Image Processing Reference
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projects that extend shorelines into the sea. In Lebanon and most of the GCC coun-
tries, these activities have been carried out for decades. Dubai city, for example,
increased in size by 92 km 2 in 15 years (Doxiadis Associates 1985 ). Likewise,
the area of Bahrain increased by 47.3 km 2 in 23 years, by continuing land recla-
mation along the coastal zones at the Persian Gulf for urban development (CSO
1999 ). It is estimated that municipal waste generation in the region increased to 25
t/year in 1995 (Kanbour 1997 ), which is double of the annual waste generation in
Mashriq countries of Iraq and Syria. In the GCC countries, waste collection and
disposal systems are fairly efficient compared to those in the Mashriq. Plants for
composting municipal solid wastes and sewage sludge have been established in sev-
eral countries (Kanbour 1997 ).
Remote Sensing Infrastructure in Africa and West Asia
Remote sensing techniques, geographic information systems (GIS), Global
Positioning System (GPS), and telecommunications are valuable tools that
provide information and data analyses capabilities for natural resources
management, environmental monitoring and human activities assessment.
In developing countries, especially in Africa and West Asia, many research
institutions, centers for studies, and universities have been introduced to these
technologies and tools to support decision making processes.
Remotely sensed data are gathered throughout national agencies or regional
providers of imagery. The United Nations Regional Center for Space Sciences
and Technology Education in Asia has been in operation since November
1995. This was followed by the establishment of two similar centers; one in
Morocco (for French speaking countries), and one in Nigeria (for English
speaking countries). There is also another international initiative for establishing
a new regional center in Western Asia, which currently involves Jordan,
Saudi Arabia and Syria. These centers are expected to enhance the academic
and professional capabilities and technical infrastructure in each region
(UNISPACE-3 1999 ). In addition, there are several remote sensing centers in
the GCC countries. The first center of remote sensing was established by the
Institute of Space Research (ISR) at King Abdulaziz City for Science and
Technology (KACST). It has provided remote sensing imagery and data since
1987 for the public and private sectors (KACST 2002 ). A second center was
set-up in 1997 by United Arab Emirates and is operated by Dubai Space
Imaging (DSI). DSI sells information products and services, as well as imagery
and will provide training in imagery analysis and GIS tools and applications
(Baker et al. 2001 ). A number of GIS and RS forums, are being held in the
region, at bi-annual basis; for example: the MARISY Symposium in Morocco,
AFRICAGIS in Africa, and a GIS Conference at Bahrain.
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