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Dr Niko Galiatsatos, BSc (T.E.I. of Athens), MEnvS with distinction (Strathclyde), PhD (Durham)

Personal web page

Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology
Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Geography

Contact Dr Niko Galiatsatos (email at

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Science & Technology: Spy satellite imagery, CORONA program
  • History & Archaeology: Landscape archaeology in Middle East and Iran, satellite imagery
  • Geography: Geographical information creation and integration


My background is Survey Engineering specialised on environmental and archaeological remote sensing applications.

My research focuses on the transformation of spatial data to information stage. This includes uncertainty quantification, error identification, and minimal loss of information content, always according to the application needs. My main research interest lies in the fields of photogrammetry and remote sensing. Application-wise my research focuses in landscape studies and my interest lies in environmental assessment and understanding.

In my current position, I am a teaching fellow in Geography department and a research associate in Archaeology department. I am working with professor Tony Wilkinson in an AHRC grant titled "The Fragile Crescent: Settlement change during the Urban Transition". My role within the project includes creation and management of the archaeological database and the spatial data (mainly satellite imagery), image processing and GIS analysis, and act as the communication link for internal group support and web dissemination.

Previously I worked as a research associate in a variety of projects within the departments of Geography and Archaeology in Durham University. These projects included forestry applications in Guyana, UK, and New Zealand; landslide and flood erosion risk assessment in UK; and landscape archaeology surveys in Iran and Syria. I also worked in Environment Agency for an EU project where I was offering GIS support and spatial data analysis.

My PhD research focused on the assessment of CORONA program satellite imagery in landscape archaeology applications with case study in the Orontes valley of Homs in Syria. The imagery was assessed to its characteristics (radiometric, spatial, spectral), the pre-processing stage, photointerpretation, multi-view angle, and DEM extraction.

My MEnvS included many aspects of environmental applications, but my main focus was on mapping and monitoring of habitats with the use of remote sensing and how this satisfied the needs/laws of EU in the case of NATURA2000 designation.

Before my further education I worked as survey engineer in a consultancy company for a variety of studies, and cooperated with the museum of natural history Goulandri in projects that involved habitat mapping, data mining, and cartographic applications.

Research Groups

Catchment, River and Hillslope Science (CRHS)

Research Interests

  • Aerial Photogrammetry
  • CORONA declassified spy satellite imagery
  • Data handling, integration and assimilation
  • Data quality
  • Environmental and archaeological remote sensing applications
  • Image Processing
  • Satellite Remote Sensing

Selected Publications

Books: sections

  • Galiatsatos, N. (2010). Stereoscopy and orthoimagery. In Encyclopedia of Geography. Warf, Barney SAGE Publications Inc. 2693-2695.
  • Donoghue, D.N.M., Beck, A.R., Galiatsatos, N., McManus, K.B. & Philip, G. (2006). The use of remote sensing data for visualising and interpreting archaeological landscapes. In Recording, modeling and visualization of cultural landscape. E. Baltsavias, A. Gruen, L. van Gool & M. Pateraki London, UK: Taylor & Francis.
  • Beck, A.R., Philip, G., Donoghue, D.N.M. & Galiatsatos, N. (2005). Geo-locating CORONA imagery for archaeological surveys and cultural resource management: a case study in Syria. In In volo nel passato: aerofotografia e cartografia archeologica. Chris Musson, Rog Palmer & Stefano Campana All’Insegna del Giglio.
  • Donoghue, D.N.M., Galiatsatos, N., Philip, G. & Beck, A.R. (2002). Satellite imagery for archaeological applications: case study from Orontes valley, Syria. In Aerial archaeology: developing future practice. Robert W. Bewley & W. Raçzkowski Amsterdam: IOS Press.

