Professor Li Deren: Ten Frontier Technologies in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing Field

There are not many opportunities to learn about the frontiers of an industry, let alone grand events like the Geospatial Week organized deliberately by the working groups of International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing(Short for ISPRS).

Professor Li Deren, academician from Wuhan University told the journalist, “In order to get accustomed to the rapid development of the industry and the fast changes of requirements in industry, academics, and researches, the ISPRS decided to hold the ISPRS Geospatial Week, also known to us as GSW every two years.

There are ten workshops during this year’s GSW which are organized by ISPRS and the sponsor, to be exact, the chairs and vice chairs of ISPRS’ working groups.

The first subject is PhotoGA, Photogrammetric 3D Reconstruction for Geo-Applications. Comprehensively apply oblique photograph, laser scanning, and radar surveying to atomic 3D modeling. 3D models have been used in many areas such as in-door navigation, the protection of relics, 3D analysis in big cities, and the analysis of pollution.

We can also use 3D models to make land registration, property management, and the monitoring and punishment of the violations. There are many small property rooms in various cities increasing their areas by increasing their height instead of changing the land areas. This can only be monitored by 3D model. We are conducting such kind of program in Shenzhen.

We are also using 3D models to do disaster prevention and flood analysis. We mainly use photographic surveying to do 3D modeling in the past, but now we can use multiple sources to do it much easily and get more information. We can do 3D modeling through lidars and radars as well.

This is a very important topic, it is also the Trump Card of Wuhan University. Of course, my counterparts in Germany, France, and Israel are also doing well in 3D modeling. Therefore, we will invite experts in 3D modeling from all over the world to concert their intelligence and wisdom.

Next I would like to talk about the International Workshop on Web Mapping, Geoprocessing and Services. This workshop aims to solve the problem that the online maps cannot make timely adjustments in accordance with the changes of the land surface. Above all, online maps must be able to update online to keep themselves fresh and reliable. On the other hand, online maps must be able to provide intelligent services and send spatial information to the users. Wuhan University is also cooperating with international experts in this area.

The third is the ISPRS Workshop on Laser Scanning 2017. Apart from the optical imaging, using laser to scan the land surface and the objects to get images is now become a new trend as well as a hotspot. Its advantages lie in that it can survey directly and swiftly. After scanning a object, its 3D data is obtained immediately. The technology is applied to aerial areas, satellite, ground, outdoor and indoor uses. As for the indoor uses, it can scan people. In addition, the 3D print after scanning can realize a precision of sub millimeters. Wuhan University is also researching in this technology. There is an international workshop on this area as well.

The forth workshop is on Indoor 3D and location-based Services. How much do you know about human’s outdoor activities? According to an expert from the UN, 17% percent of human activities are conducted outdoors while 83% indoors. The outdoor positioning relies on positioning systems, to be specific, China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, America’s GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and Europe’s Galileo.

However, the signal of satellite could not enter indoors. Thus the indoor 3D modeling and indoors positioning become a heated topic on which experts all over the world is researching. China plans to realize the navigation and positioning from outdoors to indoors with a precision higher than 1 meter on the mobile phone, which is called Xihe Plan. During this workshop, we will distribute Huawei mobile phones to demonstrate how it works to conduct indoor 3D positioning. If this problem is solve after 2020, the mobile phones can become intelligent instrument panels which can collect big data to analyze human behaviour, psychology, and health. The values of mobile phones and the service qualities will be greatly improved if this technology can be spread widely. This is also one the priorities we would discuss.

The fifth workshop is on Spatial Data Quality. We are getting more and more data and producing many big data. These data are of TB level and is expected to be of PB level in the future. The quality of the data thus becomes evidently important. So it is chosen as one subject of the GSW.

