Data collected by Copernicus, the European Union's Earth Observation Programme, will be made available for free next month. Such data have recently been used to identify areas that were heavily damaged by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, so helping to direct relief efforts. Free dissemination is expected to benefit researchers, citizens and businesses across a number of industry sectors. Read more…
According to studies, Copernicus has the potential to not only help monitor the environment, but also to generate some €30 billion benefit and approximately 50,000 jobs by 2030. Information is gathered through Earth observation satellites as well as in-situ sensors on the ground, at sea and in the air. Six dedicated satellite missions called Sentinels will be included in the programme. These will be launched between 2014 and 2021, each one focusing on obtaining different types of information.
Services provided by Copernicus cover land, marine and atmospheric monitoring; emergency management; security; and climate change. As a result, access to data will be useful to a wide range of sectors including agriculture, energy, transport and insurance. Another benefit will be the ability to share information on future trends, such as climate change and resource scarcity. This will be key for public organisations and policy makers as it will enable forecasting to mitigate negative trends, such as food shortage in certain areas of the world.
A Delegated Regulation was also be published by the Commission (EU) No 1159/2013) to maintain a balance between free access to information and protection of the security interests of the European Union and individual Member States. The EC will be monitoring the effects of free access to the programme’s data and may adjust the programme if it is deemed necessary.
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