Helmholtz Centre Potsdam German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ)

The Helmholtz Centre Potsdam German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ), the coordinating partner of SENSUM, was founded in 1992 as the national research institution for geosciences in Germany and is an member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres. GFZ is made up of five departments: Geodesy and Remote Sensing, Physics of the Earth, Geodynamics and Geomaterials, Chemistry of the Earth, and Earth Surface Processes. Together, these departments are the source of a wide range of new methodologies, models, architectures, software and instrumentation, coming with. GFZ is one of the founders of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) which is a public/private partnership initiated and approved by the Global Science Forum of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD-GSF). The objective of GEM is the formulation of a uniform, independent standard to calculate and communicate earthquake risk worldwide, and it is the taxonomy being developed by GEM that is being followed within SENSUM. GFZ is also the coordinating partner of one of the GEM regional initiative, the Earthquake Model Central Asia (EMCA). Other actions GFZ is involved with that are relevant to SENSUM include the Centre of Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM), which was founded by GFZ and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology as a provider of multi-risk information on natural hazards in Germany, the Global Change Observatory – Central Asia (GCO-CA), where GFZ is developing a solid network of high-level collaboration and operational field expertise in Turkey and most of Central Asian countries, and the PROGRESS (Potsdam Research Cluster for Georisk Analysis, Environmental Change and Sustainability) project.GFZ's involvement in SENSUM, in addition to its managerial role, is to develop methodologies that allow for the rapid classification of the building stock of an urban area assessment via remote sensing images, or the use of ground-based omni-directional camera surveys (see the figure). This requires the development of multi-scale dynamic image sampling methods, which can then be exploited for the monitoring of recovery and/or detecting changes in the exposure and vulnerability of the built environment.


Specific role in SENSUM

Project Coordinator, Work Package Lead WP1, WP3, WP7, WP8; Participant in WP2, WP4, WP6.



Kevin Fleming

Marc Wieland

Massimiliano Pittore