificial Intelligence and big

Copernicus data at its core.

DeepCube is driven by the

scientific and business questions

behind its Use Cases. What makes

its applications different is

that they serve non-traditional

use cases, penetrate untapped

markets, exploit unique datasets

and employ new AI architectures.

The DeepCube Use Cases

Five Use Cases (UCs) have

been designed by DeepCube’s

partners to showcase the innovative

technologies used in this

project: two on business, two

on earth system sciences, and

one on migration.

UC1: Forecasting localized extreme

drought and heat impacts

in Africa

UC2: Climate induced migration

in Africa

UC3: Fire hazard short-term forecasting

in the Mediterranean

UC4a: Automatic volcanic

deformation detection and alerting

UC4b: Deformation trend

change detection on PSI timeseries

for critical infrastructure


UC5: Copernicus services for

sustainable and environmentally-friendly


[UC4 is under the umbrella of

SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar)

Figure 3: TRE Altamira’s UC4b schematic.

interferometry and consists of the

smaller-scale UC4a on volcanic

risk reduction and the larger-scale

UC4b that integrates measurements

from in-situ geodetic and

other information with InSAR

(Interferometric Synthetic Aperture

Radar) time-series].

The UCs are the core of DeepCube

and drive the development

on both the technology

and the research sides. The

project approach is to co-design

GEOmedia n°3-2021 27


the UCs together with their

beneficiaries and ensure that the

outcomes fit their needs and

decision-making processes.

Drought and heat waves, due

to their frequent occurrence in

the last decade, are expected to

become even more frequent in

the future, as the corresponding

persistent weather situations

become more and more probable.

UC1 puts on the table the

following questions to respond,

using AI on big EO data: Which

are the spatial factors that yield

impact susceptibility versus resilience

to meteorological drought

and heat waves? Can we predict

localized impacts given coarse

scale meteorological information?

Can we employ advanced ML

solutions to model the spatiotemporal

drought impact by combining

this with a physical approach

in a hybrid model? What are

the anticipated long-term effects

of drought and heat?

UC2 aims to uncover how

extreme weather conditions

cause internal displacement and

whether any other drivers are

playing a role, related or not,

to Climate Change. Through

modern observational causal

inference models, UC2 will be

designed to understand, quantify,

and predict migration flow

effects from socio-economic

contextual information as well

as from environmental variables

extracted from EO data.

Wildfires are a very impactful

hazard affecting natural ecosystems

and manmade infrastructures,

causing in extreme cases

human life losses. It is expected

in the future that fire danger

will increase, affecting even

northern latitudes and evergreen

tropical forests. The goal of

UC3 is to model fire hazards

in multiple temporal scales,

providing short-term (e.g.

hourly), mid-term (e.g. weekly,

monthly) and long-term (e.g.

seasonal) predictions of the best

possible accuracy to interested


At any given moment, several

volcanoes worldwide are

erupting, while there are more

than 1,500 volcanoes capable

of reawakening and creating

severe or even catastrophic impacts

to society. Historical data

from eruptions indicate that

they are almost always preceded

by volcanic unrest. Therefore,

early warning based on detected

volcanic unrest could be of

great importance for civil protection

authorities, enhancing

their response effectiveness and

allowing for scientists to deploy

critical in-situ monitoring

equipment to assess volcanic

hazards more accurately. UC4a

adopts a novel DL method,

which has not been explored

before in EO problems, to

detect deformation associated

with volcanic activity using

SAR complex imagery.

Tourism is one of the pillars of

the modern economy. It constitutes

more than 10% of global

GDP. The number of international

tourists is forecasted to

rise to 1,8 billion in 2030, making

it crucial to find efficient

ways to handle this growth,

preserve the fragile destinations,

and adapt to the increasing demand

over limited hospitality

infrastructures. Additionally,

more than 65% of European

travelers have declared that

they are striving to make their

travels more sustainable but do

not find the right information

or the possibility to assess their

environmental footprint.

UC5's goal is to design a pricing

engine for hotel rooms and

tour packages purchases independent

from the major reservation

platforms and incorporate

the environmental dimension

for sustainable tourism.

