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Current Projects

This page provides an overview of the projects we are currently involved in. A variety of projects is already successfully completed and in addition, several dissertations and habilitations emerge at RSRG.

Wetlands in East Africa - Reconciling future food production with environmental protection


A GlobE Initiative for 'Global Food Security' (

Food production in East Africa shows stagnating and even declining trends, mainly a consequence of land degradation and climate variability. In contrast, wetlands, with year-round water availability, high resource base quality and the potential to harvest several crops per year present production hotspots in an otherwise degraded landscape. Wetlands cover 20 Mio ha in East Africa with only a small share currently being used. We surmise that these areas may become the bread basket of the region. A consortium from Bonn-Köln-Jülich and African partners will assess the status quo of wetlands’ contribution to food security and the sustainability of current wetland uses along climatic and social gradients. We will evaluate agronomic options based on ecological intensification, while considering nature protection and ecosystem services. Simulation models and tools for integrated assessment will be used for regionally extrapolating future wetland uses and testing possible scenarios, considering global change projections. The provision of decision tools and capacity building measures will ensure the application of the findings in the region and beyond. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (funding code 031A250 A-H).

For further information about GlobE Wetlands, please contact:




Columbus Eye - Live-Imagery from the ISS in Schools


The project ‘Columbus Eye – Live-Imagery from the ISS in Schools’ established a learning portal on earth observation from the ISS ( The portal makes use of NASA’s High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment which features four cameras observing the earth 24/7. The main goal of Columbus Eye is to enable children to observe our planet from the astronaut’s perspective while applying professional remote sensing analysis tools. 

While the archive provides spectacular footage of e.g. the Mediterranean Sea, the Himalaya, and sunrises available for everybody, the observatory was specifically constructed for pupils and teachers. Here, it is possible to learn about processes and phenomena of the coupled human-environment system in an interactive manner. The pupils can conduct easy-to-use image processing analyses on their own. In doing so, they get the opportunity to derive a map out of an HDEV image and hence turn a continuous spatial texture into a discrete spatial pattern of land uses. The project is carried out by the Remote Sensing Working Group, Institute of Geography, University of Bonn. Columbus Eye is supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) following a decision of the German Bundestag (funding code 50JR1307).

For further information about Columbus Eye, please contact:




FIS 2 - Remote Sensing in Schools

Fernerkundung in Schulen

Integration of applied remote sensing methods in the secondary school education (

Satellite-based remote sensing is a fast growing technology in Europe with an increasing demand for qualified labor. While awareness of the public is risen by everyday use of satellites for weather monitoring and weather forecast, the increasing importance of high resolution satellites is hardly noticed. However, satellite imagery became more and more part of our everyday life and is e.g. increasingly used for detection and report of natural disasters or global climate change. 

Among that, a huge archive of images is provided by Google earth for free. Furthermore, Google Earth provides a huge picture archive for free. Due to the increasing importance of satellite images, there is moreover an increasing need to integrate this data in schools and for education. Accordingly, the work with satellite images is explicitly required to be included in the current educational schemes. The advantage of satellite images compared to traditional media is on the one hand higher accuracy and relevance. On the other hand, diverse methodological skills can be promoted through the study of satellite images. On the other hand, diverse methodological skills can be promoted through the independent analysis of satellite images. The overall objective of this project is to teach pupils of the secondary school education the basics of remote sensing and the evaluation of this image data with regard to content-related issues. The implementation of this objective is linked to the development of a sustainable and cross-disciplinary concept. The project "Remote Sensing in schools" (FIS) is carried out by the Remote Sensing Research Group at the Department of Geography of the University of Bonn, in cooperation with several partner schools. The overall objective of the project is to teach the basics of satellite-based remote sensing as well as the evaluation of the image data with respect to content-related issues to pupils of lower and upper secondary education. The project is supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) (funding code 50EE0615).

For further information about Fernerkundung in Schulen (FIS), please contact:




DeMo Wetlands - Copernicus-based Detection and Monitoring of tropical Wetlands


International conventions that dedicate themselves to the protection of wetlands, such as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands or the Convention on Biological Diversity, urgently need exact and reliable data that are recorded and validated using a standardized methodology, to be able to assess the condition and development of these fragile ecosystems globally. An improvement of national monitoring systems hence is a key requirement for an improvement of global knowledge on wetlands. In DeMo-Wetlands, the East African state Rwanda is applied as example for the development of an automated satellite-based wetlands detection and monitoring system. A multi-satellite and multi-temporal approach for a static wetland detection and dynamic mapping of wetland characteristics and wetland changes by the usage of state-of-the-art satellite sensors of the ESA Sentinel-Programme and other Copernicus datasets is envisaged. The DeMo-Wetlands project can provide a significant contribution to international conventions supporting a sustainable use of wetlands. DeMo-Wetlands (FKZ 50EE1537) is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

For further information about DeMo Wetlands, please contact:




Satellite-based Wetland Observation Service (SWOS) Horizon 2020 Project


SWOS ( has the objective to develop a wetland monitoring and information service based on satellite data combined with other data sources to address the needs of users and stakeholders on different levels from local to global, and addressing the needs of European and global policy frameworks and conventions like the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 642088.


For further information about SWOS, please contact:





Town and Country in the Flow – Network for the Creation of a sustainable Climate Landscape (KlimNet)





Whereas the notion of climate protection has reached the general public in Germany, most citizens only actively deal with the topic of climate adaptation when they are directly affected by the effects of climate change. However, creative climate adaptation strategies are best found by moving beyond mere threat scenarios. This is where the project „Town and Country in the Flow“ (KlimNet) sets in.

KlimNet aims at improving the climate adaptation competence of the Cities of Bonn and Gelsenkirchen, which serve as model towns for the development of practical action guidelines. Different stakeholders (administration, civic society and academia) and communities shall be able to use and adapt these guidelines at short notice. For this purpose, satellite data covering the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia from the 1970s to date are classified. The results will show different kinds of land cover and use as well as varying degrees of imperviousness or soil sealing. Moreover, the land cover and use changes over time and certain hotspots will be visible. The provision of decision tools and capacity building measures will ensure the application of the findings by the interested public and communal decision makers. The project is carried out by the Wissenschaftsladen Bonn (WILA Bonn), the Remote Sensing Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Bonn, and the Geomatics Research Group, Department of Geography, Ruhr-University Bochum. It is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) following a decision of the German Bundestag (funding code 03DAS098B, funded until 30/06/2018).

Detailed information and a German project description can be found on project webpage. For more information, please contact: