Remote sensing at the European Grassland Conference in Cork.

Attending the European Grassland Federation conference in cork this week- big 5 day event with 100’s of grassland scientists from across Europe. Big focus on technology and sensing for grassland management and research with a lout of papers and posters on EO and drones.

At the workshop on day one, delighted to see a paper written by one of my old students, Iftikhar Ali, widely used. He’s doing  a post doc in Canada now, but i’m sure he’d be delighted to see his phd still having impact in Ireland.IA_EGF


Open Source EO – Seminar in UL

Daniel McInerney alerted us to to *A BDARG seminar in association with Coillte / OSGeo-Ireland.” Open Source Processing of Remote Sensing Images with the ORFEO ToolBox: (very) Big Data Science At Scale” by Manuel Grizonnet Thursday 14th June 2018 at 15h00.

In the University of Limerick, Computer Science Building – Room- CSG-027.

All Welcome

From weather forecasting to military intelligence, satellite images help solve some of our most challenging problems on Earth. Since 2006, the French Space Agency have been actively developing an open source remote sensing image processing toolbox called the Orfeo ToolBox (OTB), which provides a large set of ready-to-use tools and a high performance satellite image viewer. It offers a wide range of processing algorithms, which permit the creation of high level processing chains that will run on a desktop computer or clusters alike. The processing capabilities cover pre-processing for several sensors, feature extraction, image segmentation, classification, as well as algorithms for hyperspectral and radar data. OTB is now used to design processing chains that can efficiently process thousands of remote sensing images (Sentinels, SPOT, Pléiades) to derive country-scale value added products.  The presentation will present the challenge of extracting valuable information from Earth Observation data and how open source software like OTB can help in this context.

Fragmented Farmscapes

The latest Teagasc Map of the Month looks at fragmented farms. We’ve done it a little differently as fragmentation is often measured using distance between parcels. We’ve tried to capture a little more of the landscape complexity by looking at the total length of shared boundaries between farms.

Shared boundaries a quit permanent fixtures in the landscape; internal field hedgerows are much more likely to be altered than property boundaries (indeed shared hedgerows are excluded form some of the GLAS actions).

In the map the more fragmented townlands are red – the Aran Islands is the most fragmented.


Hi-res version here


April Map of the Month

April’s map of the month illustrates how we move from pixels in a satellite image to automatically clustering pixels into discrete “objects” and being able to label those objects, its the difference between labeling a pixel “grass” and identifying a “Improved grassland paddock” and do this routinely and automatically.


Full Res

Putting the P in RPAS

A great new study from Teagasc using Drones to map urine patches from grazing animals in fields.

It might seem an odd target but urine patches are intense sources of nutrients in the form of nitrates but also pollution in the form of run off and emissions of greenhouse gas Nitrous Oxide and pollutant Ammonia. The modeling of deposition rates and densities associated with different stocking rates and management systems will help improve our understanding of the nitrogen pollution pathways at  farm and national scales.

Brexit, Trump and Earth Observation

Even this blog can’t escape the political environment at the moment. Two recent articles show how politics will affect the use of EO data in the future.

The first details how the Trump administration is planning to re-introduce fees for accessing US satellite data. This data has been free for a decade and has revolutionized the geospatial industry, especially in the US, helping to create a multi-billion dollar enterprise. However the decision is in keeping with the Trump administrations general hostility toward NASA’s EO program.

The second shows how Brexit is posing a significant threat to the UK’s space industry generally but specifically the UKs access to the non-public (i.e.e defence) services from the EUs Galileo program.

I suppose both are good news stories for ESA and Copernicus and perhaps they point to future opportunities in the space sector for Ireland?