ERIM / EPEC Annual Week 2023 – Registration Now Open

Europlanet Research Infrastructure Meeting (ERIM)/Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) Annual Week 2023 – Registration Now Open

The first Europlanet Research Infrastructure Meeting (ERIM), co-hosted with the fifth Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) Annual Week, will take place from 19-23 June 2023 in hybrid format at the Hotel Sorea / Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia and online. 

Registration is free and accommodation and travel support is available for participants. 

Registration is now open.

Deadline for on-site registration: 19 May 2023

Deadline for virtual registration: 16 June 2023

About ERIM

ERIM is a new kind of meeting to support European planetary science and associated communities. The format of ERIM 2023 is a series of interactive workshops related to the activities of the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) project, research infrastructures in general, and the Europlanet Society. The meeting will be co-hosted with EPEC Annual Week 2023, the training school for the Europlanet Early Career Network. 

How will it Work?

Workshops will be organised under a series of programme tracks. You can dip in and out of programme tracks, workshops and even sessions during the week. The aim is to make new connections, brainstorm ideas, develop synergies, increase opportunities for collaboration and help us build a strong, thriving, sustainable community for planetary science in Europe.

You don’t have to be a member of the Europlanet Society or the Europlanet 2024 RI project to participate in ERIM. We are looking for new people to engage with Europlanet, so everyone is welcome. However, we will be offering free accommodation and travel grants to a limited number (~150) of participants. If we are over-subscribed in requests for support, priority will be given to Europlanet Society members. (Find out about other benefits of joining the Europlanet Society).


Many different topics will be covered within the ERIM programme tracks and workshops, including:

For full details of the meeting and registration, see:

If you have any questions, contact us.

We hope to see you in Bratislava!

The ERIM 2023 Organising Committee

Researchers develop AI method for mapping planets

Researchers develop AI method for mapping planets

Can the mapping of planets become an automated process? Scientists from Constructor University in Bremen, Germany, the University of Padua, and the University of Bologna have now developed a novel, open-source approach for the mapping of planetary landforms using artificial intelligence. “DeepLandforms,” the pre-release version of the deep learning program was published in the American Geophysical Union journal “Earth and Space Science” at the end of December.

Creating geological maps of planetary surfaces such as Mars is a complex process. From data collection to data analysis to publication in different formats – the production of maps is based on a time-consuming, multi-step process. Deep Learning techniques, which use artificial neural networks to analyse data sets, can significantly improve the production process, as broadly shown in both scientific literature and applications. However, until now, open-source, ready-to-use, and highly customisable toolsets for planetary mapping were never released.

“We were interested in designing a simple, out-of-the-box tool that can be customised and used by many,” said Giacomo Nodjoumi. The PhD candidate in the research group of Angelo Rossi, Professor of Earth and Planetary Science at Constructor University, was key to developing “DeepLandforms”. The program is open and available for further optimisation, and showcases an inexpensive, fast, and simple approach to mapping planets in outer space.

The scientists demonstrated the results that can be achieved with the help of the software for planetary mapping with a specific landform on Mars, which resembles lava tubes on Earth. Geological maps are an important tool in planetary exploration, because they also serve as a basis for possible explorations by robots or humans.

Link to Article:
DeepLandforms: A Deep Learning Computer Vision toolset applied to a prime use case for mapping planetary skylights


This study is within the Europlanet 2024 RI and EXPLORE project, and it has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 871149 and 101004214. Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.

About Constructor University and Constructor group:

An international community, vibrant and diverse. Offering academic excellence, ensuring the highest standards in research and teaching. Empowering students to solve the world’s pressing challenges through knowledge and science: Constructor University is a top-ranked, English-speaking, private university. Founded in 2001, it provides a wide range of 25+ academic programs and PhD. The Constructor ecosystem comprises the university, located in Bremen, Germany and an institute in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

Over 1.800 students from more than 110 nations on campus benefit from a unique interdisciplinary, foundational theoretical and practical education. Enriched with a buzzing entrepreneurial culture that prepares young professionals to thrive in the job market. With 6.000+ alumni worldwide our community keeps growing – with our highest cohort ever registered in 2022.

