General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Remote Sensing For Unesco World Heritage Protection
Language English
Module lecturer dr Lidia Żuk
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position adiunkt
Faculty Faculty of Archeology
Semester 2024/2025 (summer)
Duration 15


Module aim (aims)

The aim of the course is to introduce students to remote sensing data (in particular satellite imagery) as a tool to monitor and protect UNESCO World Heritage. UNESCO’s statutory aim is to identify, protect and preserve cultural and natural heritage around the world which is considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. At the same time World Heritage sites may be undergoing changes due to natural and cultural processes such as can be observed in different parts of the world. Natural hazards (hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding) and cultural phenomena (urban development, war destruction, looting) pose serious threats to the preservation and integrity of that heritage. Remote sensing offers immediate access to otherwise inaccessible areas and also allows us to observe landscape changes from the second half of the 20th century. It is of particular importance in those parts of the world where no other records exist or are inaccessible. As such it may be regarded an invaluable tool to identify and monitor those processes and their effect upon heritage. During the course students will acquire basic skills in identification and interpretation of changes around world heritage sites, will learn to estimate their current conditions and existing or potential threats. Consequently, students will learn to use remote sensing in monitoring and shaping protection policy of the World Heritage.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


Week 1:  The UNESCO World Heritage: introduction

Week 2: Satellite imagery – principles of visual interpretation

Week 3: Satellite imagery – searching for data

Week 4: Human-induced hazards – part 1

Week 5: Human-induced hazards – part 2

Week 5: Natural hazards – part 1

Week 6: Natural hazards – part 2

Week 7: Presentations and discussion

Reading list

Gfeller A. E., Eisenberg J. 2015. UNESCO and the shaping of global heritage, in P. Deudahl (ed.) A History of UNESCO: Global Actions and Impact, 277-299. 

Hadjimitsis D., Themistocleous K., Cuca B., Agapiou A., Lysandrou V., Lasaponara, R., Masini N., Schreier G. (eds.) 2020. Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Landscapes. Best Practices and Perspectives Across Europe and the Middle East; Springer: Heidelberg/Berlin. 

Lasaponara R., Masini N. (eds.) 2008. Advances on Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management; Aracne Editrice: Rome. 

Lasaponara R., Masini N. (eds.) 2012. Satellite Remote Sensing: A New Tool for Archaeology; Springer: Heidelberg/Berlin. UNESCO 2010 Managing Disaster Risks for World Heritage 

Tapete, D. (red.) 2019. Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology; MDPI AG: Basel,; ISBN 978-303-842-763-6.