UC4b- Deformation trend

change detection on PSI time

series for critical infrastructure


TRE Altamira (TREA) is a

global leader in InSAR derived

services and a pioneer in

developing new products from

satellite SAR data. Born as an

independent company in 2000,

TRE was funded by Politecnico

of Milan to market the first PSI

(Persistent Scatterer Interferometry)

technique worldwide

and in 2016, it merged with Altamira,

an InSAR service company

too. Since then, TREA

employs advanced InSAR techniques

to measure ground motion

and structural movement

from space. In more than 20

years of experience, TREA has

analyzed over 5,000,000 km2

in the world and carried out

1,000+ projects in various market

sectors such as civil engineering,

oil & gas, mining, and natural

hazards. Several critical infrastructure

projects have been

conducted all over the world to

support engineers during the

phases of planning, designing,

and construction. Today, using

its proprietary SqueeSAR® algorithm,

TREA can provide surface

displacement maps over large

or small areas.

When asked to join the DeepCube

project, TREA was

thrilled to contribute to the

challenge of exploiting the mass

amount of Sentinel-1 SAR data

combined with in-situ geodetic

and other measurements with

the final goal of creating a commercial

service to monitor critical

infrastructure at large scales.

The rationale behind:

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 (S1)

SAR mission has turned out to

be a game changer for the EO

community. This twin platform

constellation provides wide-scale,

systematic (every 6 days) and

free-access imagery over most of

28 GEOmedia n°3-2021


the globe. Any single S1 image

covers a 250x250 km2-area and

is delivered within one hour

from acquisition. This can be

considered as a significant improvement

over existing SAR


Advanced InSAR technology is

used to produce deformation

maps from satellite SAR imagery

with millimetric-precision.

Thanks to S1 revisit time,

deformation maps can be delivered

to end-users on a regular

basis, providing average velocity

displacement rates of Persistent

Scatter points and their associated

displacement time series.

Each deliverable consists of a

layer of hundreds of thousands

of measurement points and can

be compared to previous layers

to detect ground surface instability

over large areas. The availability

and accessibility to mass

amounts of S1 data, combined

with cloud-based solutions,

enable TREA to deliver nationwide

InSAR measurement

databases providing millions of

measurement points and their

associated time series of displacement

at each update.

How can we help end-users best

understand and make use of this

mass of information?

How can we contribute to the creation

of a novel service that meets

the monitoring requirements of a

specific market sector?

Through the MATTCH project

(ESA Open Call for Science,

2019), TREA has already

implemented Deep Learning

based methodologies to mass

amount of S1 data to detect

changes in time series trends for

data screening purposes. So far,

hotspots can be identified but

no reason about driving mechanisms

for these trend changes is

given to end-users.

With DeepCube and the UC,

TREA intends to further advance

the state of the art reached

in the MATTCH project.

TREA will develop new Deep

Learning architectures for trend

change detection from dense

InSAR point time series- this

time combined with industrial

geodetic (GNSS) and other measurements

to identify clusters

of points sharing key attributes

or features for critical infrastructure

monitoring at a large

scale. An Italian civil engineering

group will contribute to

the development of the UC by

providing in-situ measurements

over sample areas along a strategic

infrastructure in Italy.


DeepCube addresses problems

that require quantitative estimation

of geophysical variables.

For this purpose, a hybrid modeling

approach for geophysical

parameters estimation will be

tested, where data driven modeling

bound by physical models,

AI applications, and Causality

are combined.

DeepCube is exploiting nonspace

data, linking other information

sources such as social

media, industrial and socioeconomic

data to satellite data

in order to create new value


Also, DeepCube is tackling

AI problems that use satellite

InSAR data. Sentinel-1 SAR

archive is the richest asset that

remains hugely underexploited

by the scientific community

when it comes to AI-based

applications, and DeepCube is

addressing this gap.

The DeepCube platform is a

unique legacy that will be developed

as an open source suitable

to be deployed in different

cloud environments. To our

knowledge, this will be the first

time that such an end-to-end

platform will become available,

tailored for the processing of

big Copernicus data and made

available to the community to

reuse and extend.



National Observatory of Athens, Greece


Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry,

Germany (https://www.bgc-jena.mpg.de/


University of Valencia, Spain (https://


Logical Clocks, Sweden (https://www.


National and Kapodistrian University of

Athens, Greece (https://en.uoa.gr/)

Gael Systems, France (https://www.gaelsystems.com/)

Tre Altamira, Italy (https://site.tre-altamira.


