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To benefit society by promoting the development and realization of Digital Earth


2022 Digital Earth Summit

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The 9th Digital Earth Summit was successfully held from 6th to 8th September, 2022. The theme of the Summit is “Digital Earth to Bridge Digital Divide for Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals”. The Summit was organized by the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE) and hosted by Institute of Remote Sensing, Anna University, Chennai, India.

Earth Observation Data is becoming a complex task with contributions from thousands of satellites, ever increasing drone observations, billions of scattered sensors capturing data in real time and crowd sourcing. We are in immediate need of robust strategies in relation to its collection, storage, analysis and visualization for various applications in hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. A significant contribution from Academia, Industry, NGO and Government is discussed in this Digital Earth Summit during 6th to 8th September 2022.

This summit brought together distinguished experts and eminent researchers from various fields including remote sensing, civil and environmental engineering, Information technology and infrastructure development across the world. More than 200 participants from various institutes participated during this three-day summit.

The summit was inaugurated with lamp lighting followed by Tamil Thai Vaazhthu, the state anthem of Tamil Nadu and presided by Dr.  Alessandro Annoni, President, ISDE, Italy; Dr. Velraj, VC- Anna University, Chennai; Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Director, NIAS, Former secretary of MoES, GoI; Dr, Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed Ghouse, VP- ISDE; and Dr. D. Thirumulaivasan, Director-IRS, Anna University, Chennai.

A total of 6 plenary talks were delivered by eminent researchers and academicians in three plenary sessions conducted on various topics related to Earth observation, Remote Sensing, Big data, Digital resilience, etc. Eight technical sessions on different sub-themes of the summit were conducted with a total of 45 technical paper presentation by researchers during this 3-days summit.

Day 1 has 3 plenary sessions; Dr. Huadong Guo, ISDE Honorary President, CBAS Director General delivered the opening remarks of this 9th summit via Video presentation. Dr. Alessandro Annoni, President, ISDE, delivered his lecture on “Digital Earth: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” followed by a talk on "Earth Observation and Geospatial Data Policy of India" by Dr. Sailesh Nayak, Former secretary, MoES.

Dr. Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed Ghouse, VP- ISDE, detailed the needs of digital platform for earth observation, monitoring and assessment.

Following this a combined discussion on Geospatial Community in India – Catching Up with Global Trends on Digital Earth jointly organised by World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) and the Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI), India was moderated by Mr. Harsha Madiraju, Associate Director, WGIC. Dr.Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed Ghouse, VP-ISDE, Mr.Mahesh Reddy, Sales Director, Theama Technologies, Hyderabad; Dr.T.Ravi Sankar - Deputy Director, NRSC; Mr. Yaswant Singh, Technical Manager, Satpalda, India; Mr. Harsha Madiraju, Associate Director, WGIC and Dr. R. Vidhya, Professor, IRS, Anna University has participated in discussions on challenges ahead of Indian Geospatial community to face needs of Government and non-government geospatial requirements including human resource development.

Mr. M. Arul Raj - Group Head, Bhuvan Geoportal and Web Services Group, National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC), ISRO, GoI explained about Digital Earth Advancement -Indian Perspective. He highlighted the developments in India to use digital earth for planning, monitoring and management of national level development projects and schemes under Bhuvan portal. He explained the case studies involved use of satellite imagery, field data collection tools and cloud sourcing for better management of disasters.

The first technical session on Water Security was chaired by Dr. Ganapathy, Professor, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore and Co-Chaired by Dr. G. Muthusankar, Head of GIS Projects, French Institute of Pondicherry. 6 papers were presented in this session highlighting the impacts of anthropogenic influence on both surface and groundwater through Digital Earth technologies. The impact of landuse change on Surface and Groundwater systems and methods for better management of these valuable resources is highlighted by the presenters.

Workshop on Introduction to Google Earth Engine: Applications & Hands-on was also conducted on the same day which was headed by Mr. Craig Dsouza - Google Developer Expert. This lecture followed by hands on training helped the participants to use it in their day-to-day work for applications across water, agriculture, conservation and more. Large numbers of youth delegates of the conference has attended the workshop and got benefitted.

