Blog – New data sources

Henning Sten Hansen, EUROGI President

Earth observation is growing at a rapid speed these years – not at least due to the Copernicus programme. Particularly, the Sentinel 2 series of satellites have been very popular for land cover monitoring, and the data from these satellites are used in a growing number of applications – e.g. agriculture, forestry and the environment. The Sentinel family of satellites was last week extended by a new satellite Sentinel 5P aimed at monitoring air quality, which has come under increasing pressure due to energy production from fossil based fuel, and not at least the still increasing car and aircraft traffic. Date includes global the levels for Ozone, Sulfur dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Methane and aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere. Like other data from the Copernicus data the Sentinel-5P data will be fully free and open to everyone.

EUROGI is very active in the field of trying to make more use of Copernicus data in general, and particularly the use of Copernicus data among local and regional authorities as well as in the private sector. EUROGI is involved in an EU framework contract aiming at demonstrated the use of Copernicus data and has developed a series of demo applications targeting GI professionals. The demo’s have been shown in several EU member states during the last year as part of the official Copernicus days, and this will continue in 2018.

Besides, EUROGI has launched a task force focusing on the use of Copernicus data among its members, and supporting Copernicus related activities at national scale. This task force was a follow up of a one days EUROGI Members seminar in Brussels 31 March this year.
This growing awareness among EUROGI members is reflected in the enhanced role of Copernicus related activities in the traditional national GIS conferences. Thus, Geoforum Denmark has a full day track on the Copernicus and Galileo programmes at their GI event 8th – 10th November this year.

So there is clearly a growing interest to use Earth observation data together with traditional data sources in GIS, and I believe that the free and open accessibility is an important prerequisite for this.