Infalia, Greece (http://infalia.gr/)

Murmuration, France (https://murmuration-sas.com/)


Artificial Intelligence, Deep learning,

Machine learning, Earth observation,

Climate change


DeepCube is a 3-year Horizon 2020

project that leverages advances in the fields

of Artificial Intelligence and Semantic Web

to unlock the potential of big Copernicus

data. Its goal is to address problems of high

socio-environmental impact and enhance

our understanding of Earth’s processes

correlated with Climate Change. To achieve

this, the project employs mature ICT

technologies, integrating them into a scalable,

open and interoperable platform that

provides solutions for all phases of an Earth

Observation based AI pipeline. The Deep-

Cube technologies will be demonstrated in

five Use Cases.


Chiara Gervasi, TRE Altamira


Alessia Ferrari, TRE Altamira


Ioannis Papoutsis,

National Observatory of Athens


Souzana Touloumtzi,

National Observatory of Athens


GEOmedia n°3-2021 29









Starting from July 20th, ASI will

accept registration requests submitted by the scientific, institutional

and commercial community (only for non-commercial purposes),

both Italian and International, allowing the access to the

SAOCOM products acquired in the geographic zone in which

ASI has full utilization rights (Zone of Exclusivity). It roughly

corresponds to the European territory. Anyone can be part of

the growing community of users of SAOCOM products in the

ASI Zone of Exclusivity through a simple registration operation,

by accepting the License (Terms and Conditions for use of the

products of the SAOCOM mission), releasing a liability declaration

and compiling a membership registration form with the

personal info as well as a brief description of the project in which

the SAOCOM data are intended to be used. For accessing the

products it is sufficient to download the SAOCOM Registration

Data Package and submit via email a registration request. Further

details can be found in the SAOCOM membership guide inside

the above-mentioned package. SAOCOM data will be accessed

and disseminated through a dedicated ASI SAOCOM

portal, based on a customized version of the DHuS system, that

has been originally developed by ESA as the backbone of the EC

Copernicus data distribution to users.

The ASI SAOCOM portal currently contains only a subset of

all the products available in the Zone of Exclusivity but it will be

increasingly populated in next weeks.

Starting from July 20th, ASI will accept registration requests

submitted by the scientific, institutional and commercial community

(only for non-commercial purposes), both Italian and

International, allowing the access to the SAOCOM products

acquired in the geographic zone in which ASI has full utilization

rights (Zone of Exclusivity). It roughly corresponds to the

European territory. Anyone can be part of the growing community

of users of SAOCOM products in the ASI Zone of Exclusivity

through a simple registration operation, by accepting the License

(Terms and Conditions for use of the products of the SAOCOM

mission), releasing a liability declaration and compiling a membership

registration form with the personal info as well as a brief

description of the project in which the SAOCOM data are intended

to be used. For accessing the products it is sufficient to

download the SAOCOM Registration Data Package and submit

via email a registration request. Further details can be found in

the SAOCOM membership guide inside the above-mentioned

package. SAOCOM data will be accessed and disseminated

through a dedicated ASI SAOCOM portal, based on a customized

version of the DHuS system, that has been originally developed

by ESA as the backbone of the EC Copernicus data distribution

to users. The ASI SAOCOM portal currently contains only

a subset of all the products available in the Zone of Exclusivity but

it will be increasingly populated in next weeks.


Works when you do

X-PAD Ultimate

Tutto in un unico software

X-PAD Ultimate è un software modulare, facile da usare per lavori

topografici e del cantiere, come rilievi, tracciamenti, catasto,

controlli BIM, strade, mappe, batimetria e GIS.

Il software è disponibile sulla piattaforma Android e porta le

migliori tecnologie direttamente in campo nella tua mano: una

completa visualizzazione 3D ed un sistema CAD per visualizzare e

modificare i disegni, integrazione dei tuoi dati con tutte le tipologie

di mappe, supporti per la realtà aumentata e molto altro.

30 GEOmedia n°3-2021

XPad Ultimate ti assicura la produttività e ti permette di avere una

perfetta integrazione con tutti gli strumenti.

Disponibile in due versioni, una dedicata a chi lavora nel campo

della topografia ed una dedicata alle imprese di costruzioni,

offrendo ad entrambi delle caratteristiche dedicate.


©2020 Hexagon AB and/or its subsidiaries

and affiliates. All rights reserved.




IDS GeoRadar, part of Hexagon, today announces that

it has enhanced IQMaps, its post-processing software

application for advanced GPR data analysis. The updated

version includes new functionalities that improve

the visualisation of radar data and extend the application

fields to void detection and archaeology.

