The research in the Spatial analysis, Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (SAGISRS) group concentrates on the development of mathematical, statistical and computational tools and methods for generating, analyzing, managing and visualizing geographic (spatial) data. This is a rapidly developing research area often referred to as, Geoinformatics and/or Geotechnology with multiple applications in urban and regional analysis, environmental analysis, climatology, urban climate and air quality, etc.
The tools and methods the group develops are useful for public and private organizations to analyze spatial information and formulate rational economic development, social and environmental policies and evaluate alternative mitigation plans. Specifically, the group develops:
- Spatial decision support systems using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methodologies and mathematical models simulating various environmental and urban processes,
- Remote sensing methodologies for: extracting geo-information products and indicators from satellite observations; adjusting machine learning algorithms to estimate sub-pixel fractions; downscaling bio-geophysical parameters derived from satellites synergies; analyzing long time series of satellite images (Big Data) in cloud computing environment; and analyzing UAV hyperspectral and thermal imagery,
- Urban climate methods to analyze urban form and function, by combining satellite derived surface parameters with in-situ observations of urban heat fluxes and CO2 emissions from micrometeorological towers (Eddy Covariance and Net Radiation equipment) and standard meteorological and air quality variables from Wireless Sensors Networks.
- Methodologies for the analysis of the organization of urban areas with respect the distribution of the land uses and the built-up densities, the socio-economic characteristics of the population, the traffic patterns in the street network etc.
- Tools for the visualization and management of digital maps on the web.
Group members include researchers with a wide spectrum of expertise from quantitative geography, remote sensing, statistics, applied informatics, atmospheric physics and urban and regional planning. The research effort has been supported from grants from competitive EU projects and grants from Greek public organizations. EU research programs the group has participated include H2020, INTERREG, ERA.Net, FP7, LIFE, ESA and many others. Funding has been also obtained from the General Secretariat of Research and Technology of Greece (GSRT), the Hellenic Statistical Authority, the Region of Crete, the Athens Urban Transport Organization, the Ministry of Health, The Municipality of Heraklion and others.
The group was formed in the early 1990’s and until recently its name was “Regional Analysis Division”. Dr. Poulicos Prastacos is head of the group. Dr. Nektarios Chrysoulakis is the scientific director of the research on earth observation.