The First Earth Observation Applications Summer School in Turkey (UYGU 2014)


UYGU 2014 Group Picture

UYGU 2014 Group Picture


The first Summer School on Earth Observation Applications (UYGU 2014) was held at Gebze Campus of TÜBİTAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey), Kocaeli, Turkey from June 23 to 27, 2014. The school was chaired by Mehmet Kurum (Chairman) of TÜBİTAK BİLGEM Information Technologies Institute, Kadim Taşdemir (Cochair) of Antalya International University, Esra Erten (Cochair) and Güşen Taşkın (Cochair) of Istanbul Technical University.

The objective of UYGU 2014 was i) to explain remote sensing principles to promote the use of Earth observation data in various real world applications; ii) to provide information on current methods to address challenges in Earth observation data; and iii) to improve interdisciplinary collaborations in the field of geoscience and remote sensing.

The school received an exceptional attention, with more than 100 applicants (mainly MS/PhD students) representing nearly 30 cities across Turkey. As is evident from the list of applicants, their backgrounds span a broad range of geoscience and remote sensing topics, reflect the interest in UYGU, and clearly indicates the vitality of this new initiative in Turkey. Total of 40 attendees from universities, public and private sectors were admitted after diligent review of all applications by the organizing committee.

UYGU aims to become a venue for young researchers of the geoscience and remote sensing community in Turkey to exchange new ideas and concepts in remote sensing, and to gain introductory and advance knowledge on various topics of remote sensing. This was particularly evident at UYGU 2014, which brought well known international/national scholars and young Turkish researchers together in environment that was highly conductive to learning. The students had the opportunity to meet 16 renowned experts in the field, get feedback and suggestions about their research studies. The UYGU 2014 lecturers were:

  • Prof. Dr. Arif Ergin, TÜBİTAK BİLGEM
  • Prof. Dr. Eric Pottier, Université de Rennes 1 (through GRSS Distinguished Lecturer Program)
  • Dr. Batuhan Osmanoğlu, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Christopher Stewart, European Space Agency ESRIN / RSAC
  • Dr. Ufuk Sakarya, TÜBİTAK Space Technologies Research Institute
  • Assoc. Dr. Erhan Alparslan, TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center
  • Prof. Dr. Sarp Ertürk, Kocaeli University
  • Assoc. Prof. Selim Aksoy, Bilkent University
  • Assoc. Prof. Arif Çağdaş Aydınoğlu, Gebze Technical University
  • Assoc. Prof. Kadim Taşdemir, Antalya International University
  • Assoc. Prof. Esra Erten, Istanbul Technical University
  • Assist. Prof. Gülşen Taşkın, Istanbul Technical University
  • Dr. Mehmet Kurum, TÜBİTAK BİLGEM Information Technologies Institute
  • Hasan İbaçoğlu, AES-Aero Engineering
  • Abdulkadir Şan, TÜBİTAK BİLGEM Information Technologies Institute
  • Ayşe Tuğça Mina Yeşilyurt, TÜBİTAK EU Framework Programs Office

The school consisted of a serial sequence of lectures (i.e., no parallel sessions) covered broad spectrum of remote sensing topics. Sessions were separated by coffee breaks in the morning and in the afternoon, which provided an opportunity for participants to both socialize and develop professional connections. A unique feature of this school was the coverage of various remote sensing topics in short period of time (five days) for the students with various backgrounds. Students particularly benefited from lectures that cover topics outside of their background.

Topics covered in the school include: Introduction to Optical and Thermal Remote Sensing, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, Introduction to SAR Remote Sensing, SAR Interferometry, SAR Polarimetry, Introduction to Microwave Remote Sensing, Advance Optical Concepts, Classification Techniques, Land Cover Land Use, Hyperspecral Image and Signal Processing, UAV Technologies and Applications, Natural Hazards, Disaster Management, Forest and Agriculture, Satellite Roadmap of Turkey, ESA EO Fleet, and European Copernicus, Big Data from Space, Introduction to Remote Sensing Software and Access to EO Data.

The school concluded with a special session to evaluate the intense five days. The participants’ comments were very positive and encouraging. The usefulness of the event and an overall positive impression about the enthusiasm of the lecturers and excellent local arrangements (accommodation, transportation, meals, and refreshments) were strongly acknowledged. The complexity and details of the presented material was considered at the sufficient level for this event, but more specialized and longer schools were also requested for. The students’ feedbacks were also gathered by a survey that helps to improve the content of this event in future venues. The overall rating of the school by the attendees was 4.7 out of 5. The excellent quality of the organization and the opportunity to meet experts from various backgrounds are clearly emphasized in the survey.

The instructors deserve special thanks for their outstanding lectures and invaluable contributions on a voluntary basis to promote the remote sensing among young researchers in Turkey. Many thanks also go to the students, for the fact that they demonstrated high interest and active participations during the lectures. The school would not have been possible without the sponsorship of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Society and TÜBİTAK BİLGEM. UYGU will, without any doubt, serve in future venues as a highly successful platform for training young Turkish researchers in the field of geoscience and remote sensing.

More information about the school, including presentations and pictures, is available at the following website:

Information Technologies Institute
Gebze, Kocaeli 41470 Turkey

Assoc. Prof. KADİM TAŞDEMIR, Cochair
Antalya International University
Department of Computer Engineering
Döşemealtı /Antalya Turkey

Assoc. Prof. ESRA ERTEN, Cochair
Istanbul Technical University
Department of Geomatics Engineering
Maslak, Istanbul 34469 Turkey

Assist. Prof. GÜLŞEN TAŞKIN KAYA, Cochair
Istanbul Technical University
Institute of Earthquake Engineering & Disaster Management
Maslak, Istanbul 34469 Turkey