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Issue 52 Winter 2017


I recently attended the Geospatial World Forum (GWF) in Hyderabad. During that time I met many new people and had many illuminating conversations. The highlight of the week for us was the signing of an MoU between EARSC and the Association of Geospatial Industries for India (AGI). We are extremely pleased and proud to have the opportunity to work more closely with AGI and the companies which are their members. It represents a great achievement in our internationalisation strategy where we seek to help our members find new partners to develop business together. The agreement which was brokered by our good friend Sanjay Kumar, was signed by each secretary general of the respective associations. We were joined by members from both associations who witnessed the occasion.

Whilst in Hyderabad, I participated to the GeoBuiz summit which is the pre-event to the GWF. Here business leaders came together to discuss the geo-inspired 4th industrial revolution (GEO4IR). In our panel we addressed the changes taking place in the space sector which are certainly no less significant than those taking place elsewhere. Satellites and space-based observations have a crucial role to play in the evolution of the geospatial business and the shift to on-line services will transform many business models.

Keep reading...


Interview with Sanjay Kumar, President of AGI India

The Association of Geospatial Industries is a non-profit, non-Government, industry body, representing the common and collective interest of the Geospatial Industry in India. Geospatial Technologies encompass a wide range of technologies such as Remote Sensing, Surveying, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), Geographical Information System (GIS), Photogrammetry, Image Processing and other emerging technologies that assist the user in the collection, analysis and interpretation of spatial data with reference to geographic information.


Sentinel Hub – Next Generation Satellite Imagery Processing Service

Breaking point was a discovery that it actually is possible to process source EO data in real time, without compute intensive pre-processing or expensive infrastructure. This has opened the door for Sentinel Playground, a web application giving access to complete global Sentinel-2 archive to anyone. Something, that a few years ago could be only built by a company like Google. This put Sinergise on the “Earth observation map”. After winning the Copernicus Masters award, a recognition of Sentinel Hub – the service for processing and distribution of satellite data – reached a tipping point and other application developers, who struggled trying to use free and open Copernicus data, started coming.


Apply now to the European EO Product Award 2018

Following the great success of the EARSC EO Product Award 2017 won by ‘Waste from Space’ a product developped by Air & Space Evidence, EARSC has decided to focus this year’s award on products supporting sustainable development and SDGs.

EARSC and AGI sign MoU

The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) & the Association of Geospatial Industries (AGI) sign MoU for strengthening relationships between European and Indian companies in the Geospatial Industry.

EARSC is hiring!

The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) is a trade association based in Brussels. Whilst remaining a membership focused organisation, EARSC has recently been successfully winning contracts to expand its activities to support the industry which it represents. In consequence we are now seeking an Analyst/Project Manager to join our team.

EARSC participates in the EO4GEO project

EO4GEO – Toward an innovative strategy for skills development and capacity building in the space geo-information sector supporting Copernicus User Uptake. EARSC is part of the successful consortia of 26 partners from 16 countries from academia, private and public sector active in the education/training and space/geospatial sectors.

EARSC Position Paper on Earth Observation Services Industry Internationalisation & Economic Diplomacy

21 November 2017. EARSC published today its position paper on Earth Observation Services Industry Internationalisation & Economic Diplomacy.

eoMALL is moving to its development phase!

Further to the eoMALL Invitation To Tender issued by ESA in 2017, Eversis, Geocento and GMV have been awarded for the first phase of the eoMALL competitive dialogue.

IDEEO Project has started

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) has approved the IDEEO project – « Internationalisation and Diversification of European Earth Observation ».

Info session on DG-CONNECT eINFRAEOSC-01-2018 call

The eInfrastructure and Science Cloud unit of the European Commission organised an information session for proposers as a follow-up of the ICT Proposers’ Day 2017 and NCPsessions.


