Full text: Sharing and cooperation in geo-information technology

in the future at specific term. Along with that, he should be 
aware of the kind and quantity of information to be acquired 
from that data, and how that will be applicable to his own 
present and future questions. 
In other words: they must acquire a capability of specifying 
their own information requirements in view of a technological 
capability that grows at a tremendous rate. 
Often, the users have no idea what they may ask for, and then, 
by consequence, under-utilize the available potential. 
Needless to say, that an awareness of the investments required 
for this objective should also be created. Apart from investment 
in hard-and software, maintainance and follow-up, the real 
investment lies in human resources. The creation of a reservoir 
of qualified manpower for the extraction and proper application 
of information from remote sensing data will be the ultimate 
aim of education for remote sensing users. 
The remotely sensed data comes in a digital raster format. 
Recent developments in Geo-information Systems include the 
easy conversion from vector to raster format and vice-versa. 
In this context it may be noted that the possibility of digital 
overlaying of scanned air photos, georeferenced to, e.g. 
SPOT panchromatic imagery, or a topographic map, now 
exists and opens a further horizon of monitoring changes at the 
earth's surface. This spectre is further widened by the increasing 
availability of satellite radar data. 
We are at this time entering the phase where air photos are 
easily scanned and handled by computer, while stereo-viewed 
on screen. The aerial camera may now be fitted with a CCD 
array in the focal plane in the back, instead of film, thus 
producing digital data directly. 
This enables now the combination and simultaneous treatment 
of remotely sensed data and information, with information from 
other sources: digitized map data, digitized air photos and/or 
their interpretations, and radar. In a GIS, also non-spatial data 
can be attributed to mapping units and combined in the 
information management. 
This includes the treatment of three-dimensional models, digital 
terrain and elevation models, and also the combination of 
geophysical data with remotely sensed data. 
Technology rapidly progresses and, both in R.S and in GIS, 
tends to drive the system. The status at present may be assessed 
as follows: the technique is operational, but operational users in 
most developing countries still have no clear idea what to do 
with it. 
In the context of data and information magagement, we propose 
to distinguish: 
DATA: raw facts and figures. 
INFORMATION: ordered, analyzed and interpreted data with 
values added, based in "knowledge". 
KNOWLEDGE: the reservoir of intellectual capability 
accumulated over time, in individuals, groups, regions. 
WISDOM: evaluating knowledge. 
INTELLIGENCE: the capacity of getting required 
information advantageously and on time. 
Essentially, in the extraction of information from earth 
observation data, the step from one phase to the next is one 
KNOWLEDGE is accumulated over generations. 
education: knowledge is for sale. 
INTELLIGENCE is not transferable; it is guarded, kept as a 
treasured possession, is at times spied upon. 
If presentation is a way of visualizing and making the 
information available for (other) users, the management of 
such information has to do with the question 
*whether the information shall be made available and 
accessible, to whom, and when. * 
In the general development context, it seems logical that all 
required information is made available to the planner, if and 
when he wants it. But even here, political motivation and 
decisionmaking may influence the questions of information 
It may be noted here, that there is also information that is not as 
a matter of course made available to whoever wants it. That 
information, which may acquire high commercial value (e.g. in 
the context of mineral prospection, crop forecast, or real estate 
values) then comes to be well guarded, is not communicated, is 
even spied upon. That may be considered intelligence. 
Intelligence thus is not transferable through education 
If the extraction of information from raw data is based in a 
reference level of knowledge, the process also contributes to 
the growth of knowledge This knowledge is in general 
transferable through education. That need not mean that it is 
free of charge. Education also may have its price: knowledge 
may be for sale. 
7.1 Facilities of knowledge transfer 
A listing of available education in earth observation will not be 
attempted here. 
Universities may have remote sensing education offered in 
curricula of geography, geology or physics, or any other science 
with a geo-component. GIS education may be offered in 
combination or separate. 
There are also specialized education institutes (like GDTA and 
ITC) for earth observation application. 
The application fields stand central in most course programmes. 
In most cases, a professional capability in the scientific domain 
of application is essential, before any aerospace data can be 

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