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Spatial Applications Division Leuven (SADL) is an interdisciplinary R & D Division of the K.U.Leuven. R & D Divisions differ from other research groups because research is rather applied than fundamental and is performed in close collaboration with governments or companies.Divisions therefore are considered as transfer points between the university and the non-academic users.
The merging of two former R&D Divisions of the K.U.Leuven, namely Leuven Earth Observation (LEO) and Ground for GIS (GfG), resulted in SADL. Nowadays, SADL is a joint collaboration between six research groups or divisions:
* Research Group Urban and Regional Planning * Division Soil and Water Management * Division Forest, Nature and Landscape Research * Division M3-BIORES: Measure, Model & Manage * Social and Economic Geography Section * Physical and Regional Geography Section * ESAT - PSI, Centre for the Processing of Speech & Images
The mission of SADL is to improve the transfer of scientific knowledge and technology for Earth Observation and Spatial modelling like the management, analysis and the use of geographical data in the thematic areas of the different divisions.
SADL performs applied research in different areas : Mobility and Transport, Urban and Regional Planning, Soil and Water, Forest, Nature and Landscape, Agriculture and using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). GIS are software packages to process spatial data into information which is useful to support a wide variety of decisions.
SADL delivers consultancies on GIS and organises life long learning programs regarding various aspects of Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
SADL has 15 years long history of SDI related research and development. The Division has taken part in developing INSPIRE directive and is currently involved in the creation of INSPIRE Data Specifications. Recently SADL is now involved in preparations for SEIS programme, within the NESIS network.
FOSS4G gained importance and share in SADL's activities since 2004, as we started to use OSS web mapping tools: MapServer and Geoserver in our tool developments and consultancy. Since 2006 we run regular courses on using FOSS4G for land evaluation, targeted to participants from developing countries. The course is financed by Flemish Inter-University Council under the Short Training Initiative programme (VLIR-KOI). In 2007 SADL coordinates CASCADOSS project: Development of a trans-national cascade training programme on Open Source GIS&RS Software for environmental applications.