EU could drive global innovation in Earth observation data

EU could drive global innovation in Earth observation data

Copernicus – a joint project between the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA) that uses satellites and ground sensors to monitor the environment – is the world’s largest civil Earth observation programme, producing over 8 petabytes per year.

Earth observation data has many important uses, such as tracking deforestation and rising sea levels, helping farmers and fisheries to operate sustainably, and monitoring humanitarian crises.

But Copernicus is not the world’s only supplier, and if the EU and others agreed to provide standardised Earth observation data through a shared and trusted platform, that platform could support additional innovative uses of data in science, business, and policy-making, on a greater scale than any lone data supplier.

Unfortunately, inadequate implementation of common data standards and reuse policies across different Earth observation programmes currently makes it difficult to reuse combined data.

One attempt to resolve this is the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), run by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), an intergovernmental organisation with over 100 member countries – including the EU’s 28.

GEOSS provides a single portal for various sources of independently-supplied Earth observation data, along with common standards for incorporating them via the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI).

For more on this news story, please visit: https://euobserver.com/digital/138482