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15 - 16 October 2012 . Thessaloniki , Greece. Earth Observation Activities in the Balkans: Building on Experiences


Within the OBSERVE project, The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) had been assigned to organize the Final Event and prepare all materials regarding to it. The main aim of the Final Event was the dissemination of the project’s results in a wide audience, including the students, policy makers, stakeholders and the general public. In that sense, the final Event Earth Observation Activities in the Balkans Building on Experience aimed to:

1. Capitalize on the outcomes of the OBSERVE project, through:

  • Presentation of the “Spatial Information System and the Stakeholder database”
  • Presentation of an in depth “Multilevel assessment and gap analysis” regarding the EO activities in the Balkans
  • Presentation of the “Roadmap and Strategy plan for strengthening EO capacity”

2. Raise awareness in the Balkans, through:

  • Demonstration of EO solutions on the different Societal Benefit Areas
  • Dissemination of Challenges and Best practice examples in the Balkan countries

3. Scale up in challenging times, through:

  • Sharing experiences with other related EU sponsored capacity building projects
  • Attraction of key public institutions and authorities
  • Favouring the involvement of local decision makers

4. Serve as a network vehicle for dissemination and capacity development mechanisms.

During the Event OBSERVE’s most crucial deliverables along with presentations of European stakeholders regarding the demonstration of EO solutions on the different Societal Benefit Areas, EO standards, and Environmental Economical and quality of life issues were addressed. Furthermore a session dedicated to presentations of relevant projects helped the audience to have an insight of EU sponsored capacity building projects. In addition a session was dedicated in measures that could be taken in order to raise awareness in the Balkans regarding EO applications. Finally OBSERVE consortium partners presented some of the major challenges, best practices and cases studies in their countries. As a result OBSERVE final event managed to fulfil its aims and objectives

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Participants & Material

Earth Observation Activities in the Balkans Building on Experiences Final Event took place on 15-16.10.2012 as it was planned. Online registration continued until the actual event and advertisement of the event continued also. Finally 123 of the registered participants attended the sessions of the workshop. During the symposium a booklet containing the executive summary regarding the Roadmap Strategy plan for strengthening EO capacity in the Balkans for environmental monitoring was distributed in the participants . Furthermore all the material produced during the project’s lifetime was compiled and distributed in a USB flash Drive.


All material is available for download from the OBSERVE websites: www.observe-fp7.eu & (http://pers.topo.auth.gr/finalevent/stream/stream.html), and recorded by AUTH’s Network Operation Centre. Consents of speakers regarding to recordings were taken in advance.

Results of the Final OBSERVE Symposium

Competition Winners

OBSERVE Project organised a competition which aimed at the intensified use of Earth observation data in the Balkans. Participants from the Balkans and beyond were invited to analyse given air quality data sets and to report their findings to the organisers of the competition. The analysis results described typical phenomena that are contained in the data such as pollution levels, their spatial relationships, temporal evolutions, etc. The prize winners were invited to present their results during the Final event organised by the OBSERVE project. Additional travel funding were offered to the prize winners by the OBSERVE project.
During the Final Event an award was presented to Competition Winners by (Athina Trakas, Vassillis Tritakis, and Gottfried Schwarz). Furthermore the competition winners had the opportunity to present their work during the symposium.

Ms Irena Rojko From the University of Ljubljana receiving the first prize from Athina Trakas of OGC


September 24-25, 2012 - BalkanGEONet & OBSERVE Joint Workshop Towards inclusion of Balkan countries into global EO initiatives

OBSERVE and B.G.NET projects organized the joint workshop "Towards inclusion of Balkan countries into global EO initiatives" that was held in Split, Croatia, September 24-25, 2012 at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geodesy. 

For a detailed overview of the presentations, list of participants and results of the workshop, please visit the dedicated section of the Split Workshop in the OBSERVE website.





September 04, 2012 - Presentation of OBSERVE project at the Land management workshop in Skopje FYROM

Prf. Patias, coordinator of OBSERVE project attended a workshop on Land management Sciences on September 04, 2012 in Skopje FYROM, where he presented the basic facts and objectives of OBSERVE project and addressed an audience of 40 local stakeholders. The workshop focused on land management and real estate novelties as well as remote sensing tools and applications on agricultural and urban environments.

For more information regarding the event please contact Prof. Dr Vanco Gjorgjiev, the OBSERVE liaison and partner from FYROM


August 2, 2012 - Announcement of the GEO European Projects Workshop 2013

OBSERVE team is pleased to inform you that the next GEO European Projects' Workshop (GEPW7) is planned to take place in Barcelona on 8 and 9 April 2013.  The event, which will be hosted by CREAF (Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications) of the Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona, is intended to bring all those interested in and actively contributing to the GEOSS from all over Europe together in order to present their work and actively discuss how Europe can contribute to GEO and GEOSS.

The proposed venue is the famous Catalan art nouveau building owned by the university: “La Casa de la Convalescència” (Convalescence House) located in the centre of the city.

Details of the draft agenda and of the practical arrangements, registration, possible contributions etc.will available at a later stage.


Results and presentations from the Sixth GEO European Projects' Workshop as well as the final report are available on the GEO website:




June 28, 2012 - Institutional reform and capacity building in Albania

Organisation and functioning of NSDI in the Republic of Albania – UPT participates in legislative preparation procedures

On 28 June, the Albanian Parliament approved the Project Law: "Organisation and functioning of NSDI in the Republic of Albania", where main outcome was the Establishment of the Governmental Authority on Spatial Data and Geoinformation.
Albanian OBSERVE Partner University Polytechnic of Tirana (UPT) participated actively in drafting the law as scientific partner of the Governmental Group by conducting several presentations and meeting with policy makers and providing useful insight on INSPIRE related issues. It must be underlined that this development signals a new era for Albania regarding future participation in the international institutional context.

OBSERVE at the training workshop at the Seisimic Institute, Tirana Albania

Balkan GeoNet Project in collaboration with OBSERVE project organized a training workshop for local stakeholders at the Seismic Institute, Tirana Albania on the 21st June 2012. The workshop informed participants on the principles of GEO and GEOSS and INSPIRE and was attended by 31 participants

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