UP Applied Geodesy & Space Technology Research Lab.

Leading the Philippines in applied geodesy and space technology research and development.

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2013 in review

Posted by administrator on February 28, 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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Margie Parinas presents research on ALOS PALSAR at the IGARSS13 in Melbourne, Australia

Posted by administrator on August 7, 2013

MargieParinas_igarss13Ms. Margie Parinas, an MS Remote Sensing student and AGST Lab Research Group (RG) member, recently presented her research paper at the prestigious International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium 2013 (IGARSS13). IGARRS13 was held from July 21-26, 2013 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Melbourne, Australia. IGARSS is a yearly event that is organized by the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society. This year’s symposium was held with the theme “Building a Sustainable Earth through Remote Sensing”.

Ms. Parinas’ research paper is entitled “Analysis of Effective Window Size in Texture-based Classification of 2006-2010 ALOS PALSAR 25-m Mosaic Images, and was presented during the IGARSS13 Poster Session on “Information Extraction for Land and Maritime Applications”. The paper, which was co-authored with her thesis adviser and AGST Lab RG head, Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, discusses the development of a land cover texture-based classification scheme applicable for imageries acquired by ALOS PALSAR, with the Upper Marikina watershed as case study area. The results of this research have implications in understanding and monitoring the dynamic of land cover at a higher temporal frequency that are not possible with optical imageries. PALSAR or Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar, is an active microwave sensor on-board the Advanced Land Observation System (ALOS) satellite. PALSAR captures images of the Earth’s surfaces using L-band frequency to achieve cloud-free and day-and-night land observation.

Ms. Parinas’ research was supported by the Engineering Research and Development Technology (ERDT) Program, Fauna & Flora International and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur  Internationale Zusammenarbeit.

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5 papers from AGST Lab presented during NRSC 2013

Posted by administrator on June 5, 2013

Five (5) research papers authored by AGST Lab Research Group (RG) members (former and current) were presented during the 3rd National Remote Sensing Conference (NRSC 2013). These papers were outputs of researches, projects and theses conducted at the AGST Lab. The NRSC 2013 was held from May 30-31, 2013 at the National Engineering Center Audio Visual Room, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. The following are the papers that were presented:

    • The DREAM Program: A comprehensive approach towards generating flood information products and services for disaster mitigation
      • Presented by Dr. Enrico C. Paringit
    • Texture-based classification of 2006-2010 ALOS PALSAR 25m mosaic images for continuous land cover monitoring
      • Presented by Ms. Margie Parinas
    • Indirect Estimation of Structural Attributes of the Starch-rich Sago Palm through Analysis of Spectral Reflectance and Vegetation Indices
      • Presented by Engr. Meriam Makinano-Santillan
    • Reconstruction of the August 2012 Habagat Flooding in Marikina River: Flood Model Parameterization and Accuracy Assessment Based on Optical and SAR Image Analyses
      • Presented by Engr. Jojene R. Santillan
    • Monitoring the Spectral Response of Philippine Vegetation During the 2009-2010 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Using Remote Sensing
      • Presented by For. Cristina Montoya

The NRSC is a yearly event spearheaded by the Philippine Remote Sensing Society (PhilRSS). This year’s NRSC was held with the theme “Remote Sensing for a Smarter Philippines”. Two international remote sensing experts gave plenary talks on the first day of the conference. They were: Dr. Josefino C. Comiso – Senior Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Dr. Kohei Cho – General Secretary, Asian Association on Remote Sensing and Dean, School of Information Science & Technology, Tokai University, Japan. Dr. Comiso talked about “Climate Change as Observed from Space” while Dr. Cho shared his research on “Monitoring the Damages and Recovery of the Japan Disaster from Space”.

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Landsat 8 data now available for free

Posted by administrator on June 5, 2013

Landsat 8 image of Metro Manila and adjoining areas (including Taal and Laguna Lakes, and Manila Bay)

Landsat 8 image of Metro Manila and adjoining areas (including Taal and Laguna Lakes, and Manila Bay). Image taken by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on May 13, 2013.