The research-centric faculty projects are funded by the German Research Foundation and the European Union’s Framework Program for Research and Innovation as well as by globally leading companies.
Constructor University benefits from partnerships with high-ranked universities such as Carnegie Mellon, the University of Geneva or the National University of Singapore School of Computing, and technology companies such as Anisoprint, JetBrains and ChemDiv.

The Constructor ecosystem is a global institution dedicated to addressing the main challenges of the world through science, education, and technology. Apart from the University, the ecosystem relies on several for-profit entities that provide technology infrastructures and solutions, life-long education programs, consulting services, and funding: Alemira by Constructor, Rolos by Constructor, Constructor Learning and Constructor Capital.

About Europlanet

Since 2005, Europlanet has provided Europe’s planetary science community with a platform to exchange ideas and personnel, share research tools, data and facilities, define key science goals for the future, and engage stakeholders, policy makers and European citizens with planetary science.

The Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149 to provide access to state-of-the-art research facilities and a mechanism to coordinate Europe’s planetary science community. The project builds on a €2 million Framework 6 Coordination Action (EuroPlaNet), a €6 million Framework 7 Research Infrastructure (Europlanet RI) and a €10 million Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructure (Europlanet 2020 RI) funded by the European Commission. 

The Europlanet Society promotes the advancement of European planetary science and related fields for the benefit of the community and is open to individual and organisational members. The Society’s aims are:

  • To expand and support a diverse and inclusive planetary community across Europe through the activities of its 10 Regional Hubs
  • To build the profile of the sector through outreach, education and policy activities
  • To underpin the key role Europe plays in planetary science through developing links at a national and international level. 

Europlanet 2024 RI project website:

Europlanet Society website:   

Follow on Twitter via @europlanetmedia


The EXPLORE project gathers experts from different science domains and technological expertises to develop new tools that will enable and promote the exploitation of space science data. Through EXPLORE, we are creating a series of scientific data applications (Apps) that support users who interact with the large space science data archives maintained by space agencies, observatories and other facilities (e.g. ESA Datalabs or ESCAPE SAP). Our applications will equip researchers with state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) and visual analytics to enhance science return and discovery from ‘big data’, initially focusing on data from the Gaia mission (investigating the Milky Way galaxy and stars) and from various missions to explore the Moon. The EXPLORE Data Challenges aim to raise awareness of the Apps produced by the EXPLORE project, and to improve the accuracy of the Apps by harnessing expertise from other data analysis fields. 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004214.

1st Announcement: 2023 GMAP Planetary Geologic Mapping Winter School

1st Announcement: 2023 GMAP Planetary Geologic Mapping Winter School

30 January – 3 February 2023 – Online

​The 2023 GMAP Winter School will be held online, with the main hands-on week (also for ansynchronous participation) from 30th January – 3rd February 2023. Registration is free!

Full details can be found at:

Interested participants are encouraged to review the content of the 2021 and 2022 Winter Schools

This content will serve as a good introduction to the 2023 GMAP Winter School.

The 2023 Winter School will be largely hands-on, with the inclusion of seminars and time for asynchronous interaction and individual/project mapping work.


  • 15 November 2022: Registration opens. The program outline will be available
  • 10 January 2023: Registration closes. The form will be closed at 13 GMT+1
  • 30 January – 3 February 2023: Winter School takes place.
  • March/April 2023: Post-school follow up activities

More information

For any question or expression of interest please feel free to email us at:

Further announcements will be distributed over the GMAP Community mailing list, Europlanet, and
OpenPlanetary channels.

​Please feel free to join writing an email to:

Geology & Planetary Mapping Winter School

Geology & Planetary Mapping Winter School

The next Geology & Planetary Mapping Winter School will be held online 7th – 11th February 2022. The school will be dedicated to the process of creating planetary geologic maps on the Moon, Mercury and Mars.

