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Special UNISPACE III volume
Marsteller, Deborah

International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. Vol. XXXII Part 7C2, UMSPACE III, Vienna, 1999
The United Nations General Assembly decided to convene the Third United Nations Conference on
the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III) in its resolution 52/56 which was
adopted on 10 December 1997. In this resolution the General Assembly endorsed the recommendations for
the theme of the UNISPACE III Conference to be “Space Benefits for Humanity in the Twenty-first
Century” and for the primary objectives to be:
to promote effective means of using space technology to assist in the solution of problems of regional
and global significance
and to strengthen the capabilities of Member States, in particular developing countries, to use the
applications of space research for economic, social and cultural development.
One of the earliest uses of space technology has been Remote Sensing. The first space photograph
of Earth was transmitted by Explorer-6 in August of 1959 and remote sensing from space began in April
1960 with the launch of the Television and Infrared Observational Satellite (TIROS-1) as an experimental
weather satellite. Many significant technologic advancements and applications of remote sensing from space
have evolved for the benefit of humanity in the forty years since these early launches. Thus remote sensing
was provided a very prominent role in the deliberations and technical forum of the UNISPACE III
In the Technical Forum the ISPRS was pleased to partner with the National Aeronautical and Space
Administration (NASA) of the USA and with the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories
(EARSeL) to convene a Seminar and Workshop on topics relevant to the objectives of UNISPACE III,
namely ‘Sustainable Development’ and ‘Disaster Mitigation’ respectively. The ISPRS complemented these
two activities with a Workshop on ‘Resource Mapping.’ The content, with conclusions and
recommendations to the UN, from these activities is summarized here. Also included are some relevant
papers for which the available program time precluded their presentation during the Conference.
It was my pleasure to coordinate and present the ISPRS contributions to UNISPACE III. However, I
wish to recognize the efforts of the specialists who contributed paper presentations and to all those who were
responsible for the successful staging of the program for these three events; for the preparation of this special
Volume of The International Archives of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing; and for preparation of
remote sensing recommendations for inclusion in the final report of the Conference “The Space Millenium:
Vienna Declaration on Space and Human Development. ” I express our appreciation and thanks to them for
their support, specifically:
Coordination Support: NASA - Lynn Cline and Elizabeth Williams
EARSeL - Dr. Robin Vaughn and Mrs. Madeleine Godfroy
Event Chairs: ISPRS/NASA Seminar - Dr. Alex Tuyahov, Prof. Ray Harris, and
Prof. Charles Hutchison
ISPRS/EARSeL Workshop - Prof. Ian Dowman and Dr. Lucien Wald
ISPRS Workshop - Prof. John Trinder and Prof. Klaas Jan Beek
Reports: Prof. Ian Dowman, Prof. Ray Harris and the ISPRS International
Policy Advisory Committee (IPAC)
Publication and Distribution: NASA sponsorship by efforts of Dr. Alex Tuyahov
Preparation and Printing - Dr. Jim Weber, President ICRSE and staff
members Kim Treadway and Debby Marsteller
We trust this volume will be helpful to you in preserving some of the benefits of remote sensing
presented to the July 1999 UNISPACE III Conference.
Lawrence W. Fritz
ISPRS President