The Image Analysis and Data Fusion Technical Committee (IADFTC) of the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society serves as a global, multi-disciplinary, network for geospatial data fusion, with the aim of connecting people and resources, educating students and professionals, and promoting the best practices in data fusion applications.
The committee maintains this site and distributes an e-mail newsletter to all committee members on a regular basis. The IADFTC has two main activities:
- organization of a special session held annually during the IGARSS meeting, gathering cutting edge contributions and covering various issues related to data fusion, such as: pan-sharpening, decision fusion, multimodal data fusion, data assimilation, multi-temporal data analysis, ensemble methods, etc.
- organization of the Data Fusion Contest, a scientific challenge held annually since 2006. The Contest is open not only to IEEE members, but to everyone, with the goal of evaluating existing methodologies at the research or operational level to solve remote sensing problems using data from a variety of sensors.
The focus of the 2006 Contest was on the fusion of multispectral and panchromatic images . Six simulated Pleiades images were provided by the French National Space Agency (CNES). Each data set included a very high spatial resolution panchromatic image (0.80 m resolution) and its corresponding multi-spectral image (3.2 m resolution). A high spatial resolution multi-spectral image was available as ground reference, which was used by the organizing committee for evaluation but not distributed to the participants.
In 2007, the Contest theme was urban mapping using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and optical data, and 9 ERS amplitude data sets and 2 Landsat multi-spectral images were made available . The task was to obtain a classification map as accurate as possible with respect to the unknown (to the participants) ground reference, depicting land cover and land use patterns for the urban area under study.
The 2008 Contest was dedicated to the classification of very high spatial resolution (1.3 m) hyper-spectral imagery . The task was again to obtain a classification map as accurate as possible with respect to the unknown (to the participants) ground reference. The data set was collected by the Reflective Optics System Imaging Spectrometer (ROSIS-03) optical sensor with 115 bands covering the 0.43-0.86 μm spectral range.
In 2009-2010, the aim of Contest was to perform change detection using multi-temporal and multi-modal data . Two pairs of data sets were available over Gloucester, UK, before and after a flood event. The data set contained SPOT and ERS images (before and after the disaster). The optical and SAR images were provided by CNES. Similar to previous years’ Contests, the ground truth used to assess the results was not provided to the participants. Each set of results was tested and ranked a first time using the Kappa coefficient. The best five results were used to perform decision fusion with majority voting. Then, re-ranking was carried out after evaluating the level of improvement with respect to the fusion results.
A set of WorldView-2 multi-angular images was provided by DigitalGlobe for the 2011 Contest . This unique set was composed of five Ortho Ready Standard multi-angular acquisitions, including both 16 bit panchromatic and multispectral 8-band images. The data were collected over Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in January 2010 within a three minute time frame with satellite elevation angles of 44.7°, 56.0°, and 81.4° in the forward direction, and 59.8° and 44.6° in the backward direction. Since there were a large variety of possible applications, each participant was allowed to decide a research topic to work on, exploring the most creative use of optical multi-angular information. At the end of the Contest, each participant was required to submit a paper describing in detail the problem addressed, the method used, and the final result generated. The papers submitted were automatically formatted to hide names and affiliations of the authors to ensure neutrality and impartiality of the reviewing process.
The 2012 Contest was designed to investigate the potential of multi-modal/multi-temporal fusion of very high spatial resolution imagery in various remote sensing applications . Three different types of data sets (optical, SAR, and LiDAR) over downtown San Francisco were made available by DigitalGlobe, Astrium Services, and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), including QuickBird, WorldView-2, TerraSAR-X, and LiDAR imagery. The image scenes covered a number of large buildings, skyscrapers, commercial and industrial structures, a mixture of community parks and private housing, and highways and bridges. Following the success of the multi-angular Data Fusion Contest in 2011, each participant was again required to submit a paper describing in detail the problem addressed, method used, and final results generated for review.
 L. Alparone, L. Wald, J. Chanussot, C. Thomas, P. Gamba, L. M. Bruce, “Comparison of pansharpening algorithms: Outcome of the 2006 GRS-S data fusion contest”, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 45, no. 10, pp. 3012–3021, Oct. 2007.
 F. Paciﬁci, F. Del Frate, W. J. Emery, P. Gamba, J. Chanussot, “Urban mapping using coarse SAR and optical data: outcome of the 2007 GRS-S data fusion contest”, IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 331-335, July 2008
 G. Licciardi, F. Paciﬁci, D. Tuia, S. Prasad, T. West, F. Giacco, J. Inglada, E. Christophe, J. Chanussot, P. Gamba, “Decision fusion for the classiﬁcation of hyperspectral data: outcome of the 2008 GRS-S data fusion contest”, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, vol. 47, no. 11, pp. 3857-3865, November 2009
 N. Longbotham, F. Pacifici, T. Glenn, A. Zare, M. Volpi, D. Tuia, E. Christophe, J. Michel, J. Inglada, J. Chanussot, Q. Du “Multi-modal Change Detection, Application to the Detection of Flooded Areas: Outcome of the 2009-2010 Data Fusion Contest”, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 331-342, February 2012
 F. Pacifici, Q. Du, “Foreword to the Special Issue on Optical Multiangular Data Exploitation and Outcome of the 2011 GRSS Data Fusion Contest”, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, vol. 5, no. 1, pp.3-7, February 2012
 Berger, C.; Voltersen, M.; Eckardt, R.; Eberle, J.; Heyer, T.; Salepci, N.; Hese, S.; Schmullius, C.; Tao, J.; Auer, S.; Bamler, R.; Ewald, K.; Gartley, M.; Jacobson, J.; Buswell, A.; Du, Q.; Pacifici, F., “Multi-Modal and Multi-Temporal Data Fusion: Outcome of the 2012 GRSS Data Fusion Contest”, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, vol.6, no.3, pp.1324-1340, June 2013.