Current Activities

WGCapD’s main projects include:

  • The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Development Project
  • WGCapD E-learning Courses
  • The Practical Earth Observation (EO) Education for Students & Teachers Project
  • Working jointly with CEOS Working Groups & Virtual Constellations to build capacity or provide education/training resources when applicable.


Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Development Project

The initial purpose of this activity was to make 30m Shuttle Radar Topography Mission 2 (SRTM-2) data available to countries that need it. Now that the data is released, the WGCapD will help people incorporate SRTM-2 data into their existing processes and projects, teaching them how to actively use 30 m DEMs, through a series of workshops. In doing so, the WGCapD will also help increase collaboration between regional institutions and nearby space agencies. Learn more about this activity and upcoming workshops via our recently published SRTM Workshop Brochure.

Contact: Patrick O’Brien (United States National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, NOAA)

Practical EO Education for Students and Teachers Project

Practical education in Earth Observation technology, data analysis, and application is an essential tool for increasing global awareness about the usefulness of Earth Observation data at the school level and, therefore, is an important contribution to capacity building. The main goal of this project is to provide secondary school students and teachers with information, tools, and methodologies that help them use ane understand the benefits of Earth observation and remote sensing technologies.

This WGCapD project is an effort by CEOS Agencies to:

  • Increase the awareness for Earth observation data at the secondary school level
  • Provide practical educational tools addressing remote sensing techniques and methods to analyse and process remote sensing data
  • Provide access to practical Earth observation education facilities managed by participating Agencies
  • Establish practical education showcases at international conferences
  • Create and deliver educational toolboxes, including software, Earth observation data, and tutorials for user-friendly image processing at the secondary school level, as well as the lower university level
  • Provide practical demonstrations for schools based on real experiments (e.g. use of spectrometers, radiometers, radar devices)
  • Educate the general public about the benefits/applications of Earth observations

As part of this effort, the WGCapD coordinates the set-up of “School Lab” Earth Observation Education Stand during various international conferences and symposia, (such as the annual ESA Living Planet Symposium). These School Labs are advertised as an opportunity for secondary school students and teachers to learn about the science and technology behind Earth observations via half-day sessions full of lab experiments and demonstrations. 

It is entirely possible to organize a School Lab yourself at a location of your choosing. Learn more at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) School Lab and European Space Agency (ESA) Eduspace websites.

Contact: Dieter Hausamann, DLR

Working jointly with CEOS Working Groups & Virtual Constellations

In November, 2015, the CEOS Sea Surface Temperature Virtual Constellation (SST-VC) recently helped organize an opportunity for satellite oceanography data users to meet with and provide feedback to the data providers: a three-day Satellite Oceanography User Workshop focused on satellite-derived products of key oceanographic variables. We worked with the SST-VC and other workshop organizers to capture the workshop presentations & discussions on video for future access by data users unable to attend the workshop.  Learn more and access the videos.