In 2008, September 30 to October 4, the I International EARSeL Workshop on “Advances in Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management“ took place in Rome, organized by the chairmen of the EARSeL SIG on Remote Sensing for Natural and Cultural Heritage (ReSeArCH). A large scientific community composed of archaeologists, geophysicists, experts in aerial archaeology, remote sensing and geomatics, gave rise to a lively debate on the potential, limitations and overlook of traditional and novel Earth Observation Technologies for archaeology and cultural heritage management applications.
The discussions of the successful Rome Workshop stimulated and addressed the dissemination activity of the SIG towards a rich scientific production with the publication of the Proceedings, four special issues on international journals such as Archaeological Prospection vol. 16 (2009), Journal of Cultural Heritage vol. 10S(2009), Photo Interpretation vol. 46 (2010), Journal of Archaeological Science vol. 38 (2011) and a book published by Springer entitled "Satellite Remote Sensing: A New Tool for Archaeology". These publications mainly dealt with the use of Remote Sensing for site-discovery, investigation and reconstruction of historical landscapes, documentation monitoring and management of cultural heritage, methodological issues related to the information extraction and integration of different data sources.
The interest of the scientific community increased over years, thus pushing the SIG ReSeArCH to yearly organize dedicated sessions on Cultural heritage within EARSEL Symposia (Chania 2009, Paris 2010, Prague 2011) and the most recent II International EARSeL Workshop joint with AARG in Poznan (September 2011).
Four years after the Rome Workshop, the scientific interest for Remote Sensing and Cultural Heritage has strongly increased. The available technologies as well as methodological approaches improved thus facilitating a larger use, mainly for archaeological purposes.
In this lively cultural and scientific context, the III International EARSeL Workshop will take place in September 2012 in Gent (Belgium) organized by Rudi Goossens. After the overview provevided by the Rome meeting, the Gent workshop will be focused on strategical issues which involve not only the knowledge improvement but also the contribution of Remote Sensing for a sustainable management of cultural resources not only in Europe but also and mainly in emerging and developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.