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Research at ITC

The research programme of ITC develops cutting-edge knowledge and innovative approaches in the field of geo-information science and earth observation.

The programme addresses applications of geospatial data to space and resource management and the provision of geospatial data for the user community, with emphasis on solving problems in developing countries.

As a centre of excellence in the forefront of knowledge discovery, the Faculty carries out research within the framework of a coherent research programme that addresses specific development-related problem fields in geo-information science and earth observation. This yields new tools and methods for the collection, storage and processing of geospatial data and pioneers new applications of geospatial data to societal problems, particularly in developing countries, in which geo-information science and earth observation play an important role. The Research Programme also contributes to ITC’s capacity building mission in developing countries and emerging economies by training junior researchers from institutes and organizations in these countries.

The ITC Research Programme defines the scientific scope of knowledge development, which is underpinned by the scientific expertise of ITC and tailored to the international research agenda. It addresses problems related to the management of space and resources, and problems related to the provision of relevant, timely and reliable geospatial information through the execution of demand-driven research projects in one of six interlinked research themes.

In each theme, research is carried out by a group led by one or more ITC professors. A group typically comprises several expert staff members and a number of PhD students, while MSc students are also assigned to the group as apprentice researchers during their thesis research period of six months.

Research themes
4D-EARTH

Combine earth science knowledge with spatial modelling and advanced earth observation analysis, to improve our understanding of the impact of climate and population change on the scarceness of resources and energy, changing natural hazards and increased vulnerability and risk of our society.

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Acquisition and quality of geo-spatial information

Developments in sensor and web technology have led to a vast increase in earth observation data. Advanced methodology is needed for interpretation and integration of such big geo-data to support decision making.

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Forest Agriculture and Environment in the Spatial Sciences

In FORAGES research we use earth observation data and spatial information in combination with systems modeling, geo-information science and remote sensing for the assessment, monitoring, planning and management of natural resources, for their sustainable use, development and restoration.

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People, Land and Urban Systems

PLUS focuses on understanding the spatial information needs of society and responding to those needs in responsible ways – as tools, as systems, as infrastructure, or as ways of thinking. Our work sits at the nexus of urbanization, land tenure, governance, climate change, and transportation – and the grand challenges of sustainability and social equity in the age of the anthropocene.

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Spatio-temporal analytics, maps and processing

Our objective is to develop methods and techniques that process (organize, model, analyse, and visualize) spatio-temporal data into valuable and accessible geo-information and tools that improves our understanding of complex and dynamic systems and helps in decision-making at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

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Water Cycle and Climate

Water, food and energy security and environmental safety are key challenges to our societies. “Information on water quantity and quality and their variation is urgently needed for national policies and management strategies, as well as for UN conventions on climate and sustainable development, and the achievement of the Millennium Goals”.

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PhD research

All our PhD students are members of the ITC-Twente Graduate School (TGS). ITC encourages the PhD student body to initiate and organize student-led activities that enhance the intellectual and scientific aspects of student life. Specific PhD courses will be developed to support the training of our PhD students. National graduate schools will be used to provide our students with access and exposure to the Dutch national knowledge infrastructure and courses of this national graduate school.

IT and data infrastructure

ITC’s IT and data infrastructure is being kept at the level expected of a leading centre of remote sensing and GIS. We are developing a data policy that addresses all relevant aspects of (big and open) data science, with institution-level management of ITC’s data resources. Our laboratory facilities will be reviewed and updated based on the identified needs of the departments. ITC aims to provide cutting-edge technology for its research and education, based on multi-annual laboratory equipment programming.