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A cost effective application of remote sensing to environmental aspects of ski regions: a ski region monitoring and management information system


One major conclusion that can be drawn after the CARTESIAN project, is that the demand for spatial data within ski resorts increases rapidly: First, because areas expand through e.g. liaisons with other areas. Secondly, ski resorts have to become more efficient and careful with their natural resources because space becomes sparse and the alpine ecosystem is one of the most sensitive to disturbances.

CARTESIAN has shown that space technology can be a cost effective information tool for regional and national authorities to preserve natural resources and monitor socio-economic activities. It therefore supports ski resort managers to come to a more efficient management, by providing improved monitoring capacity for resource management and information on environmental impacts. Satellite information facilitates furthermore the development of interactive promotional tools such as 3D animations. Finally, the CARTESIAN project recommends a further elaboration of high-resolution satellite information (e.g. IKONOS) for future ski resort monitoring and 3D applications.
The CARTESIAN project aims at examining how space technology can provide a cost-effective assistance in the environmental monitoring and maintenance of ski regions, to develop a monitoring and management information system which supports the sustainable development of the environment of ski regions. The CARTESIAN R&D project use proven state-of-the-art technologies such as: 1. Digital image processing and interpretation of airborne and satellite imagery to (a) obtain information on ecological, geomorphological and geological conditions and to (b) detect time changes on those conditions. 2.Use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for the manipulation of spatial information. 3.Use of Global position signals 4. Risk assessment and predictive socio-economic scenario analysis, 5. Visualisation techniques, 6.Mathematical modelling. CARTESIAN aims at integrating EU directives regarding the environmental development and maintenance of mountainous areas. Processing and interpretation of satellite data will be exploited at a great extend, used at every stage of the project and merged with other information in or to improve their quality and cost-effectiveness. CARTESIAN encourage the growth of an user-driven market for Earth Observation products and services by improving the cooperation between research institutes, industry and EO data providers.
All of our objectives have been formulated to help to spread best practice across member states, thus improving the innovative capacity of the EU's operational environmental monitoring system. In formulating those objectives, we've taken into account the aims of the Environment Programme related to space technology such as strengthening of EU capacity on the interpretation of EO data improve the quality of the environment by using EO data and the development of operational methods and techniques. The CARTESIAN project aims at stimulating exchange of EO and related IT knowledge between member states and therefore proposes to set up a communication network between research institutes, industries within the value-added-value sector and providers and users of EO data.
CARTESIAN encourages the increase of growth of an user-driven market for EO products by the strong involvement of customers with their specific requirements. The future development of CARTESIAN products aims at the potential interest of the over 1000 ski-resorts in Europe and North America all having the same major objective which is finding the most effficient and sustainable management of both economical and environmental issues.
Our consortium includes both representatives from the private sector as well as research institutes and universities. Our proposal complies with the specifications of the 2nd call for proposals for Pilot Projects (Theme 3, Area 3.3.1) of the Environment and Climate Specific Programme.
In addition the following additional crucial features are pointed out:
- partners include research institutions, industries in the added-value sectorand providers and users of space data
- the project involves the combination and synergistic use of EO dataincluding satellite and airborne imagery, ancillary data such as vector maps,tables etc.
- the partners/users and customers are involved in every step of the projectsimplementation establishing a pre-operational pilot system.
Keywords:EO data, GIS, GPS, 3D visualisation, Management Information System, EIA

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Resource Analysis BV
110,Zuiderstraat 110
2611 SJ Delft

Participants (8)

Centre National du Machinisme Agricole, du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts
2,Rue De La Papéterie
38402 Saint-martin-d'hères
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule - ETH Zürich
Hg F021.1
8092 Zürich
Het Frankrijk Huis V.O.F.
2012 GJ Haarlem
SION - Switserland 2006 Bid Commitee
Institut Universitaire Kurt Bösch
1950 Sion 4
Silvretta Nova Bergbahnen AG

6791 St. Gallenkirch - Gaschurn
Stand Montafon Forstfonds
6780 Schruns
190,Winterthurerstrasse 190
8057 Zurich
Universiteit van Amsterdam
130,Nieuwe Prinsengracht
1018 VZ Amsterdam