Day 2 has 2 plenary sessions; Dr. Hiromuchi Fukui - Professor, Chubu University, Japan delivered his lecture on “Digital Earth: A Platform for the SDGs and green transformation at the global and local” followed by a plenary talk on "Spatial Analytics tools to mitigate disruption risk: Australian Case Studies" by Dr. Prem Chetri - Professor, RMIT University, Australia. The speakers highlighted the need of Digital Earth for better management of natural hazards and meeting the data requirements for assessing attainment of sustainable development goals.

Mr. Luis Perez-Mora Chief Executive Officer - Thrive Care Systems, Australia; Dr. Babu Madhavan, Dr. S. S. Ramakrishnan, Former Professor, IRS and Chairman, CEG, Anna University; Dr.Alessandro Annoni, President, ISDE and Ms. Medha Iyer, student of Bachelor programme in Geoinformatics had deliberations with active interaction of the participants related to the significance of Digital Earth and its need in day-to-day life. The discussions stressed possibility of using Digital Earth tools for improved quality of life of global citizens.

The second technical session on Food Security was chaired by Dr. S. Kaliappan, Emeritus Professor, Anna University and Co-Chaired by Mr. M. Arul Raj, Group Head, NRSC, Hyderabad. This session has 6 presentations highlighting the importance of Digital Earth data in mapping, monitoring and assessment of Crop yield, Crop damage. The presenters highlighted the use of Agro-Geoinformatic Systems for decision making to attain Food Security.  

The third technical session on Early Warning, Causes and Impacts of Geo-Hazards was chaired by Dr. C. Lakshumanan, Coordinator, Centre for Disaster Management and Coastal Research and Co-Chaired by Dr. R. Arthur James, Professor and Head, Department of Marine science, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli. This session has 7 presentations emphasizing the need of Digital Earth data in Hazard and Risk assessment due to various natural disasters including Coal Fire, Floods, Landslides and Coastal Erosion. The presenters have deliberated on vulnerability mapping and management of community due to Hazards.

The fourth technical session on Digital earth: Ethics and Governance was chaired by Dr. Zaffar Sadiq Mohamed Ghouse, VP- ISDE and Co-Chaired by Dr. G. Muthusankar, Head of GIS Projects, French Institute of Pondicherry. This session has 5 presentations related to Geospatial technology and its use in improved Governance in the recent decades. The applications of digital earth in geospatial community were also discussed in this session.

Day 3 has 1 plenary session: Dr. Cheryl Desha - Professor, School of Engineering and Built Environment - Civil and Environmental Engineering, Australia, has delivered a talk on "Digital resilience towards the UN SDGs, in the face of ongoing adversity". The second speaker of the plenary session was Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi Thatiparthi, Associate Professor & Head of the Department, JNTUH Institute of Science & Technology, India. Final talk of the plenary session was made by Ing.Habil.Christian Heipke - Professor - Leibniz University, Germany. He has presented his lecture on “Remote sensing and Big data for sustainable development” highlighting the need of Spatial Big Data for better planning and management of natural resources in sustainable manner.

The fifth technical session on Sustainable Cities and Smart Cities was chaired by Dr. S. S. Ramakrishnan, Former Professor, IRS and Chairman, CEG, Anna University and Co-Chaired by Dr. C. Udhayakumar, Professor, IRS, Anna University. This session has 6 presentations highlighting the importance of Digital Earth technology on making cities sustainable and smart. The topics include methods for locating EV Charging Stations, Safer Roads and Impact of Urban Growth on LST.

The sixth technical session on Blue Economy was chaired by Dr. P. L. N. Raju, Scientist, ISRO and Co-Chaired by Dr. Srinivasan, Asst. Professor, IRS, Anna University. This session has 3 presentations were made by researchers on implementation of Digital Earth data for mapping and monitoring of Sea/ coastal ecosystems. In this session satellite-based detection of plastic litters as well as chlorophyll concentration and its effects were also discussed.