New functionalities in the updated version of IQMaps

improve the visualisation of radar data.

Thanks to these new functionalities, IQMaps now allows:

• Multi-shape area picking for 3D mapping of sinkholes,

inspection chambers and other generic buried


• Automatic exporting of radar map sections with user

defined length and statistical data for comprehensive

reporting functionality

• Overlaying of multiple vector layers such as cadastral,

as-built and DBYD plans onto the tomography drawings

• Improving initial survey positioning by using external

survey data.

The main advantage of multi-shape area picking is the

ability to mark a 3D area both on the B-scan radar map

and the tomography. This feature allows the user to select

areas for 3D mapping of all identified voids and


The software now allows for the simultaneous export

of multiple radar maps with user-defined lengths with

detected features on these maps also exported in .csv

format. This allows for more streamlined reporting and

statistical analysis.

The ability to import multiple overlapping vector layers

such as DBYD plans and as-built drawings over

the tomographic map, greatly aids the user during data

analysis and interpretation.

Users can now import external trajectories such as

Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) corrected GNSS or

post-processed GNSS data into IQMaps after the survey

is completed. This enables the user to correct positioning

data that may originally have been inaccurate

due to poor floating GNSS signal in tunnels or under


“IQMaps has reached a significant milestone in its evolution,“

says Davide Morandi, Director GPR Product

Management at IDS GeoRadar. “With this update,

IQMaps stays ahead of the curve, offering new functionalities

that make 3D mapping even easier and more

efficient for our existing customers, and allows specialists

in new fields to benefit from its seamless mapping


The IQMaps update is rolled out with the new software

version 1.3.

GEOmedia n°3-2021 31



Acquired by PRISMA satellite (PRecursore IperSpettrale della Missione

Applicativa) on 17 July 2021, false color image which includes both visible

and infrared light, captured a large portion of burn scar and active

areas. The vegetation appears in shades of red and bare ground in shades

of tan. The burned areas appear black dark and the smoke from active fire

front in blueish. The image, that covers an area of 30 by 30 Kilometers, has

been acquired in the framework of the ASI project “Sviluppo di Prodotti

Iperspettrali Prototipali Evoluti” whose main objective is to define the development

plan for a subset of L3 / L4 value-added products to be retrieved

by means of hyperspectral data processing and to prototype them. The

required data are used for the development of several prototypes among

which the Forest Fire Front that reports the localization of active fires,

based on the ionization at flaming temperature of the Potassium contained

in biomass burning.

Data/Information generated by Stefania Amici-Istituto Nazionale di

Geofisica e Vulcanologia and Volcanology (INGV) under an ASI License

to Use; Original PRISMA Product - © ASI – (2021). All rights reserved





Two global leaders

in Geospatial and

Earth Observation

data and services,

e-GEOS, an Italian

Space Agency (ASI-

20%) and Telespazio

(80%) company,

and ISI (ImageSat

International), a

world leader in

space-based intelligence


have announced a

partnership to form

the world’s most capable


ELECTRO Optical-SAR earth observation satellite constellation.

e-GEOS and ISI have established a strategic alliance, by

bringing together the world-class satellite assets of both companies

to form a High Revisit- Ultra High Resolution EO-

SAR constellation that will propose to the market the best

assets synergy to match the market's ever evolving operational


The virtual joint constellation is presently comprised out

of 8 ultra-high-performance satellites data including five

COSMO-SkyMed and COSMO-SkyMed second generation

dual use SAR satellites - owned by the Italian Space

Agency (ASI) and the Italian Ministry of Defence, for which

e-GEOS is exclusive global distributor worldwide - and ISI

three EROS Next Generation ELECTRO Optical ultra-highresolution


This one of a kind constellation is envisioned to dramatically

expand in the coming years through the launch of new

missions including additional COSMO-SkyMed Second

Generation satellites and two EROS C ELECTRO Optical

ultra-high-resolution satellites and two EROSAR high resolution

satellites by ISI.

The two companies will be able to offer their existing customer

base, as well as future customers, a natural expansion

through the access to world class intelligence gathering assets.

Combining satellites with different sensing technologies

launched into traditional Polar orbits and mid inclination orbits,

to ensure High Revisit – Ultra High-Resolution imaging

capabilities throughout day & night time and in all weather


Thanks to this agreement, the competitiveness of the two

companies grows and consolidates their industrial capacity,

leveraging on respective business footprint world- wide and

technological complementarity, specifically to offer services

and information solutions to Defense & Intelligence market.