The sixth workshop is on Image and Data Fusion. As we all know, there are two forms of data. One is graphs, the GIS online maps. The other is satellite remote sensing images, aerial images, and video images. The integrated use of graphs and images is called Fusion. There are different types of images: optical images, radar images, high-orbit satellite images, and low-orbit satellite images. The fusion of data from multiple sources, multiple measurements, and multiple sensors is a global challenge. We will discuss the theories and applications in this area.

The seventh workshop is on Spatial Data Mining and Geographical Knowledge Services. The era of Big Data comes which has a higher requirement from data processing and information extraction to data mining. We should now try to explore and figure out the laws, patterns, rules, and knowledge inside the data.

For example, Wuhan University has successfully analyzed the situation and the changes of battle fields in Syria through five years’ nighttime light remote sensing data during its civil war, and submitted to the UN. Over 600 media had covered this news including CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. Wuhan University will launch a nighttime light satellite by 2018 to explore this topic specifically.

This topic is quite impressive, for it turns to analyze human activities rather than only does natural observations through satellite, and it can connect world-famous remote sensing experts, economists, and sociologists together.

The eighth workshop is on the frontier developments in Constellations, Signal processing, and Applications. Radar is different from optical sensors for it can reflect the signal sent by satellite. Its advantages lie in that it can work 24 hours regardless of the weather. It can be very useful to research the deformations of the earth surface, and the land sinking in big cities, landslides, and the deformations of high-floored architectures and the rails of high speed trains.

Radar can also be used to study the maritime, the changes of a moving object, and the carbon cycle. These are all heated topics worldwide. We have been cooperating with the European Space Agency for 12 years and harvested fruitful achievements in the area of radar satellite. We will invite prestigious experts in this area from all around the world to introduce the achievements in China, EU, America, and Canada.

The ninth workshop is on Cryosphere and Hydrosphere for Global Change Studies. The planet we are living on consist of four spheres, namely the Lithosphere, the Hydrosphere, the Atmosphere and the Biosphere. In view of the global climate changes and the rising of the sea level, we add an extra sphere-the Cryosphere. The sphere is among the Atmosphere, the Hydrosphere, and the Lithosphere, and connects with our Biosphere closely. The research on the process of melting and fluctuation of the Cryosphere can help us reveal whether the world is getting warmer or the sea level is rising or not, which is of great significance to the study on global climate change. Since1985, Wuhan University has been doing polar research for over 20 years. We would like to share and discuss our research results with the experts in relevant areas.

There is another major topic, the most important theme of the first day during the GSW. That is Smart City. We will invite prestigious experts to deliver keynote speeches. This is a great gathering for the top-notches and leading experts from the US, the UK, Switzerland, and China, to share ideas and insights. The theme covers many sub topics.

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Moreover, the activities include keynote speeches, speeches on the workshops, and exhibitions of the latest products, and the release of new products. Therefore, we all hope the GSW will be a great success. Two ISPRS GSWs have be held before and the GSW 2017 is the third one. We hope that the year’s GSW can display more oriental elements and better promotes the exchanges before the East and the West. China is now promoting high resolution observations and the application of Navigation Satellite System in pilot areas. We would like also to demonstrate the updates and exchange ideas about this. This is the overall arrangement for GSW 2017.

Wuhan University has also developed a intelligent robot which has a vision sensor and a hearing sensor, and can conduct facial recognition. This robot can walk freely and measure and recognize object on its own. Such robots will be popular in China in the future. In addition, Wuhan University will also demonstrate its VR technology. Wuhan University has realized the digital protection of many cultural heritages in China, including Mo Kao Grotto in Dunhuang, Yungang Grottoes in Shanxi Province, Chi Lin Nunnery in Hong Kong, and the Stone City in Xinjiang. Apart from VR, we will also demonstrate other achievements like UAV oblique images, automatic modeling.

In a word, we invite guests from all over the world to join us in China. This is an invaluable opportunity to know about China, and to know what China has achieved in remote sensing and earth observation and navigation. You must never miss it.

Visit the official website of GSW 2017 to get more details: http://gsw2017.3snews.net/ 

Workshops Professor Li

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