The registration is now open. The registration deadline is January 15th 2022

The registrations is free. We will try to accomodate as many participants as possible, while keeping a reasonable participant/instructor ratio. The school will cover all the topics that are necessary to produce high-quality planetary cartography:

  • Introduction to features and processes specific to Solar System objects.t
  • Basics of remote sensing and multispectral data exploitation
  • GIS usage, based on QGIS Open Source software (project creation, and layout)
  • Practical collaborative mapping with dedicated instructor on each planetary body (1 full day each)
  • Principles of crater counting
  • Geologic cross section and stratigraphic sections creation
  • Seminars and talks from invited international guests
  • The school will include frontal lectures, practical demonstrations and group-work activities for practicing mapping on the Moon, Mercury and Mars.

Find out more at:

Building a Community for Planetary Geological Mapping

Building a Community for Planetary Geological Mapping 

Europlanet Magazine - Issue 1

 Angelo Pio Rossi (Jacobs University) describes Europlanet’s new geological mapping activity, GMAP.   

Read article in the fully formatted PDF of the Europlanet Magazine.

 Planetary data have been used for geological mapping since the start of the space era half a century ago. Not only do geological maps increase our knowledge of planetary surfaces and their history, they are crucial for ‘In-Situ Resource Utilisation’ – identifying local materials that could be used sustainably for future human and robotic exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond. 

The Geological Mapping (GMAP) activity within the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) project focuses on providing tools and services to create, publish and preserve geological maps of Solar System bodies. A major ambition of GMAP is to create an active user group that can provide standards, documentation and tools for the growing community of planetary mappers around the world. 

For decades, the process of geological mapping was manual, with hand-drawn and coloured units over a blank basemap. Digital mapping is now used, based on both orbital and rover/lander data, matched with modern technology and analytical tools.  Credit: C Montagna/PLANMAP/GMAP

Our first step in developing the GMAP user group was to hold a virtual Planetary Mapping Winter School in February 2021, co-organised with colleagues from the PLANMAP project. Registration was oversubscribed and the training school was attended by 200 early career researchers from every continent, with over 100 participating in live sessions, and around 70 accessing asynchronous content. Following up on the workshop, we launched the first call for registration of GMAP Community Mappers, and over 50 to date have signed up for information on the GMAP community mailing list.

GMAP already has links with several international partners, and the Chinese counterpart of GMAP has been funded recently within the framework of the China-EU co-funding mechanism. The project (Key Technologies and Demonstration of Standardised Planetary Geologic Mapping) aims to develop standardised geological mapping technologies and methods for extracting features from thematic maps, and to make them accessible for implementation in the of upcoming Chinese and European lunar and planetary missions, such as Chang’E-5-8, Tianwen-1 and BepiColombo. Products that come out of the project will be disseminated through the GMAP data portals, and the joint activities will foster collaborations between mappers in Europe, Asia and beyond. 

The GMAP Project Team: University of Padova, Jacobs University Bremen, CBK PAN, DLR, ISPRA, INAF, Jacobs University Bremen, Università d’Annunzio, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Wuhan University, Peking University, Shandong University and National Space Science Center of China Academy of Science. 

Issue 1 of Europlanet Magazine

Europlanet Magazine Main Page

Inspiring Stories – Outreach activities in a European project like PLANMAP

Inspiring Stories – Outreach activities in a European project like PLANMAP

In this EPEC Inspiring Outreach Story, Gloria Tognon, a doctoral student at the Center of Studies and Activities for Space ‘G. Colombo’ of Padua (Italy), tells us about her experience of taking part in the European PLANMAP project.

Scientific knowledge is not just intended for a limited number of people and should be shared and made accessible to everyone. The Horizon 2020 PLANetary MAPping (PLANMAP) project is committed to the production of highly informative geological maps of Mars, Mercury, and the Moon, and every European partner dedicated part of its activities to communication and dissemination.

The main aim of PLANMAP was for several products (geological and spectral maps, 3D geomodels, and virtual environments) to be made freely available online to the scientific community as well as the general public. A particular focus was put on the promotion of planetary geology to young people through the creation of downloadable artworks, digital story maps, and a comic novel published in a special issue of the PLaNCK! Magazine about PLANMAP, “Geomapping other worlds” , which also contained interviews with young researchers working on the project.