(Reposted from http://landsat.usgs.gov/LDCM_Landsat8.php)

The Landsat 8 satellite.

Data collected by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) onboard the Landsat 8 satellite are available to download at no charge from GloVis, EarthExplorer, or via the LandsatLook Viewer.

Orbiting the Earth every 99 minutes, Landsat 8 images the entire Earth every 16 days in the same orbit previously used by Landsat 5. Data products are available within 12 hours of reception.

Landsat 8 Data Products

OLI and TIRS data from Landsat 8 is processed to be consistent with the already archived Landsat 1 through 7 data products. Processing details of Landsat 8 Level 1 Products are described on http://landsat.usgs.gov/LDCM_DataProduct.php

The OLI sensor includes refined heritage bands, along with two new band files, and a new Quality Assessment band file. The TIRS sensor provides two thermal bands. Band names, wavelengths and resolution for each sensor are listed on http://landsat.usgs.gov/band_designations_landsat_satellites.php. A comparison of Landsat 8 and Landsat 7 band file combinations and wavelength values is available at http://landsat.usgs.gov/L8_band_combos.php. The additional bands will create a larger data file size, at approximately 1 GB compressed.

Landsat 8’s OLI and TIRS sensors provide improved signal-to-noise (SNR) radiometric performance quantized over a 12-bit dynamic range. This translates into 4096 potential grey levels in an image compared with only 256 grey levels in previous 8-bit instruments. Improved signal to noise performance will enable improved characterization of land cover state and condition. Products will be delivered as 16-bit images.

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Forester Cristina Montoya successfully defends thesis

Posted by administrator on May 28, 2013

Montoya_MSRSForester Cristina Montoya, member of AGST Lab’s Research Group successfully defended her Master of Science in Remote Sensing (MSRS) thesis last May 10, 2013 at the Geodetic Engineering Theater, College of Engineering, UP Diliman, Quezon City. The title of her thesis is “Monitoring the spectral response of Philippine vegetation during the 2009-2010 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) using remote sensing”. The defense panel consisted of Prof. Czar Jakiri Sarmiento of UP DGE as panel chairman, Dr. Gay Jane Perez of UP IESM, Dr. Vicente B. Tuddao Jr., and Dr. Enrico C. Paringit of UP DGE. Dr. Paringit is her thesis adviser.

Forester Montoya is currently affiliated with the Remote Sensing and Resource Data Analysis Division of the National Mapping Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA).

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Dr. Enrico Paringit receives the Outstanding Engineering Researcher Award for 2013

Posted by administrator on April 29, 2013

Dr. Enrico C. Paringit

April 29, 2013 – Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, Associate Professor in the UP Diliman Department of Geodetic Engineering (DGE) and current AGST Lab. Coordinator, receive today the “Outstanding Engineering Award” during the College of Engineering (COE) Recognition Rites award at the UP Amphitheater, Diliman, Quezon City.

The award is given to Dr. Paringit for having accomplished high-impact research in the fields of land surveying, remote sensing and geographic information system (RS-GIS), environmental monitoring, and disaster risk assessment and management, while at the same being able to significantly contribute in creating a research-friendly environment by including in his research projects the acquisition of state-of-the-art research equipments that could be used as well by fellow researchers, students and faculty members within and outside the DGE and Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry (TCAGP).

In his 14 years of service in the UP Diliman College of Engineering, Dr. Paringit has undertaken more than 20 research projects, twelve (12) of which were completed between 2008-2013, and two (2) are still on-going. These projects were very instrumental for the acquisition of equipments that enhanced the conduct of research, training and instruction in the DGE & TCAGP. Some of these equipments include survey grade Global Positioning System receivers, spectroradiometer, single-beam and multi-beam echosounders, and mobile mapping system (MMS). Dr. Paringit has authored and co-authored a total of 112 publications which include 2 book chapters, 5 papers published in international peer-reviewed journals, and 105 papers presented in local and international conferences. Funded by both local and international agencies and government institutions, Dr. Paringit’s research projects addressed timely issues and environmental problems that need understanding and immediate solutions.

