Asian Surveying & Mapping
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September 9th, 2010
Earth Observation – The Mountain Advantage

In Kathmandu the International Symposium ‘Benefiting from Earth Observation‘ will take place. Promoted as – Benefiting from Earth Observation: Bridging the Data Gap for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan Region – the event will include a wide range of topics.

Remote sensing of the cryosphere, ecosystem management, disaster management, carbon and air pollution monitoring are all on
the agenda.

There is no denying that satellite based imagery plays a major role in meeting challenges in these areas. But airborne imagery also forms part of the earth observation equation, and as such, it too can be implemented to meet mountain related needs not only in Nepal, but in many mountain regions throughout Asia.

The keyword in the title of this event is ‘Benefiting’ – and all too often we do not realise the potential benefits that imagery can bring beyond immediate pictures that show simple locations. At the present time earth observation is being used in Pakistan, for example, to monitor ongoing changes in that region. Yet, in other places, we find rapidly updated earth observation is pushing agriculture and forest related activities to meet new challenges as well. Meanwhile, infrastructure and mining are other areas where earth observation plays a unique role.