Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB



EO2HEAVEN (Earth Observation and Environmental Modelling for the Mitigation of Health Risks) is a research project co-funded by the European Commission as part of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) Environmental theme. It started on 1st February 2010. The duration of the projects is three years and the allocated European Commission funding is more than Euro 6 million. 


Project Objectives

EO2HEAVEN contributes to a better understanding of the complex relationships between environmental changes and their impact on human health. 

The project will monitor changes induced by human activities, with emphasis on atmospheric, river, lake and coastal marine pollution.

EO2HEAVEN will follow a multidisciplinary and user-driven approach involving public health stakeholders who will work closely with technology and service providers in both the earth observation and in-situ environmental monitoring domain. The result of this collaboration will be the design and development of a GIS based upon an open and standards-based Spatial Information Infrastructure (SII) envisaged as a helpful tool for research of human exposure and early detection of potential health endangerments.

For this reason the project will develop models to relate environmental data with exposure and health data. The SII will include bridging capabilities at the syntactic and semantic levels to and between environmental and health systems. Health data collections will be studied and new structures for their integration into SII will be described. Also standards for health data collection will be proposed. Ongoing and recently completed research projects in the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), environmental and health domains will be studied and used in an integrative approach.

In addition EO2HEAVEN will examine the different Earth Observation products, especially those resources available free of charge for the research community, like the imagery from the Landsat satellite programme, which was launched 38 years ago.

In order to study the impact of human activity on health the project will take advantage of the availability of this long time-series data combined with its great potential to detect and map environmental variables. For this purpose EO2HEAVEN will also strengthen the integration of remotely sensed and in-situ environmental measurements. The SII therefore facilitates the set-up of observation and decision support systems that rely upon the correlation and fusion of earth observation, in-situ and human health data.

EO2HEAVEN work is organized in three case studies: a) environmental effects on allergies and cardiovascular diseases in Saxony, Germany, b) environmental challenges to health caused by air pollution from petrochemical plants in Durban, South Africa, and c) investigating the impact of climate variables on cholera outbreaks in Uganda.

The cholera case study requires accurate records of cholera cases. To improve the cholera reporting in Uganda, an application was developed for mobile devices that allows the field registration of patients to be done quickly and easily. The vision is to incorporate this application into an early warning system. Find out more on this important subject in our product sheet "Mobile reporting of health data"

At the EU side event of the GEO-X Plenary and Ministerial Summit (held in January 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland), Dr. Kym Watson gave a presentation on building a cholera early warning system based on the results of EO2HEAVEN.


More information can be obtained from the publication: EO2HEAVEN - mitigating environmental health risks (©2013 by the EO2HEAVEN Consortium)