The seventh technical session on Drivers and Impact of Climate Change was chaired by Dr. G. Bhaskaran, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Madras and Co-chaired by Dr. Vijaya Lakshmi Thatiparthi - Head of the Department, JNTUH Institute of Science & Technology, India. This session has 5 presentations on impacts of climate change and its drivers. The deliberations include Sea water intrusion, Air pollution trends, LST variations relevant to Climate Change.

The Eighth technical session on Advancement in Handling Big Digital Earth Data was chaired by Dr. M. Ramalingam, Director, Jerusalem College of Engineering, Chennai and Dr Pradeep Kishore, Head-GIS, Infosys (P) Ltd, Chennai. This session includes 5 presentations related to analysis of Digital Earth data using IoT solutions, Google Earth Engine and advances in Technologies.

Youth Forum Events

One of the special attractions of the Digital Earth Summit is the active participation of large number youth mainly from Bachelors and Masters programmes in Geospatial technology. Exclusive events for these youth were conducted by the Youth volunteers, to promote the Digital Earth technology awareness in youth community. The events include use of Digital Earth technologies like satellite data, spatial analysis, geolocations for solving simple problems and as well discussion on promoting ideas in young minds through events like Geopreneur.

Globe Quest

Globe Quest is an event with combination of technical and non-technical rounds. First two rounds are knock-out rounds and the final round is to determine the winners. In the first round, a series of quiz will be displayed in the screen one by one. These quizzes are taken from different domains such as Geoinformatics, Movies, Cryptocurrencies etc. For each question 10 seconds was given to the participants. Participants can participate either as a group or take part individually. participants were not allowed to use phones or laptops for finding the answers. Each correct answer carries 1 mark throughout the event. Top 10 rankers were selected for the next round.

In the second round a series of videos will be played and questions will be asked from the videos one by one. Top 5 rankers were selected to the final round. In the final round, a jigsaw puzzle was given to the participants to solve. After the puzzle has been solved, questions present behind the solved puzzle were answered. The participants with the highest marks in the final round are be declared as the winners.   


Find Me

Find me is a technical event which is played like treasure hunt but not physically and it can be played in teams or individually. The event is improvised to be played using mobile phone with internet connection, with already available apps as the playground. The event consists of only one round, finding the right answers for each hint and using those found answers to open a puzzle. Few hints directly use the technical knowledge of Geoinformatics. Finding all the puzzles leads to the treasure. The event goes with finding a place or length or distance between points etc, in google maps, google earth; also translate and lens are helpful in finding the answer. Each of the mentioned app has special features like measure, grids, geographic coordinates etc. The participants have to find answers for the hints using all those tools. Even they are given the liberty to use any of online tools if required.

The event got attention of 57 members. Ten teams participated with keen interest in the hunt. The hints required logical analysis and participants felt difficult to find solution to the hints. The hints as well as the key to puzzle needs presence of mind and time management skills. Unfortunately, no team could locate he treasure and the winner was selected based on the maximum number of hints they found out. The time allotted for the event also played an important role in the float of the event. Though the stipulated time is perfect, more time would have the bought the key to participants play well.


This event aims at inculcating an aptitude for becoming a successful entrepreneur. The participants were given a hypothetical scenario and asked to market their company to investors and provide a sustainable and cost effective solutions for the challenges faced by their company. The following problem was assigned to participants for their solution using Digital Earth technologies.

Prompt: You are the CEO of a Multi-National Conglomerate based in India, the latest IPCC report has listed the factories running under your company's name as one of the largest contributor's to pollution in the region. The R&D team has come up with certain GIS based tools to make transportation quicker, locate ideal wastelands. You need funds and investors to launch this technology on a larger scale, market to get the required funds.

The event had 7 participants each of whom gave Digital Earth based solutions to market their product in the best way to receive hedge funds.

G - Link

An event that saw 20+ enthusiastic teams contesting over two rounds. The participants had to connect the pictures displayed on the screen to find the hidden term relating to GIS and Remote Sensing in 30 seconds. The 5 top performing teams in round 1 qualified for the finals where they had to guess 10 words with the team that had the most number of right answers winning the event.