Dr. Paringit also undertook research projects to assist Philippine government agencies in their decision-making processes. In the “Pasig River Tributaries Survey and Assessment Study – Phase I”, Dr. Paringit and his team of researchers gathered primary data, information and analysis of the physical, tenurial and fiscal aspects of the Pasig River System tributaries. The baseline information is necessary to guide the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) for proper rehabilitation of this river. On the other hand, Dr. Paringit together with a team of researchers from the UP TCAGP undertook the profile and cross-section surveys, inflow measurements and flood modeling of Surigao River in Surigao City for flood hazard assessment purposes. This output of this research project was aimed to satisfy the requirements of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) as part of its effort in integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in local development planning and decision-making processes.

To top these achievements is the approval by the DOST of Dr. Paringit’s project proposal entitled “Nationwide Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM)”. With a total implementation cost of P1.6 Billion pesos, this 2-year research project is by far the biggest, single project that a research unit in the entire UP system has ever undertaken. The project, which UP TCAGP started implementing in January 2012, is an effort to address and mitigate the effects of natural disasters in the country. DREAM is a micro mapping project that will utilize geospatial data gathering technologies, particularly light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) to produce detailed topographic information that will enable the creation of more accurate flood inundation maps. The project will prioritize the 16 river basins in the country and urban areas prone to flooding.

The Outstanding Engineering Researcher Award comes together with a cash prize provided by the College of Engineering, UP Engineering Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (UPERDFI) and Globe Telecom, is given yearly to recognize and reward deserving faculty members in the College of Engineering for their outstanding achievements. Other faculty awards include

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2012 in review

Posted by administrator on January 1, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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AGSTLab acquires Multibeam Echosounder System

Posted by administrator on May 30, 2012

The Applied Geodesy and Research Laboratory (AGST Lab) of the Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry & Department of Geodetic Engineering (TCAGP & DGE) of the College of Engineering, University of the Philippines-Diliman recently acquired a brand new Multibeam Echosounder System as part of the research program entitled “Surveys and Measurement Technologies for Flood Control, Mitigation and Management (SMTFCMMS)” being implemented by the UP TCAGP and funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).

Two research projects under the SMTFCMMS Program will utilize the MBES, namely “Project 3. Modeling of Flashflood Events by Integrated GIS and Hydrological Simulations” and “Project 4: Development of Geospatial Analysis Tools for Catchment Runoff Responses to Extreme Rainfall Events and Implications for Disaster and Environmental Management”. Projects 3 and 4 aims to develop a hydrological model of the upstream watersheds and a flood model of the floodplains of the Pasig-Marikina River Basin.

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Rose Obico of PhilRice sucessfully defends thesis on rice area mapping using Radar image analysis

Posted by administrator on December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011 — Mary Rose Obico of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and AGST Research Group member successfully defended her MS Remote Sensing thesis today entitled “Mapping and discriminating irrigated and rainfed rice areas in Central Luzon using Envisat Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) images” at the Geodetic Engineering Theater, College of Engineering, UP Diliman. Her adviser is Dr. Enrico C. Paringit of the Department of Geodetic Engineering.

The rice area map produced by Mary Rose Obico for some municipalities in Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan.

Ms. Obico’s thesis focused on the need for accurate monitoring rice crop systems in the Philippines which is very essential in ensuring food security for the country.  The conventional method of rice monitoring involves ground surveys conducted by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) of the Department of Agriculture every semester to estimate the rice acreage and production at the provincial and national level. It has been quite difficult for this method to obtain timely and accurate rice area data. With Ms. Obico’s thesis, an alternative approach to map rice areas using remotely-sensed images acquired by the Envisat Advanced Sythentic Aperture Radar (ASAR) sensor was developed. Envisat ASAR is satellite sensor that uses imaging Radar (or Radio Detection and Ranging) technology to detect objects on the surface of the earth. Envisat ASAR images offer an effective alternative to conventional methods of rice monitoring because of its all-weather imaging capability. Her study determined the suitable approach in mapping irrigated and rainfed rice areas using multi-temporal Envisat ASAR images for two cropping seasons in Central Luzon, Philippines to update the land-use paper maps and to promote transfer of location-specific technologies, farm management and cropping system.

