Europe is making a significant effort to develop (geo)information services for crisis management as part of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security GMES) programme. Recognising the importance of coordinated European response to crises and the potential contribution of GMES, the Commission launched a number of preparatory activities in coordination with relevant stakeholders for the establishment of an Emergency Response GMES Core Service (ERCS). GMES Emergency Response Services will rely on information provided by advanced technical and operational capabilities making full use of space earth observation and supporting their integration with other sources of data and information. Data and information generated by these services can be used to enhance emergency preparedness and early reaction to foreseeable or imminent crises and disasters.
From a technical point of view, the use of geo-information for emergency response poses significant challenges for spatial data collection, data management, information extraction and communication. The need for an independent formal assessment of crisis products to provide operational services with homogeneous and reliable standards has recently become recognized as an integral component of service development. Validation is intended to help end-users decide how much to trust geo-information products (maps, spatial dataset). The focus, in this document, is on geo-information products, in particular those derived from Earth Observation data. Validation principles have been implemented into a protocol, as a tool to check whether the products meet standards and user needs. The validation principles, methods, rules and guidelines provided in this document aim to give a structure that guarantees an overall documented and continuous quality of ERCS products.