January 10, the 1st issue of the South-Eastern European Journal of Earth Observation and Geomatics [SEEJoEOG] is officially coming out.
The nine societal benefit areas (Agriculture, Biodiversity, Climate, Disasters, Ecosystems, Energy, Health, Water, Weather), identified by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) member states, clearly shows that Earth Observation is here only to benefit the citizens. This global effort can be traced in International Organizations and Initiatives like GEO (Group on Earth Observations), GEOSS Global Earth Observation System of Systems), CEOS (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites), and so on.
European Union lists its EO priority actions: satellite navigation, space for the benefit of the environment and the fight against climate change, secure space, and space exploration. Therefore a global picture of EO industry is progressing with actors, such as: (a) Providers of EO data, who are either public institutions or commercial enterprises; (b) Users of EO data, who are either institutions, companies, or the general public; and (c) Sources of EO data, which are either sensors/instruments, models/simulators, or databases.
The major effort is to provide timely, accurate and costly data for Land monitoring, Marine environment monitoring, Atmosphere monitoring, Emergency management, Security, and Climate change with the use of aerial-and satellite-based EO. And this requires, on one hand, user consultation, followed by algorithmic studies, processing activities, and validation efforts to convert satellite data and calibration constants into physically realistic information; on the other hand, a common processing approach guarantees the long term generation of consistent and traceable results.
Finally, ICT technologies emerged and provided the infrastructure for Open Geodata Standardization, uniformity in data (e.g. EU INSPIRE Directive) and wide availability of data sources through Geo portals (e.g. UNEP Geodata, FAO Geo-network, ICSU World Data System, EU INSPIRE Geoportal, EEA Urban Atlas, etc.)
Balkan countries, on the other hand, do not have a coherent and continuous approach towards the challenge of implementing integrated EO applications in environmental monitoring and management. The defect in the implementation of EO applications and their use in the environmental decision making are manifested through the limited synergies among national and regional institutions, the lack of substantial infrastructure, ineffective technological means and discontinuous record of participation to international organizations and committees.
The South-Eastern European Journal of Earth Observation and Geomatics (SEEJoEOG) aims at offering a scientific forum to experts from South-Eastern Europe, in order to enhance the scientific dialogue, fill the existing gap in policies and applications, build-up acquaintances, establish networks and co-operations and contribute to regional capacity building. For this reason it is free, open-access, e-journal to all; both authors and readers. Our major concern is not to exclude anybody from this effort.
All stakeholders of EO research, industry, academia and policy making, either situated or having interest in the region of SEE, are welcome to contribute and cordially invited to support our effort.
The Aristotle University is gratefully acknowledged for offering this free service to our scientific society.