Five ASAR Alternating Polarization Precision (APP) images and eleven ASAR Image Mode (IM) images were acquired during the dry cropping season (01/01/10, 02/05/10, and 04/16/10) and wet cropping season (05/23/10, 06/11/10, 06/27/10, 08/01/10, 08/20/10 and 09/05/10), respectively. Image pre-processing and calculation of radar backscatter coefficient of the images were performed. Supervised classification techniques were applied to the color composite images. Rice area estimation, accuracy assessment, and comparison of rice area produced from the classified images with the government reported statistics were conducted. The method delineated rice production areas for one wet and one dry season, and was able to extract trend on rice cultivation as a function of different planting dates. A classification accuracy of 82% and 92% was achieved for dry and wet season, respectively. The ASAR-derived rice area estimates were highly comparable to the government reported statistics with range of percentage of rice field mapped of 94 to 106%. Image subtraction and GIS analysis were applied to the classified image of dry and wet season to produce the map of irrigated and rainfed rice areas.

This study demonstrated that multi-temporal ENVISAT ASAR data with 30 meters resolution could be used for mapping planted rice areas and estimating the rice hectarage. Six Envisat ASAR images that could generate four multi-temporal color composite images are enough to determine the rice cultivation pattern as a function of different planting dates. Likewise, the application of MLC and SVM methods to the color composite images delineated rice production areas for dry and wet cropping seasons. The mapping methodology developed was able to identify not only rice fields but the differences in rice ecosystems, irrigated and rainfed, and also provided an accurate assessment of the rice acreage of these two ecosystems. Thus, the mapping procedure developed demonstrates the potential of remote sensing for objective and accurate method of rice area estimation.

A research paper of Ms. Obico’s thesis which was recently presented during the 32nd Asian Conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS) in Taipei, Taiwan can be downloaded here.

Ms. Obico becomes the 14th AGST Lab Research Group alumni since the establishment of the lab. in the year 2005.

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Remote sensing researchers and professionals from the Philippines attend ACRS 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan; present research papers, bag two awards

Posted by administrator on October 7, 2011

Taipei, Taiwan – Filipino remote sensing researchers and professionals attended the 32nd Asian Conference on Remote Sensing (ACRS 2011) held at the Taipei International Convention Center (TICC) in Taipei, Taiwan on October 3-7, 2011. The ACRS is a yearly event spearheaded by the Asian Association of Remote Sensing (AARS) with the aim of gathering remote sensing scientists, researchers and professionals across Asia to present their researches, discuss technical issues,  and share and exchange knowledge in remote sensing and related fields of geographic information system (GIS), global positioning system (GPS), and surveying.

The Philippine delegate in the ACRS 2011 was composed of researchers and professionals from the University of the Philippines-Diliman (3), Caraga State University (2), Dela Salle University (3) and Energy Development Corporation (2). The ACRS 2011 served as an important venue for the Philippine delegate to present the results of their various researches in the field of remote sensing, GIS and GPS. The ACRS 2011 was also an opportunity for the Philippine delegates to learn about the current state-of-the-art of remote sensing technology as being implemented in various countries across Asia and beyond, as well as to establish a research network with their Asian counterparts.

 12 research papers by Filipino researchers

A total of 12 research papers authored or co-authored by Filipino researchers were submitted to this year’s conference and presented in various technical and poster sessions of the ACRS 2011.