“A new collaboration perspective within a broader Federative

horizon is opening up new market possibilities by relying on

the best performing satellite systems,” said Paolo Minciacchi,

e-GEOS CEO and Director of the Geoinformation Line of

Business of Telespazio.

“By bringing together the satellite systems, past experience,

talent and expertise of both companies, we have literally formed

one of the world's most capable commercial intelligence

gathering capabilities, which was until now only in the

hands Super-Powers. I am confident that our alliance with

e-GEOS will empower our customers by providing access to

the world’s most capable commercial satellite constellation.”

said Noam Segal, Chief Executive officer of ISI.

32 GEOmedia n°3-2021


Blending the Science of Geography

and Technology of GIS


GEOmedia n°3-2021 33





The European GNSS systems (EGNOS and Galileo), in addition

to GPS, are capable of ensuring drones to perform safe

satellite-based approach procedures, a capability required to

include and integrate drones in controlled airspace.

This has been demonstrated during campaign of the ECARO

(Egnos Civil Aviation ROadmap) project, performed at

Grottaglie Airport in Italy.

Coordinated by ENAV, the Italian air navigation service provider,

and jointly developed by the DTA - Apulian Aerospace

District, Planetek Italia, Ums Skeldar and Airgreen, the

ECARO project (EGNOS Civil Aviation Roadmap) is a

multidisciplinary project whose main objective is the adoption

of European satellite navigation systems GNSS (Global

Navigation Satellite Systems) EGNOS and Galileo for all civil

aviation applications like fixed wings operation, drones and rotorcraft

emergency operations. The project is co-financed by

EUSPA (European Union Agency for the Space Programmes).

ECARO will contribute to define the roadmap for ENAC’s

advanced air mobility and will support the development of

a national experimental research center for urban air mobility,

and concurrently will provide benchmarks and services

for both the implementation of Grottaglie spaceport and the

Drone Living Lab of Bari Municipality.

The flight test campaign on satellite procedures tested the application

of civil aviation flight procedures also by using a Swiss

UMS Skeldar drone, so to demonstrate their integration in an

airport environment and the benefits obtained from the exploitation

of the European GNSS systems EGNOS and Galileo.

To monitor GNSS signal quality, Planetek Italia has tested a

radiofrequency spectrum monitoring system at airports, which

could improve the safety and security of UAS operations.

Thanks to the ECARO project, it was demonstrated that the

European GNSS systems (EGNOS and Galileo), in addition

to GPS, are capable of ensuring drones to perform safe satellite-based

approach procedures, a capability required to include

and integrate drones in controlled airspace.


Product features & benefits:

> Easy, one-touch scan function

> 3D mosaic imaging without position info

> Easily combined with laser scan imagery

> Compact size fits into tight spaces

> Operates in low and zero visibility conditions

> Standard Ethernet/RS485 interface

> Easy Windows-based software

> Leica Cyclone data compatible

> Sector and spherical scans



BlueView’s BV5000-1350 3D mechanical scanning sonar creates

high resolution imagery of underwater areas, structures,

and objects. With the touch of a button, the 3D mechanical

scanning sonar creates 3D point clouds of an underwater scene

with minimal training required. These compact, lightweight

units are easily deployed on a tripod or an ROV. The scanning

sonar head and integrated mechanical pan and tilt mechanism

generate both sector scans and spherical scan data. For the first

time, get 3D laser-like scanning capabilities underwater, even

in low and zero visibility conditions and seamless integration

with traditional laser scan imagery.


>3D site survey

>3D structure inspection

>Rig decommissioning

>Bridge inspections

>Underwater metrology

For more information contact Codevintec Italiana www.codevintec.it


34 GEOmedia n°3-2021


High performance


Photo: MTS Engineering

Sale, rental, training, technical assistance

Coastal and marine surveys

Multibeams, SSS, SBP, magnetometers,

hydrographic drones …

3D imaging

terrestrial, underground, underwater,

coastal and all of them integrated,

even dynamic …

High precision positioning

and navigation

GNSS, IMU, underwater systems …

Underground surveys

GPR, seismographs, DC resistivity meters,

clinometers …

Seismic monitoring

seismometers, Strong Motion,

Early Warning networks, tiltmeters …


Tecnologie per le Scienze della Terra e del Mare

tel. +39 02 4830.2175 | info@codevintec.it | www.codevintec.it

GEOmedia n°3-2021 35




United Utilities is responsible for water and wastewater services

in the North West of England

and adopted recently Rheticus® Network Alert system of

Planetek Italia because it can help provide a better service

to its customers, improve its activities, and prioritise and

optimise maintenance spending. Monitoring the infrastructures'

stability is an important activity to ensure people's

safety, environmental protection, and the safeguarding of

assets at all stages of the life cycle of infrastructures, from

design to production, management, and maintenance.

