ISPRS Geospatial Week 2015: 11 Events under One Umbrella

ISPRS Geospatial Week 2015: 11 Events under One Umbrella

France hosted the ISPRS Geospatial Week 2015 which was held in La Grande Motte near Montpellier from 28 September to 2 October. The event attracted more than 500 participants from 52 countries. Conference director Nicolas Paparoditis together with programme chair Clément Mallet and the rest of the team designed a rich programme and organised in a total of 11 independent events running in parallel during the week: Laserscanning, Silvilaser, CMRT, ISSDQ, ISA, Gi4DM, GeoBigData, GeoVis, GeoUAV, GeoHyper and RSDI.

After Nicolas Paparoditis had kicked-off the ISPRS Geospatial Week, Christian Heipke, secretary-general of ISRPS, addressed the audience. He anticipated that so many fields from within the photogrammetry, remote sensing and spatial sciences family mingling together in one place would produce very interesting results. Heipke emphasised the importance of education as one of the three pillars of the ISPRS and also took the occasion to look forward to the ISPRS Congress in Prague, which will be held from 12-19 July 2016 in the Czech capital.


A total of 19 plenary and keynote speakers gave a very interesting overview of the state of the art and trends within a wide range of areas, including 3D city modelling, Lidar forestry applications, UAV photogrammetry, data quality, emergency mapping, big data processing, computer graphics and spatial data infrastructures. These presentations were followed by in-depth discussions in smaller groups within oral technical or poster sessions. The poster sessions took place in the exhibition area.

Among the highlights were plenary speaker Mike Wulder of the Canadian Forest Service, who talked on the perspectives of Lidar for forest management applications. The integration of Lidar with Landsat data offers many opportunities, such as the estimation of forest canopy cover. Benoît St-Onge of the University of Québec, Montreal, animated the audience with an excellent keynote on Lidar and photogrammetric point clouds for describing forest canopies, and he raised the question of whether these are competing or synergistic technologies. Bruce Cook, who gave a presentation on behalf of David Harding, received loud applause for his keynote on the evolution of NASA airborne and spaceflight Lidar.

Ed Parsons, geospatial technologist at Google, took to the floor to give a presentation themed ‘Change of Focus: the Requirements from Beyond Using a Picture’. Parsons’ entertaining contribution touched on Google’s acquisition of Skybox, within which the prime driver is to develop satellites that visit places much more frequently than they do nowadays. What can we expect from Google? A much more down-to-earth approach when it comes to building satellites, Parsons promised the audience.


350 papers were submitted to the different events and most of them went through a double-blind review process. The papers are published in the ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences (Vol. II-3/W5) and Archives (Vol. XL-3/W3) of Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Geospatial Sciences and are accessible online on the ISPRS website (


The ISPRS Geospatial Week 2015 was organised by the French Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (SFPT) together with the French National Mapping Agency (IGN), the French National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA) and the French National Forests Office (ONF).

During the Geospatial Week 2015 the decision was taken to hold the next edition of the ISPRS Geospatial Week in China, organised by Wuhan University. A strong Chinese delegation had submitted a winning application to the panel and was successful with their bid. The ISPRS Geospatial Week 2017 will take place from 18 to 22 September.

Clément Mallet, IGN, and Wim van Wegen, GIM International

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