From UP Diliman (5 research papers):

  • Discriminating and mapping rice ecosystems in Central Luzon, Philippines using Envisat ASAR images (authored by Mary Rose O. Obico and Enrico C. Paringit; presented by Enrico C. Paringit)
  • Oil spill detection in Envisat ASAR images using radar backscatter thresholding and logistics regression analysis (authored by Jojene R. Santillan and Enrico C. Paringit; presented by Jojene R. Santillan)
  • Remote sensing and GIS-based assessment of coastal vulnerability of Bolinao, Pangasinan to sea level rise (authored by Sheryl Rose Reyes and Ariel C. Blanco; poster presented by Sheryl Rose Reyes)
  • Shallow water bathymetry mapping and benthic cover estimation using Worldview-2 high resolution satellite imagery (authored by Enrico C. Paringit; also presented by him)
  • Utilizing spectral reflectance and vegetation indices of Bougainvillea spectabilis for monitoring particulate air pollution in Metro Manila (authored by Alex S. Olpenda and Enrico C. Paringit; poster presented by Enrico C. Paringit)

From Caraga State University (2 research papers co-authored with UP Diliman):

  • A remote sensing and GIS-based capture zone (CapZone) approach to assess fecal contamination on groundwater: a case study of Butuan City, Philippines (authored by Michelle V. Japitana of CSU and Enrico C. Paringit of UPD; presented by Michelle V. Japitana)
  • Merging Landsat image information with georeferenced biophysical and socio-economic datasets to describe forest cover change in a Philippine province (authored by Meriam M. Makinano-Santillan of  CSU and Jojene R. Santillan of UPD; presented by both authors)

 From Dela Salle University (3 research papers):

  • Atmospheric turbidity measurements using a 355nm-532nm Lidar and a sun photometer in Manila, Philippines (authored by Edgar Vallar, Ernest Macalalad, Michael Lajara, and Maria Cecilia Galvez; poster presented by Edgar Vallar, Ernest Macalalad, and Maria Cecilia Galvez
  • Ionospheric delay correction using the Taiwan ionospheric model (TWIM) for single-frequency GPS receiver (authored by Ernest P. Macalalad, Lung-Chi Tsai and Hoz Wu; poster presented by Ernest P. Macalalad.
  • Retrieval of boundary layer and cloud base heights in Manila from a two-wavelength Lidar measurement (authored by Maria Cecilia Galvez, Ernest Macalalad and  Edgar Vallar;  poster presented by the authors )

From Energy Development Corporation:

  • Comparison and assessment of SRTM and ASTER GDEM against national topographic maps as DEM sources for Leyte geothermal production field, Philippines (authored and presented by Serafin Farley Meneses III.

By other Filipino researchers

  • Tsunami hazard simulation mapping of Northeast Japan using SRTM30 data (authored by Jose Edgardo Aban, currently connected with the Universiti Brunei Darussalam)

 Two awards for Filipino researchers

The paper by Engr. Sheryl Rose Reyes, an MS Remote Sensing student from UP Diliman, was selected as one of the 9 Best Student Papers presented in the ACRS 2011. Engr. Reyes received the award during the closing ceremony of ACRS 2011. This is the fourth time since 1998 that a delegate from the Philippines was awarded for best research paper in a remote sensing conference. Previous awardees included Dr. Enrico C. Paringit (Best Paper, ACRS 1998 held in Manila), Engr. Serafin Farley Meneses III (Best Paper, ACRS 2008 held in Beijing, China), and Engr. Jojene R. Santillan (Young Author’s Award, 2010 International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing – Technical Commission VIII Symposium held in Kyoto, Japan).

Aside from the Best Student Paper award to Engr. Reyes, another Filipino won an award during the ACRS 2011. Mr. Ernest P. Macalalad a Filipino graduate student at National Central University – Institute of Space Science won the Gold Prize in the web contest (WEBCON) of ACRS, for his outstanding achievement of a web-based application that embodies the promotion of the development of web materials which may give a future vision of the web related to geo-information sciences.

Big improvement in the Philippines’ participation in this year’s ACRS

The Philippines’ participation to this year’s ACRS was a big improvement compared to last year’s conference where only 5 papers were submitted and presented in the technical sessions.

This year’s conference was held with the theme “Sensing for Green Asia”. It was organized by the Chinese Taipei Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing,  the Center for Space and Remote Sensing of the National Central University-Taiwan, the Asian Association on Remote Sensing, and the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. More than 800 participants from 28 countries in Asia, Australia, North America and Europe attended the ACRS 2011.


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