Frequently Asked Questions
The term Earth Observation is now in widespread use but is normally restricted to describing measurements of the Earth from satellites. More recently, however, the Group on Earth Observations has broadened this term to include “…the collection, processing, modelling, and dissemination of data about the Earth system… collected through in situ, airborne and space-based observations, using satellites, buoys, seismometers, and other devices.” The EO Network embraces this broad definition.
Note, however, that Earth observation is often used synonymously with the term “remote sensing” which can be defined as the science of measuring or inferring the physical properties of an object or medium, using a sensor that is at some distance from the object or medium. Typically, both terms are used to describe measurements of electromagnetic radiation scattered or emitted from the Earth’s atmosphere or surface using instruments on aircraft or satellites. A more general definition would also include measurements of acoustic waves, magnetic fields and gravity. Remote sensing might also encompass measurements of other planets or moons in the solar system using interplanetary probes, whereas Earth observation implies a restricted consideration of planet Earth alone.
Earth observation is a diverse and increasingly ubiquitous
aspect of environmental and Earth sciences. Researchers and
professionals in this field (particularly in the
Is EONet meant to be a new professional or learned society?
EONet is a new model in science community-building and is a complement, rather than an alternative, to existing societies.
The increasing diversity of (free) web-based services and the prevalence of electronic media mean that the traditional concept of a discipline-specific society is becoming outdated. While they still maintain a role of prestige, publication and regulation (e.g. “professional” status), their role in community building, information distribution and as forums for discussion is being superseded by networking sites, virtual conferencing and mobile technologies.
Membership of EONet will be free of charge. There will only be individual members, not groups or organisations. All members will receive the same benefits and opportunities. It is a virtual networking community, rather than an organisation. Membership is restricted only by your access to the internet.
Apart from a centrally maintained (with minimal local content) website, there are no other overheads. There will be no member database, no administrative costs to deal with fee payments. The benefits will arise from a combination of freely available resources on the web, and the network of members themselves. The value of EONet is governed by the quality of the member input.
By combining centrally generated news items and RSS feeds with appropriate filters (for example,“earth observation”-related news from the BBC will be displayed) on a website, EONet will provide a one-stop “news hub” for Earth observation. The website will also offer “constrained” google searching to facilitate finding useful material on the web as well as standard links to the most popular EO sites.
By using LinkedIn as the primary membership mechanism (through the use of their “groups” facility) EONet will provide all members with a link to all other members plus their wider network of connections (see below).
By using Skype as the main mechanism for member interactivity (using their “group” facility), EONet will provide members with a forum to chat (up to 100 members at a time) or Skypecast audio (see below).
By using GoogleVideo, EONet will be able to provide embedded streaming video clips. Clips may include agency videos, interviews, meeting reports, etc. Sponsors, organisations and individuals would also be invited to contribute.
By combing the functionality of Skype and GoogleVideo, EONet will also allow for time-limited “virtual conferences/workshops”.
All of these benefits will be free of charge to all users.
LinkedIn is an online network of more than 11 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 150 industries.
When you join, you create a profile that helps you find and be found by former colleagues, clients, and partners. You can add more connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you.
You will have your own network consisting of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to thousands of qualified professionals.
Through your network you can:
LinkedIn is free to join. They also offer paid accounts that give you more tools for finding and reaching the right people, whether or not they are in your network.
The EONet utilises the “LinkedIn Groups” facility which allows you to
LinkedIn makes its money from targeted site-based advertising and paid accounts. They do no spam you nor forward your details to third parties.
Find more information on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=company_info&trk=ftr_abt
Skype is free and easy to use. It offers chat and webcast functionality. It provides a “group” facility that would allow users to be part of an EONet “group”. Skype will allows virtual conferences and workshops to have interactive discussions online.
Why use GoogleVideo?
Google Video allows you to upload videos for public viewing. There is no time limit on videos and videos are “streamed” (meaning you don’t need to download the whole video to start watching it). Videos can also be embedded in webpages. This will allow members to view EO-related videos and to generate video content for virtual conferences and workshops.
Here are some examples….
Virtual conferences would work as time-limited events using pre-recorded video or narrated PPT. These would be loaded in GoogleVideo but viewed from the EON Conference page. Opportunities for Q&A, breakout groups or further discussion would be conducted via Skype (either as Chat or Skypecasting).
By hosting virtual meetings, EONet will;
The success of online events will be very much dependent upon member contributions. If you want to organise an online event, please contact Iain Woodhouse.