Within the framework of outreach activities for young people in the general public, all PLANMAP partners actively organised and participated in festivals, public talks, seminars and school activities. Kids in particular were the main targets of European Researchers’ Nights, and although the events were open to the general public, I can tell you that young people from 5 to 10 years old constituted the real audience. The creation of games and video presentations as a way to engage and hold their attention while explaining difficult ideas in the easiest and funniest way was a crucial step. It may not always be easy for adults to think of ways to communicate science to young people, but for me, videos and games represent a recreational pursuit and a super rewarding experience.

Stands of planetary geology at the European Researchers’ Nights 2018 and 2019 at the University of Padua.

Less imagination and more practical thinking were required in February 2021 when the PLANMAP project concluded its activities, and put its last efforts into organising the virtual ‘Geology & Planetary Mapping Winter School’, which engaged more than 50 instructors from at least 9 European institutions to address 150 registered participants from all around the world. During the school, I had the great opportunity to share my knowledge of planetary geologic mapping with the students, and to organise the final event displaying the ‘Virtual Reality environments for planetary applications and training for astronauts’. Promoted, funded and sustained by the Ambassade de France en Italie-Institut Français en Italie, Center of Studies and Activities for Space “G. Colombo” of Padua and the PLANMAP project, this event provided online lectures and a virtual reality experience simultaneously held in Padua and Nantes. Participants had an amazing chance to have a real-world perception of another planet, and take a field trip to Mars to perform scientific measurements in the field.

Interactive VR experience with geologic science measurements inside the PLANMAP environment. 

I can assure you that engaging with people and sharing your knowledge with them will help you develop your communication skills and self-confidence. Above all, it is the most worthwhile life experience!

Do you like this story and want more? Browse our archive of EPEC Inspiring Stories and get inspired!

China-EU Project Launched to Support Planetary Geological Mapping

China-EU Project Launched to Support Planetary Geological Mapping

A new project to support planetary geological mapping has received funding within framework of the China-EU co-funding mechanism (CFM) on research and innovation cooperation. ‘Key Technologies and Demonstration of Standardised Planetary Geologic Mapping’ is led by Prof Zhizhong Kang of the China University of Geosciences, Beijing (CUGB). The funding of 3,160,000 RMB (~400,000 Euros) for the National Key Research and Development Project runs from 1st December 2020 until 30th November 2023.

The project aims to develop key technologies to standardise planetary geological mapping and implement the methods in geological mapping for current and upcoming Chinese and European lunar and planetary missions, e.g. Chang’E-5-8, TianWen-1 and BepiColumbo. It will focus on multiple thematic map feature extraction and standardisation of geological mapping technologies.

The project team involves several partners from the Europlanet 2024 RI consortium, including CUGB (Project PI), Wuhan University, Peking University, Shandong University, National Space Science Center of China Academy of Science, University of Padova, Jacobs University Bremen and Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität.


  • Topographic mapping based on cognitive enhancement (Wuhan University)
  • Reconstruction method of planetary subsurface structure based on radar data and optical images (Peking University)
  • Quantitative inversion of elements and minerals on planetary surfaces (Shandong University)
  • Ground verification of quantitative remote sensing inversion on planetary surfaces (National Space Science Center, China Academy of Science)
  • Standardisation of planetary geological mapping (China University of Geosciences, Beijing)

Planetary geologic mapping and modelling winter school

Planetary geologic mapping and modelling winter school

The PLANMAP team, in collaboration with Europlanet 2024 RI’s GMAP initiative, announces the first PLANMAP winter school on planetary geologic mapping and 3D geological modelling, that will be held virtually 1-5 February 2021. The PLANMAP winter school will provide an overview of the technical and scientific skills needed by the next generation of planetary mappers.

The last 20 years of science exploration changed dramatically the technical and scientific skills required to perform planetary geological mapping, so that the required knowledge are continuously evolving. The Planetary geologic mapping and modelling winter school will address the most recent outcomes on the production of planetary cartography, providing the students with the basics needed for map creation, their use for scientific investigation, landing sites characterization, rover mobility and resource exploration.


Important notice!


 Due to the large interest in the winter school registration closed early.
More calls will be opened in the future.

The Winter School will be held 1-5 February 2021.

Geology & Planetary Mapping Winter School homepage