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July 2014 | 3D visualization of Hawai'i
RSS GmbH visualized the Hawaiian Islands in 3D in cooperation with BlackBridge. The interactive 3D visualization bases on high-resolution RapidEye Mosaics™ with 5m spatial resolution and a digital elevation model from NOAA with 10m spatial grid.
Enjoy the video of the beautiful Hawaiian Islands in 3D.
February 2014 | REDD+ MRV Ethiopia
RSS and BlackBridge collaborate with GIZ to strengthen REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) capabilities in Ethiopia.

See the official press release for more information.
November 2013 | Copernicus Masters 2013
Eye On Malaria - Africa-wide Monitoring of Environmental Suitability for Malaria Transmission
Environmental factors are key in affecting the transmission of malaria, which can be monitored by Earth observation. EyeOnMalaria aims to develop an operational monitoring system to continuously assess the environmental suitability for malaria transmission throughout the African continent based on new European EO capacities and expert epidemiology models. The service will directly support targeted malaria control at the necessary times and locations in Africa.
  • Continuously assesses environmental factors that affect the transmission of malaria
  • Leverages new European EO capacities and expert epidemiology models
  • Directly supports targeted malaria control (times, locations)

Customer Benefit
A huge amount of international funding is allocated for malaria control (US$1.6 billion per year). Using this EO service, national malaria-control programmes will be able to apply their malaria control activities to the necessary times and locations, thus improving the cost-effectiveness of interventions.

Copernicus Masters - Winner 2013
August 2013 | Iceland 3D
In the framework of the IsViews project (Application of innovative methods using high-resolution remote sensing data for an early detection of subglacial volcanic eruptions in Iceland), RSS GmbH visualized Iceland in 3D using high-resolution data. The interactive 3D visualization was created based on RapidEye satellite imagery with 5 meters ground resolution and a Digital Elevation Model with 10 meters resolution. A multitemporal set of about 270 RapidEye image tiles were used to create an almost cloud-free and seamless image mosaic of Iceland. Part of the Vatnajökull glacier is shown in a higher resolution of 0.3 meters and was created from HRSC aerial imagery.
Watch the video to see some highlights of Iceland 3D.
IsViews is partly funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Transportation and Technology.
August 2013 | Recent fires in Sumatra
RSS maps affected areas of recent fires in Sumatra with high-spatial resolution data
Once the main smoke of the recent forest fires in Sumatra disappeared, which caused massive air pollution in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia, the actual extent of the damage becomes apparent using high-resolution satellite imagery. While low resolution satellite data (such as MODIS hotspots) are valuable to identify hotspots and clusters of fires over large areas, these lack the spatial detail to precisely map the extent of the burned areas. Reliable quantifications of fire affected areas, assessments of the burned land cover and estimations of carbon emissions caused by these fires require spatially detailed and up-to-date geo-information.
RSS is therefore currently mapping the burned area in the Riau province with RapidEye data with 5m spatial resolution. RapidEye data was acquired during and after the fires in June and July 2013. The high spatial resolution makes a very precise assessment of the burned area possible and even small remaining forest patches within the burned area are visible. By the use of additional pre-fire land cover information, also retrieved from satellite imagery, accurate estimates of the fire-related carbon emissions will be established by RSS. The final geo-information can also help to better understand the very complex causes of the fires through supporting local authorities and experts.