Edited works: conference proceedings

  • Galiatsatos, N. (2009). Landscape archaeology from a satellite's perspective. BANEA 2009: networks of movement in SW Asia, Durham, UK.
  • Galiatsatos, N., Wilkinson, T.J., Donoghue, D.N.M. & Philip, G. (2009). The Fragile Crescent Project (FCP): Analysis of Settlement Landscapes Using Satellite Imagery. CAA 2009: Making history interactive, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA.
  • Galiatsatos, N., Donoghue, D.N.M., Dong, L. & Warburton, J (2007). Assessment of sediment delivery from shallow landslides in upland terrain using 3D remote sensing. RSPSoc2007: Challenges for earth observation – scientific, technical and commercial, Newcastle, UK.
  • Donoghue, D.N.M., Watt, P., Haywood, A., Galiatsatos, N. & Dunford, R.W. (2007). Evaluation of airborne laser scanning data as input into biomass/carbon models. Measuring and monitoring the vegetative environment through laser scanning, Nottingham, UK.
  • Galiatsatos, N., Donoghue, D.N.M., Knox, D. & Smith, K. (2007). Radiometric normalization of multi-sensor / multi-temporal satellite images with quality control for forest change detection. Fourth international workshop on the analysis of multi-temporal remote sensing images, Leuven, Belgium.
  • Donoghue, D.N.M. & Galiatsatos, N. (2007). Satellite imagery, topography, and archaeology. in Large irrigation works and urban growth in the archaeological record of central Asia, Ravenna, Italy.
  • Campana, S., Donoghue, D.N.M. & Galiatsatos, N. (2007). Undercanopy archaeology using airborne laser scanner to overcome the Mediterranean vegetation. SPIE Europe Remote Sensing, Florence, Italy.
  • Galiatsatos, N., Donoghue, D.N.M. & Philip, G. (2005). An evaluation of the stereoscopic capabilities of CORONA declassified spy satellite image data. 25th EARSeL Symposium, Workshop on 3D Remote Sensing, Porto, Portugal.
  • Galiatsatos, N., Donoghue, D.N.M. & Philip, G. (2002). Stereo applications for CORONA and the use of IKONOS for ground control: case study from Orontes valley, Syria. Space Applications for Heritage Conservation, Strasbourg, France.

Journal papers: academic

  • Content, R., Blake, S., Dunlop, C., Nandi, D., Sharples, R., Talbot, G., Shanks, T., Donoghue, D.N.M., Galiatsatos, N. & Luke, P. (2013). New Microslice Technology for Hyperspectral Imaging. Remote Sensing 5(3): 1204-1219.
  • Wilkinson, Tony J, Galiatsatos, Nikolaos, Lawrence, Dan, Ricci, Andrea, Dunford, Rob & Philip, Graham (2012). Late Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Landscapes of Settlement and Mobility in the Middle Euphrates: A Reassessment. Levant 44(2): 139-185.
  • Bridgland, D.R., Westaway, R., Romieh, M.A., Candy, I., Daoud, M., Demir, T., Galiatsatos, N., Schreve, D.C., Seyrek, A., Shaw, A.D., White, T. & Whittaker, J. (2012). The River Orontes in Syria and Turkey: downstream variation of fluvial archives in different crustal blocks. Geomorphology 165-166: 25-49.
  • Galiatsatos, N. (2009). The shift from film to digital product: focus on CORONA imagery. Photogrammetrie - Fernerkundung - Geoinformation (3): 251-260.
  • Galiatsatos, N., Donoghue, D.N.M. & Philip, G. (2008). High resolution elevation data derived from stereoscopic CORONA imagery with minimal ground control: an approach using IKONOS and SRTM data. Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing 74(9): 1093-1106.
  • Rekavandi, H.O., Sauer, E.W., Wilkinson, T., Abbasi, G.A., Priestman, S., Tamak, E.S., Ainslie, R., Mahmoudi, M., Galiatsatos, N., Roustai, K., Van Rensburg, J.J., Ershadi, M., MacDonald, E., Fattahi, M., Oatley, C., Shabani, B., Ratcliffe, J. & Usher-Wilson, L.S. (2008). Sasanian walls, hinterland fortresses and abandoned ancient irrigated landscapes: the 2007 season on the great wall of Gorgan and the wall of Tammishe. Iran 46.
  • Philip, G., Donoghue, D.N.M., Beck, A.R. & Galiatsatos, N. (2002). CORONA satellite photography: an archaeological application from the Middle East. Antiquity 76(291): 109-118.

Theses: PhD

  • Galiatsatos, N. (2004). Assessment of the CORONA series of satellite imagery in landscape archaeology: a case study from the Orontes valley, Syria. Department of Geography. Durham, Durham University. PhD.

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