It's time for another monthly dose of its4land! Read on for updates on tenure, technology, and teamwork 
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Newsletter 09 - October 2016

Welcome to its4land Newsletter #9. October was really busy for all aspects of the project. Work Package 2 (Get Needs) ramped up research instrument design and fieldwork activities. Meanwhile, Work Package 4 (Fly and Create) commenced its UAV pilot training program in Toulouse, France - with teams from UT/ITC, esri Rwanda, and INES Ruhengeri. The first Delair Tech DT-18 UAV also arrived in Kigali, Rwanda. Another round of technology interoperability meetings were held in Enschede, Netherlands with participants from WWU Munster, Hansa Luftbild, and UT. In addition, the its4land Advisory Board got together for the first time - and we had our first (interim) review with the European Commission and our Review Panel members. 

Get Needs - Readiness, Markets, Governance. A key challenge in the first year of its4land is the design of data collection instruments that enable the breadth of its4land stakeholders to be included - in a way that does not overly generalize the diversity of ideas and interests with regards to 'getting needs'. This challenging task is in the good hands of KU-Leuven, Belgium. They've been using an iterative approach to develop the instruments - incorporating feedback from numerous reconnaissance visits, online interaction, and experts informants. In October, this work was progressed further with a hands-on workshop hosted in Leuven with a group of its4land consortium members. Designerly thinking and critical examination of research instruments, applications, and stakeholder groups was focused upon. In addition, deep attention was paid to aspects of 'readiness', 'market needs', and 'governance opportunities'. The results are feeding directly into updated versions of its4land deliverables relating to stakeholder analysis (D2.2) and research instrument design (D2.3).
Participants get hands-on for 'get needs' in Leuven, Belgium
its4land gets its wings. Between October 10-14 2016, along with our UAV partners - Delair Tech - its4land trained up 4 of its budding pilots in Toulouse, France. The training took place at the Delair Tech headquarters and involved staff from University of Twente, esri Rwanda, and INES Ruhengeri. The team was given full exposure to UAV workflows, flight planning, safety issues, ethical concerns, map production with the DelAir Tech UAVs. The next stage involves the budding pilots heading to Rwandan with the Delair Tech team for on-site support training. The whole process will be repeated with pilots from Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia, and the Technical University of Kenya. In all cases, our pilots will be some of the first pilots licensed, registered and ready to fly in the case countries. Moreover, in all three countries it will be the first time Delair Tech drones will enter the countries. By mid-October the first UAV had already arrived in Kigali. 
Primed for Departure - DT-18 set for Kigali, Rwanda
Trainer, trainees, and the DT-18 in Toulouse, France
Catching Up with the European Commission. October also provided the opportunity to catchup with the official its4land review team in the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The review team includes international experts from the fields of photogrammetry, geo-information science, remote sensing, and land tenure management. In this regard, it was great to get real-time feedback about its4land from Koen Meuleman, Dubravka Sladić, and online feedback from John Bosco Kyalo Kiema. Our presentations and report detailed the achievements, challenges, opportunities, and threats stemming from the first 6-months of the project. The review team are compiling a set of recommendations with a view to supporting the project role out in the subsequent 6 months. We'll be having another one of these EC review meetings when the first year of the project is complete. 
Rohan Bennett (UT - Project Coordinator) introduces its4land to the EC panel
Carl Schultz (WWU) provides explanations on the directions and aspirations for Work Package 2
Interoperability health check @ tech4land 4.0.
In addition to our 6-weekly its4land MT meeting held on October 13, The technical work packages leaders also took the opportunity to catchup again in October - via the regular 'tech4land' meeting program. In this fourth addition the teams updated each other on design decisions made since September. The decoupling of the four technical tools, agreed upon to expedite prototyping in Yr 1, has enabled 'Draw and Make' (Work Package 3) and 'Automate It' (Work Package 5) to diverge, explore, and experiment with different approaches and methods. Meanwhile, the leaders of the soon-to-start Work Package 6, 'Publish and Share', are working on a reference architecture that all other technical work packages will need to follow. This will enable re-coupling of the tools later in the design phases. tech4land 4.0 also explored developments with the use of trial UAV data captured in Germany - and alignment of fieldwork activities - planned for Kenya in January 2016.   
Sophie Crommelinck from 'Automate It' updates its4landers on recent developments in the feature extraction work
Welcome aboard the Advisory Board. After agreeing to join the its4land Advisory Board (AB) in May 2016, the 6 members got together for the first time on October 17. The its4land AB is a stand-alone group with neither formal links to the European Commission nor the its4land consortium. The purpose of the group is to provide independent advice to the project - separate to that of the European Commission. In this way, it provides a different set of perspectives on the aims and outputs - and can  look beyond formal project deliverables and milestones. Given this is the project is a 'research and innovation action' this separate body was considered really important in terms of project exploitation and valorisation efforts. The members of the AB were hand selected from what were considered the core stakeholder groupings for the its4land project. Members include: Judi Kariuki from the UNECA and African LPI - and representing both top-down and bottom-up interests in Eastern Africa; Frank Pichel from - representing the emerging land technologists group; Kees de Zeeuw from Kadaster International NL - representing international donors and agencies; Greenville Barnes from the University of Florida representing - land tenure interests in academia and research; Matt Delano from Trimble Land Administration - representing market oriented global geospatial solution provider interests; and Michael Nagenborg from the Dutch 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technologies - representing the ethics and technologies sector - and also acting as the project's independent Ethics Advisor. The initial meeting focused on delivering a project overview, state-of-play, ideas for stakeholder engagement, linkages with ongoing initiatives, and updating on ethical concerns. We're already acting on the feedback provided - by changing up some of the approaches to ethics and project management. The group will continue to meet throughout the project - both formally and in an as-needs basis. its4land is extremely grateful that these thought-leaders are willing to be on board to support - and challenge - when necessary.
its4land maintains tailored communications, dissemination, valorisation, and advisory plans for each of our core stakeholder groups
Missed Something? If you missed any earlier editions of the its4land monthly newsletter - you can get the full back catalogue here. Or, for more regular updates, keep an eye on and follow us on twitter.
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