About Us > What's EARSeL

What is EARSeL?

EARSeL is a scientific network of European remote sensing institutes, coming from both academia and the commercial/industrial sector. EARSeL is unique in that it represents the interests of these institutes rather than individuals, although individual membership is possible (see membership fees). Currently, there are about 250 member laboratories (see EARSeL Directory of Members).

EARSeL was founded in 1977 under the auspices of the European Space Agency, the Council of Europe and the European Commission. These agencies as well as others, are supporting its activities (supporting agencies). EARSeL is run by a Council of elected national representatives from each country where there are member laboratories and an executive Bureau, elected by the Council.

The statutes of the Association, ratified at General Assembly on 1 June 2011, can be found here in English and in French.


  • At these days, Springer published a new EARSeL book Multitemporal Remote Sensing: Methods and Applications.

  • With deepest regrets we publish an obituary of for Prof. Gunter Menz.
    Honor to his memory and legacy!

  • Congratulations to new Bureau:

    1. Chairperson: Klaus Komp
    2. Vice Chairperson: Lena Halounova
    3. Treasurer: Mattia Crespi
    4. Secretary General: Jean-Christophe Schyns

  • During the Stockholm Symposium, EARSeL Council members have agreed to establish the EuJRS EuJoRS (European Journal of Remote Sensing) as an official co-journal of EARSeL. The agreement was signed during the Council meeting.

  • Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is expected to be adopted by the Heads of State of the UN Member States at the Sustainable Development Summit to be held in New York in September! For more information please see attached letter here!

  • Next Generation Copernicus Space Component: call for interest
    • The European Commission is responsible for establishing the future evolution for the Copernicus Space Component which is providing the Sentinel series of satellites. To support and feed into this process the Commission is currently gathering user requirements for the next-generation Copernicus Space Component via an online survey, run by the NEXTSPACE Consortium appointed by EC to handle this process.
    • This survey provides you a unique opportunity to voice your opinion with respect to the future requirements and evolution of the Copernicus Services and satellite fleet

  • Launch of the first MIGRATE challenge, that will remain open until January 5, 2017. For more information please see the project page!

    MIGRATE MIGRation pATterns in Europe is a Web mapping gaming application aimed at educating and raising awareness about the phenomenon of migration in Europe. MIGRATE has been developed by a team of researchers from Politecnico di Milano (Martina Aiello, Maria Brovelli, Candan Eylul Kilsedar, Marco Gianinetto, Marco Minghini e Mayra Zurbaran Nucci) within the third call of MYGEOSS project [3], which has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. This challenge will allow you to get prizes while becoming informed about the hot topic of migration in Europe. Joining the challenge is very easy: you will need just to create an account and play the game as much and as best as you can!

    At the end of the challenge, the top 10 players in the user ranking will be awarded with Amazon vouchers. See for the details about the prizes and the rules used to compute users' scores. The application makes full use of open data, is fully developed using open source software and is released as open source (code available at) under the EU Public License (EUPL). We ask you to forward this invitation to your friends and network.

The principal activities are:

  • stimulating and promoting education and training related to remote sensing and Earth observation,
  • initiating and co-ordinating application-oriented research,
  • forming a bridge between technology and applications of interest to the wide user community,
  • assisting the sponsoring agencies in the development of new sensors and systems and in any technical matters of relevance,
  • providing a network of experts for the agencies in Europe,
  • carrying out joint research projects on the use of remote sensing for research, monitoring and education,
  • promoting co-operation between remote sensing experts and the environmental managers and decision-makers.

The main scientific efforts of EARSeL are concentrated in Special Interest Groups (SIGs). These SIGs form the foundation of the activities of EARSeL and its 'raison d'être'. They encourage co-operation and foster innovative applications of remote sensing. The science is at its highest level, the state-of-the-art is well established and advances are being made and are foreseen.

The SIGs organise workshops and specialist meetings. Papers presented at these meetings are published as proceedings on CD-Rom. Conclusions and specific recommendations are presented to the sponsoring agencies and other relevant institutions.


EARSeL cooperates and organises joint meetings whenever possible with other societies, including

  • International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS)
  • European Umbrella Organisation for Geographic Information (EUROGI)
  • Eurogeographics
  • European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC)
  • GEO
    In April 2016, the Geo organized the 1st AfriGEOSS Symposium. The summary from this event find here.
    Draft Report of GEO-XII,11-12 November 2015, Mexico City, Mexico, is now available here.
    Request for Contributions to the GEO Trust Fund and Call for Secondments is available here.
    Terms of Reference - Seconded Experts to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat is available here.
    Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat - Call for GEO Member and/or Participating Organization Secondments is available here.

In June 2010 a Cooperation Agreement was signed with regional remote sensing associations in Africa, Asia, and South and Central America:

  • Sociedad de Especialistas Latinoamericanos en Percepcion Remota (SELPER)
  • Asian Association on Remote Sensing (AARS)
  • African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE)

All enquiries should be addressed to:

EARSeL Secretariat
Mrs. Heide Bierbrauer
Wasserweg 147
48149 Münster (Westf.)
Fax: +49 251 13307 33
E-mail: secretariat@earsel.org    URL: www.earsel.org

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Last update 06-12-2014