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Ghent seen from space: improvement of the website of the City of Ghent

Research project T4/DD/58 (Research action T4)


Persons :


Description :

Up to now the use or satellite images for change detection in urban areas is not popular due to the resolution of the sensor. This might be changed with the new available sensors with a very high resolution.
Even for GIS projects, the Municipality of Ghent has never used a satellite image before. As higher resolution images become widespread (e.g. Space Image IKONOS-1, resolution 1m), these images could also be used for "local level" studies.
Further development of the website of Ghent is a possible way for helping people to come to a better insight into remote sensing documents, specifically those images concerning people's own environment (the town of Ghent and surroundings). For that purpose yet available archive and more recent images will be used. The examples that will be developed are illustrating the multitemporal and multiscale approach.

There are 5 themes selected:

1. Ghent and the world: Landsite MSS image of Ghent and its 6 sister towns projected on a world overview, with geographical description of each of them.
2. "Change" detection: Comparison of imagery of the eighties and the nineties with specific attention to urbanisation and green belt supply.
3. Multiscale approach: to show people what Ghent looks like on the images of different sensors with different resolutions, using an image sequence starting from rough resolution images (NOAA-AVHRR) through medium resolution images (archive images of Resurs-01 and/or Landsat MSS) up to fine resolution images (SPOTXS and/or SPOT-P).
4. Following theme 3 theme 4 concerns the utility of the Russian KVR-1000 sensor images and/or the Space Image IKONOS-1 images for studies of small areas as citizens' own environment, zooming in on these high resolution images on the Internet.
5. Comparison of the high resolution images with available aerial photographs selecting 2 areas in Ghent, e.g. the dock area and the town centre.

Each of the presented images and approaches will be discussed in a brief text. In such a way the Internet user can have a better understanding about the technology and methodology of the remote sensing documents.
These themes (+ examples) will be elaborated in consultation with the Municipality of Ghent (Coördinatiedienst-dienst Informatietechnologie en GIS = Co-ordination service for information technology and GIS of the Municipality of Ghent). All the processed images and texts will be integrated into the website of the town of Ghent.

This study could be the start for a larger pilot project. Via this project the co-ordination service for information technology and GIS of the Municipality of Ghent has the opportunity to become familiar with the very high resolution space born images and this in the frame of spatial changes in the area of Ghent and studying how these changes could be imported from the remote sensing data in the GIS of the Municipality of Ghent.


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