Workshop for Open Foris platform for tracking ground changes using satellite images

A workshop on possibilites of using the Open Foris application was held between 3.7. and 7.7.2017. at the Republic geodetic authority in cooperation with UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).

Open Foris is a collection of free software platforms developed by the Department of Forestry of FAO to satisfy needs for tracking changes on teh ground using visual interpretation of the available satellite imagery. The components of Open Foris are:

  • Collect;
  • Collect Mobile;
  • Collect Earth;
  • Calc;
  • Geospatial Toolkit.

During the workshop teh focus was on the presentation of work with available tools and practical application of Google technologies for data management, using examples for the territory of the Republic of Serbia. The workship was held by the representative of UN FAO from the Department of Forestry, Giulio Marchi.

Workshop participants were introduced to the work and possibilites of using the Collect Earth software platform. The system si based on Google’s solutions for geospatial data access such as Google Earth and Earth Engine. Along with a large number of archival satellite images in high resolution, there are available images from Sentinel 2, Landsat and other satellite platforms. Data gathering is performed according to the “enlarged reality” principle using all of the available data and visual interpretation of the operator based on which it is possible to create statistical trends on large surfaces depending on the size of the sample. During the workshop, 600 samples were collected with information about land on the territory of Republic of Serbia based on available historical images. The results of the analysis were compared with date from the Map of the basic land cover from 2011, and the results were a close match.

Within the Open Foris Collect framework, the process of creating a form for data gathering was presented using the Collect Earth framework. Along with that, SAIKU application for analysis and presentation of gathered data was presented. Workshop participants were introduced to the Collect Mobile system for mobile devices based on the Android platform and the possibilities of real-time data gathering on the field according to preset parameters.

Along with employees from Republic geodetic authority, workshop was attended by employees from other institutions: Поред запослених из Републичког геодетског завода, обуци су присуствовали и запослени из других институција: Directorate for Agrarian Payments, Administration for Agricultural Land и Environmental Protection Agency. A short presentation was given to the management of the Republic geodetic authority as well, where components of Collect Earth for gathering and analysis of geospatial data was shown.

Republic geodetic authority will, based on the presented material, consider the opportunity to apply Open Foris system and develop applications necessary for performing activities in its jurisdiction as well as improving the work of other government institutions which find geospatial data indispensable for their work.

A Planetary Perspective: With Landsat and Google Earth Engine