Monday 23 October: Findings from Universities and Experience Capitalization

Monday 23 October: Findings from Universities and Experience Capitalization


  • Review and discuss Exercise 1: Experience Capitalization
  • Findings from Universities

Review of Exercise 1: Experience Capitalization

Today we will start by reviewing the first exercise of the course. Have you been able to submit an experience on the use of drones in agriculture or rural development? Interested to find out what other participants have shared?

Let’s all have a look at the submission page : feel free to ask questions to your peers on their submissions. You will be able to comment each submitted experience. Do not forget to login before trying to comment or ask a question.

Findings from Universities

Recorded presentations from University of Twente (The Netherlands) on land tenure recording using drones

The University of Twente is leading a research project ITS4LAND on land tenure recording tools using ICTs and drones in East Africa. The ICT faculty of the Trente University is formally organized to support involvement and leadership of ICT capacity development activities in the developing context: its domain experience, expertise, networks and work processes make it the ideal host for its4Land. The University of Twente leads two work packages relating to its areas of expertise in remote sensing land tenure recording processes: UAV processing and automated feature extraction. It maintains the in-house skills, knowledge, diverse cultural understandings, to conduct project work simultaneously in the EU and East Africa.

Today, we have contributions from Claudia Stöcker and Sophie Crommelinck, both PhD students at ICT, University of Twente. They both will present their research in the framework of the its4land project.

Claudia Stöcker, PhD Student - UAV-based data acquisition workflows for land administration

claudia stocker - unmanned aerial vehicles for land administration from ITC E-Learning on Vimeo.

The realm of land administration is currently being challenged: conventional western-oriented land administration systems have mostly failed to supply their expected results in developing countries. Amongst others, UAVs are evolving as a tool for alternative land tenure data acquisition approaches. However, major bottlenecks such as regulatory frameworks and time-consuming ground truthing are issues currently hindering large-scale implementation. This research aims to design, test and verify UAV-based data acquisition workflows to support land administration activities in Rwanda and Kenya. A comprehensive analysis of stakeholder requirements and extensive test flights will provide profound prerequisites for the design of UAV workflows to assure the target focuses on the needs of the society rather than solely on the potentials of high-end technologies.

Since more than five years, Claudia Stöcker is working with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and UAV data. She received her B.Sc. from Dresden Technical University and her master’s degree from University of Innsbruck.  As a geographer by training, she first focused on high resolution surface reconstruction to study soil erosion in Spain. Fascinated by the almost unlimited capabilities of UAVs for data capture, she is pursuing a PhD at ITC, University of Twente in The Netherlands. Her research focuses on UAV-based land tenure data acquisition workflows in East Africa. This work is associated with the EU H2020 project its4land (www.its4land.com).

You can post the questions you have for Claudia at the bottom of this page, by sending a comment.

Sophie Crommelinck, Ph.D. Student - Towards automated cadastral boundary delineation form UAV data

This Ph.D. research aims to design and implement a tool to facilitate land rights mapping through indirect surveying techniques. The tool is focussed on improving current mapping procedures in terms of cost, time and accuracy. It is based on the assumption that a large portion of cadastral boundaries is physically manifested through objects such as hedges, fences, stone walls, tree lines, roads, walkways or waterways. Those visible boundaries bear the potential to be extracted with methods from photogrammetry, remote sensing, and computer vision. The automatically extracted outlines require further (legal) adjudication that allows incorporating local knowledge from a human operator. The tool designed and developed within this Ph.D. research aims to provide a delineation approach that includes this automated extraction combined with an interactive delineation. Further information on publications etc. can be found via Research Gate, Google Scholar, Ph.D. Research Description.

Sophie Crommelinck received her B.Sc. (Geography) and her M.Sc. (Geoinformatics) from Heidelberg University. During her master, she spent an Erasmus semester at the University Paul Valéry in Montpellier to study Geoinformatics. In her master thesis, she investigated low-cost laser scanning systems for precision agriculture. After this work on capturing and analyzing 3D point clouds, she now works on analyzing image and 3D data obtained through UAVs. This is done as part of her Ph.D. research, which started in February 2016 at the ITC, the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Her research focuses on designing and developing an automated UAV-based land tenure mapping tool. This work is associated with the EU H2020 project its4land (www.its4land.com).

For more information on related work from the University of Twente, check the following links.

Article by Catheline Pieters from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)  on her Doctoral Research on integrating drone, airplane and satellite observations for the monitoring of fruit orchards

In the following article Catheline Pieters and her colleagues describe the research on integrating drone, airplane and satellite observations for the monitoring of fruit orchards. Chlorophyll maps of the peer orchard were created using remotely sensed images at different moments of the growing season to delineate the optimal productivity zones of an orchard.

You can download the article here

Catheline Pieters, currently post-graduate student at the UGent, was born in Leuven and studied bio-science engineering at the KULeuven. After a bachelor in agriculture, she did a master in Agro-and Ecosystems Engineering, in which she focussed on several Remote Sensing classes. Her interest in Remote Sensing technology and in particular its application on agriculture, convinced her to do a master thesis in e-Agriculture. That year she gained a lot of knowledge, but also work experience at VITO (Flemish institute of Technological Research) and exchange with the University of Bonn. Now she just started with a post-graduate program ‘innovative entrepreneurship for Engineers’ at the UGent to gain management and entrepreneur skills. 

Questions for Catheline can be posted at the bottom of this page by commenting to this topic.

At the forefront of innovation - Wageningen University and Research (The Netherlands)

Wageningen University and Research is at the forefront of many innovations in agricultural and rural development. On the webpage of the Unmanned Aerial Remote Sensing Facility (UARSF) you will find all available resources on the work this group has been doing since 2012.

The objective of this facility is threefold:

  • To develop innovation  in the field of remote sensing science by providing a platform for dedicated and high-quality experiments;
  • To support high quality UAS services by providing calibration facilities and disseminating processing procedures to the UAS user community;
  • To promote and test the use of UAS in a broad range of application fields like habitat monitoring, precision agriculture and land degradation assessment.

The facility is hosted by the Laboratory of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing (GRS) and the Department of Soil Physics and Land Management (SLM) of Wageningen University & Research together with the team Earth Informatics of Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra).

To learn more about their work, read about the research and find papers and articles, click here

Training programmes on the use of drones at Michigan State University (USA)

The Michigan State University Extension department offers training programmes on the use of drones for agriculture and rural development. They are offering a drone-to-GIS workshop, making the essential link between how to fly drones, data collection and geographic data collection, while most courses only focus on how to fly drones and drone imagery by itself is not very useful.

Michigan State University’s Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System has teamed up with the Michigan State University Institute of Agricultural Technology and Northwestern Michigan College Aviation to educate professionals to the entire workflow. Participants will learn about:

  • Current Federal Aviation Administration regulations and requirements for obtaining an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate.
  • How to plan and execute autonomous drone missions.
  • Manual operation of multi-rotor drones.
  • Processing imagery into usable products.
  • Basics of visible and near-infrared (VNIR) remote sensing as it relates to vegetation and land use.
  • Display and analysis of drone data using commercial and free GIS software.

Several workshops are offered April through September 2017 at MSU or Northwest Michigan College. Visit the Hands-On Drone-to-GIS workshop registration page for dates, location or to register.

This is it for today!

We hope you enjoyed reading through the articles and watching the recordings. If you have any questions for the PhD Students presenting their work today - please post them below as a comment to this post. If you would like any research you have heard from or are involved in, please do so by posting a comment. 

Don’t forget to visit our Exercise 1: Experience Capitalization page and read about the experiences from other participants. You can discuss or post questions.


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