Economics serving society

(March 4 and 8) Society and Environment Workshops: “Spatial remote sensing and social geography”

The PSE collaborative project Society and Environment is glad to invite you to its first workshops on the theme of remote sensing and the use of satellite data in social sciences. The two inaugural conferences will be held online by Laurent Polidori (UFPA - UFRA, Belém, Brazil):

Spatial remote sensing and social geography

  • Thursday, March 4th ; 3:30pm-5:00pm
  • Monday, March 8th ; 3:30pm-5:00pm

The workshops will be held online (Zoom).
To attend one of the live sessions, please register via this link.


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The possibility of seeing human beings from satellites is very limited and of little interest. On the other hand, the traces left by society on the earth’s surface have much to say: these traces, which accompany urbanisation, agriculture and transport in particular, are visible to satellites at all scales and tell us about the relationship between societies and their environment. In their variety of scales and ranges of sensitivity, space sensors have access to different characteristics of the earth’s surface, all of which are indices of human occupation: colour of materials, heat emissions, night-time light, surface stability and roughness, presence of particular geometric shapes, etc. The conferences will show how observation satellites, which have been flying over the Earth for more than half a century, shed light on social geography.

Download the references cited by Laurent Polidori:


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Laurent Polidori is a senior scientist in remote sensing and geodetic sciences, with experience in cartographic applications. He received a PhD in remote sensing and geoscience from Paris University in 1991. His first research positions were with Aerospatiale (now Thales Alenia Space, Cannes) and IRD (Cayenne, French Guiana). From 2007 to 2015 he was a professor at CNAM (France), director of ESGT (a faculty of geodetic sciences and land administration) and the associated research lab GeF (Géomatique & Foncier). From 2016 to 2020 he was the director of CESBIO (Centre of spatial studies of the biosphere, Toulouse, France). He has served as president of the French Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (2008-2014). He is now professor in UFPA and UFRA, Belém, Brazil.


More information about the Society and Environment project on this page

Replay (2 parts)