Rheticus® Network Alert improves inspection planning

and efficiency of water and sewer networks, providing

actionable reports of critical pipe segments to prioritise

inspection activities and improve inspection efficiency.

The service enables predictive maintenance to prevent

structural failures by using ground subsidence as an indicator

of the likelihood of failure. The millimetre-scale

ground movements are calculated, and quarterly updated,

through the satellite's radar data processing.

The service offers an update and complete view of the

entire pipeline network through actionable reports and

GeoAnalytics. Inspections and maintenance activities are

thus scheduled more efficiently and simplified as a whole.

This activity led utilities to unlock cost-effective watersupply

and sewer network management. Consequently,

customers receive a series of benefits, such as:

- Avoid usual inconveniences derived by a network failure

(e.g. traffic, road interruptions)

- Bill reduction thanks to the predictive maintenance,

which avoid utilities to pay a considerable expense for repairing

a failure

By two years from now, United Utilities foresee a spread

adoption of the predictive maintenance approach by utilities

and, thus, of Rheticus® Network Alert.


• An improved version of the backpack, designed for the

best ergonomy to increase the comfort of the operator.

• A high resolution 360° panoramic camera, compatible

with the dedicated car mount and the backpack, to document

the environment with incredible image details.

The Scanfly family is the payload lidar designed to be multipurpose,

easy, and ready to use in just a few steps in drone,

car, and backpack mode.

Easy to use has always been the Scanfly motto.

This new car mounting kit has been completely redesigned

under this philosophy and allows deploying the Scanfly in

combination with the panoramic camera kit quickly and efficiently.

Fixing the plate to the car roof requires less than a

minute with the three vacuum cup mounts. Scanfly and the

camera are installed and removed with quick-release mechanisms

and simple wing nuts.


3D TARGET is pleased to announce the release of new

add-ons, compatible with all Scanfly models, that were specifically

designed with this philosophy in mind.



• A brand new car mounting kit series, allowing for an even

easier and repeatable installation of Scanfly on the roof of

any car available in the market today, it will take less than

a minute

36 GEOmedia n°3-2021


GEOmedia n°3-2021 37


13-15 Settembre 2021

10th AIT International


Cagliari www.geoforall.it/


27 – 30 Settembre

GIScience 2021

2021 Poznan (Poland) www.


21 - 23 Settembre


Hannover (Germany) www.


6 - 8 Ottobre 2021


with Drones

Bologna (Italy) www.


25 - 29 Ottobre 2021,

Inspire Conference 2021



24-25 Novembre 2021

GEO Business 2021

London (UK) www.


18 - 21 Dicembre 2021

ICC- International

Cartographic Conference

Firenze www.geoforall.it/



The imaging laser scanner simplifies

the way spaces are measured, designed

and documented .

New dimension in measurements technology

❚❚Leica BLK360° captures the world around you with full-colour panoramic images overlaid on a

high-accuracy point cloud.

❚❚Simple to use with just the single push of one button, the BLK360 is the smallest and lightest of its kind.

❚❚Anyone who can operate an iPad can now capture the world around them with high resolution 3D

panoramic images.

❚❚Using the ReCap Pro mobile app, the BLK360° streams image and point cloud data to iPad. The app

filters and registers scan data in real time.

❚❚After capture, ReCap Pro enables point cloud data transfer to a number of CAD, BIM, VR and AR


❚❚Teorema Milano can offer you a solution “all-inclusive” that includes: BLK360° with software ReCap

Pro, Ipad Pro 12,9”, training courses with specialist.

Contact us, you will discover much more.




Veranstalter / Host: DVW e.V.

Ausrichter Conference / Conference organiser: DVW GmbH

Ausrichter Expo / Expo organiser: HINTE GmbH


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