May 2013 | Capacity building workshop in Kalimantan, Indonesia
RSS and WWF Indonesia conducted a capacity building workshop for the planning of hydrological restoration measures for the rewetting of drained peatlands in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia from April 18 – April 19 2013.
Participants of the training were staff of the Sebangau National Park and the WWF Field office in Palangkaraya, as well as the Forest Administration of the Province of Central Kalimantan.
RSS provided technical training for the 25 participants, who are all employed in GIS positions in their institutions. The training agenda included topographic analysis of digital terrain models (DTM), analysis of the drainage infrastructure of the study area in Sebangau National Park and the planning of dam locations along drainage canals which are to be built in order to efficiently reduce drainage of the peat swamp.
The lowering of water tables by drainage canals causes significant Greenhouse Gas emissions from peatlands. These effects can be considerably reduced by the blocking of the canals with dams and the resulting rise in water levels in the swamps.
The training workshop was very well received by the participants and RSS was able to contribute significantly to the improvement of the local GIS capacity.
March 2013 | MALAREO MapAtlas published
RSS – Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH just successfully completed the FP7 MALAREO project by publishing the MALAREO MapAtlas. The Atlas summarizes the Earth Observation (EO) products generated for supporting the National Malaria Control Programmes in Southern Africa and contains high-resolution thematic maps such as land cover/use map, water bodies and wetlands maps, habitat foci and potential vector breeding site maps, malaria incidence predictions as well as population density maps for the project area in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. The Map Atlas and all geo-data as well as training material can be downloaded via the MALAREO project website.
In January, a final meeting with end-users from the Southern African National Malaria Control Programmes and the MALAREO project team took place in Durban, South Africa, where all EO products were presented. The end-users emphasized the benefit of these EO products and the Map Atlas for malaria control, since it greatly improves planning of malaria control measures and will complement the approach of linking environmental and epidemiological data, which is a first step towards an early warning system for malaria.
March 2013 | Final REDD-FLAME workshop in Bogor, Indonesia
Dr. Jonas Franke of RSS GmbH is one of the key speakers in the international workshop, the first leg of a series of international workshops on the environment. Eric van Valkengoed, the chief executive of the workshop in Indonesia, said that the workshop on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation — Fast Logging Assessment and Monitoring Environment (REDD-FLAME) would be taking place at the International Convention Center of the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB-ICC), on Jan. 31.The project, he said, was part of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development for collaborative research on space science (FP7-SPACE) funded by the European Commission. The workshops would also be held in Mozambique in February and then in Brazil in March.“The REDD-FLAME project has designed and demonstrated a system capable of monitoring tropical and subtropical forests using high-resolution, cloud-penetrating radar data and optical imagery acquired by satellites. By focusing on the early detection of logging activities, the system provides the means to quickly identify the first signs of deforestation,” said van Valkengoed of the Netherlands-based TerraSphere Imaging & GIS B.V. According to him, the system has been developed in collaboration with authorities in countries on three continents in an effort to build lasting partnerships and share expertise.Test sites, including the one in Mawas, Central Kalimantan, have been chosen to represent a variety of forest types and deforestation issues, and thus prove the system’s versatility.“As the two-year project draws to a close, this one-day workshop will serve to showcase the main results of the EC-funded FP7-SPACE project, REDD-FLAME, and make recommendations for its operational implementation,” van Valkengoed said, adding that the presentation would demonstrate how the system could be integrated into a national forest monitoring system as well as into future REDD projects in Indonesia.The key speakers in the workshop will include forest inventory expert Dirk H. Hoekman of Wageningen University, BS Barkah from Balikpapan Orangutan Survival Foundation, R. Verhoeven of software developer Savision BV and J. Franke of environmental monitoring provider RSS GmbH.

You will find this article here: Nurni Sulaiman, The Jakarta Post, Balikpapan | January 29 2013 | Page: 9 or online
July 2012| Monitoring Fire and Selective Logging Activities in Tropical Peat Swamp Forests
Climate change mitigation schemes, such as REDD and biodiversity conservation in tropical rainforests, necessitate remote sensing based forest monitoring capabilities with high spatial resolution and temporal coverage. Regular monitoring has to be capable of detecting rapid changes in forest extent, i.e. deforestation, and subtle changes to the forest cover caused by logging and/or fire, described as forest degradation. Particularly the early detection of illegal logging activities is important for the conservation of tropical forests. In the present study, a forest disturbance monitoring approach was developed and tested, which makes use of high resolution satellite imagery.Atime series consisting of three images, acquired between May 2009 and June 2010, was analyzed covering a remote area of tropical peat swamp forest in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The forest area was assessed by an object-oriented classification. Logging activities and the impact of fire were detected by a pixel-based spectral mixture analysis. Forest, non-forest and logging trails could be differentiated with an overall classification accuracy of 91.5% (Kappa of 0.87). A high forest disturbance rate of 8.7% was found in the study area. Low impact logging could be detected reliably and the progress was tracked over time. The results show that the timely detection of forest disturbances is necessary because of the fast regrowth of vegetation. The study emphasises the importance of high resolution satellite imagery for tropical forest monitoring and for timely updating forest status assessments, which is important for the implementation of REDD.
Get access to complete paper as pdf.
March 2012 | Assessment of grassland use intensity by remote sensing to support conservation schemes
Grassland is a land cover in the area of conflict between agriculture and conservation, where intensification of land use is a major threat to grassland biodiversity. Grassland use intensity is a key factor for the conservation value of grassland, and detailed spatial data on grassland use intensity is needed to improve strategies for biodiversity conservation. A new remote sensing-based approach using multi-temporal high resolution RapidEye satellite data was developed in the present study that makes a large-scale assessment of grassland use intensity possible. RapidEye is a constellation of five satellites with 6.5 m spatial resolution, which allows frequent and timely image acquisition targeted at specific growing seasons. Semi-natural grassland, extensively used grassland, intensively used grassland and tilled grassland could be reliably differentiated at the management plot level in a study area in southern Germany. Various combinations of images from different observation dates have been tested as classification input and their overall classification accuracies were validated by field data. Best results were achieved using a combination of five multi-temporal scenes with an overall accuracy of 85.7%. A three-scene combination resulted in an overall accuracy of 82.2%. The analysis showed that seasonal aspects are very important when selecting adequate observation dates. Grassland use intensity was also assessed on peatlands using a peat soil map, since land use intensity significantly affects greenhouse gas emissions from peatlands. The results demonstrate the potential of targeted multi-spectral, high spatial resolution remote sensing for the large-scale monitoring of dynamic habitats, which is of vital importance to support various environmental conservation schemes through improved monitoring and reporting capabilities.
Get access to complete paper as pdf here