# The Geovation Group

Seeing the Planet Differently

## New (2020) $30K /4yr PhD Scholarship in Urban Remote Sensing Deadline: This September 2020 scholarship opportunity closes January 15, 2020 (or when filled). Applicants are invited to apply for a University of Calgary Eyes High PhD Graduate Research Scholarship (open to all nationalities) in Urban Remote Sensing with an emphasis on Geographic Object Based Image Analysis (GEOBIA), Machine Learning and H-Res’ Airborne Thermal Imaging. This award is for$30,000 (CDN) per year for 4 years at the PhD level in the Department of Geography. It will be carried out as a member of the Geovation Group under the supervision of Dr. Geoffrey J. Hay

Preference will be given to those with a strong background in digital urban remote sensing (ENVI & IDL), GEOBIA (ENVI-FX, eCognition), GIS (ESRI, QGIS), spatial statistics (R, SPSS, S-Plus), Machine Learning(pytorch, tensorflow, keras, etc), computer programming (IDL, Matlab and Python) and web-development, as well as strong oral and written English language abilities. The ability to communicate and publicly present well in social settings, and conduct research both on their own, and as part of a team are desirable assets. Ideally, candidates will have interest/expertise in: (i) Segmentation of dense urban roof tops/buildings, roads and vegetation from high-resolution TIR/RGBi imagery, (ii) Generation of heat-loss and energy-efficiency metrics from high-resolution TIR imagery.

The successful candidate will have access to state-of-the-art department computing, software and digital library resources as well as high-resolution thermal and RGBi urban remote sensing and GIS datasets. Opportunities may also be developed for motivated students to collaborate with Industry partners.

Academic Requirement: (i)Applicants must hold a minimum grade equivalent to a GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale OR an (A-) to (A+) average. If your degreeis not from a Canadian institution, please check the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for information on International requirements for admission. (ii) For those whose first language is not English, we require either TOEFL or IELTS. In general, the minimumis an overall IELTS score of 6.5 and no band less than 6.0, and/or TOEFL of 86 with no section less than 20 (internet based).

Supporting documents: Please email Dr Hay with (i) copies of academic transcripts, (ii) a curriculum vitae, (iii) a brief project proposal/statement (one-page max) of how your research may fit Dr Hay’s, (iv) copies of your TOEFL/IELTS results, and (v) a list of at least three references that Dr. Hay can contact. Please ensure that your CV includes a list of all awards/scholarships/grants, presentations, and related publications, as well as areas of expertise, training and knowledge, and other relevant experiences. International students must provide transcripts in their original language as well as an English translation.

Please email supporting documents as a complete package (not compressed) to gjhay@ucalgary.ca and include Subject Heading “Eyes-High PhD Scholarship Application”.

## New GEOBIA Review Publication

In October, 2019 Dr Hay co-authored an important GEOBIA review paper in the ISPRS International Journal of Geo -Information (IJGI) titled GEOBIA Achievements and Spatial Opportunities in the Era of Big Earth Observation Data”.

The objective of this paper is to review the role of spatial concepts in the understanding of image objects as the primary analytical units in semantic EO (Earth Observation) image analysis, and to identify opportunities where GEOBIA may support multi-source remote sensing analysis in the era of big EO data analytics. It also (re-) emphasizes the spatial paradigm as a key requisite for an image understanding system able to deal with and exploit the massive data streams we are currently facing.

## Salar Ghaffarian successfully defends MSc Thesis Proposal

On Sept 11, 2019, Salar Ghaffarian successfully defended his thesis proposal. Salar’s proposal was titled “Automatic Mapping of Residential Rooftops using High-Resolution Thermal Imagery”. In order to meet the needs of our commercial partner (MyHEAT) this research proposes two main goals: (1) optimize a leading-edge Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) method for automatic and accurate rooftop delineation from MyHEAT’s existing H-Res TIR imagery and (2) define the optimal spatial resolution for CNN based rooftop delineation. By satisfying these goals, we expect to: (i) reduce MyHEAT’s ancillary data acquisition/processing costs as their (optimal resolution) TIR imagery will be the only required data source for HEAT loss metrics, (ii) speed up their entire analytical pipe-line, as there will be no need to acquire, correct, or negotiate for auxiliary data, (iii) be able to apply the optimized model to existing and future archives of MyHEAT TIR imagery.

All committee members noted how well written the proposal was. Well done Salar.

## MyHEAT at UCalgary Innovation Fair

Great beginning of 2019 semester at @UCalgary Innovation Fair – Making new friends and 6+ hrs of non-stop @myheatinc conversations on #urban#EnergyEfficiency and thermal remote sensing.

Thanks to my Grad students Corey (left) and Salar (right) for making this happen.

For more pics visit this link

## Dr Hay receives a 5yr NSERC grant

In April 2019, Dr Hay was awarded a 5 year NSERC Discovery Grant (2019-2023) for his newly proposed research program titled “The Remote Sensing of Urban Energy Efficiency”. His long-term goal is to evaluate whether high-resolution airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery acquired by the Canadian made TABI-1800 (Thermal Airborne Broadband Imager) can be used to quantify, map and monitor urban energy efficiency over time, at the resolution of individual houses, and the scale of a large Canadian city with over 1 million residents.

This has never been done before with remote sensing imagery.

## Dave Griffith publishes MGIS research

In November 2018, David Griffith (MGIS, 2018)  published his MGIS project in the ISPRS International Journal of Geo -Information* – titled: “Integrating GEOBIA, Machine Learning, and Volunteered Geographic Information to Map Vegetation over Rooftops. It was also selected as the Cover Paper for the GEOBIA 2018 Special issue (GEOBIA in a Changing World).

The objective of this study is to evaluate operational methods for creating a particular type of urban vegetation map – one focused on vegetation over rooftops (VOR) -specifically trees that extend over urban residential buildings.

Since this time, David has accepted a full-time position at MyHEAT, as an Applied Scientist specializing in Remote Sensing and Machine Learning. Great Work Dave!