A combined GAF/e-GEOS working group wins this year’s Leonardo Innovation Award

SAR data have successfully been introduced for the significant improvement of mapping projects. Through an innovative Approach, the radar data complement and enhance the multispectral optical EO data analysis.

Active digital map for French Armed Forces will provide decisive mission advantage

Élancourt, France 22 November 2017 – La Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), the French Defence Procurement Agency, has entrusted the firm tranche of the 10-year SYSENV contract to Airbus Defence and Space and its four partners, for the production of the “SI GEODE4D” information system for the French Armed Forces.

Airborne LIDAR remote sensing techniques for monitor 3D industrial cities

Airborne LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), is an active remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses, combined with other data recorded by the airborne system, generate reliable and precise three-dimensional (3D) information, in terms of point cloud, about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics. A LIDAR instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver. Airplanes are the most commonly used platforms for acquiring LIDAR topographic data over broad areas. An airborne LIDARmission process is called Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS).

Airbus delivered GOCI-II instrument to the Korean space agency

Toulouse/Daejeon, 20/12/2017 – After four months at the Korean Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) test facilities in Daejeon, South Korea, during which intensive testing was performed by a joint team of KARI and Airbus Defence and Space, the GOCI-II ocean colour imaging instrument has been delivered to the customer.

Airbus to provide near real-time access to its satellite data

Toulouse, 30 January 2018 – Airbus has launched near real-time satellite imagery capabilities together with its 24/7 Emergency Image Delivery Service to aid those facing emergency situations. By leveraging the Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT) polar ground station in Svalbard, Norway, Pléiades and SPOT constellation images are now retrieved at every orbit, resulting in ultra-fast image deliveries after collection, anywhere in the world.

Alta Murgia National Park uses Sentinel-2 and Rheticus to monitor burnt areas

Satellite, sighting towers and community collaboration. Inside the Alta Murgia National Park, the fight against fires is done with integrated actions and, from this year, with cutting-edge technological equipment, which allow the implementation of prevention activities, as a support for active struggle and post-event investigation.

Astrosat and DroneSAR form partnership to enhance Search and Rescue capabilities

16 January 2018. Astrosat, one of the leading businesses in Europe’s space exploitation industry, has formed a partnership with Irish start-up DroneSAR- Search and Rescue, to incorporate drone software with Astrosat’s Recovery and Protection in Disaster (RAPID) system.

Automatic fire detection from Proba-V

Since 2015, VisioTerra is involved in Proba-V MEP (Mission Exploitation Platform). VisioTerra is developing enhanced processing and visualization tools with two services of automatic detection for fires and burnt areas.

Cloudeo plans both ICO and IPO in 2018

Blockchain technology is said to be the biggest innovation in computer science and it is predicted to revolutionize the economy world. If you want your stock to be successful, you should do something with Blockchain.

CloudFerro with a € 1.3 million contract from ECMWF

Warsaw, 23/11/2017. CloudFerro – Polish technology company – won an open tender organized under the Copernicus program. It has defeated the European market leaders, won a € 1.3 million contract and will provide an innovative solution for the European Center for Medium-Term Forecasting (ECMWF).

Deimos Imaging and Beijing Space View Technology Sign Strategic Cooperation Agreement for the global distribution of their respective portfolios

Deimos Imaging and its parent company UrtheCast Corp., announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with Beijing Space View Technology Co. Ltd. (“Space View”), a leading provider of remote sensing satellite data and geospatial information services based in China, for the mutual global distribution of their respective product portfolios on December 4, 2017.

Deimos Imaging and SIIS sign agreement for the global distribution of their respective portfolios

Deimos Imaging, its parent company UrtheCast Corp., and SI Imaging Services (“SIIS”), a leading provider of remote sensing satellite data and exclusive worldwide marketing and sales representative of the KOMPSAT series, announced the signing of an agreement for the mutual global distribution of their respective product portfolios on December 21, 2017.

Earth-i chooses Spacemetric to process still images and video from its prototype satellite

15 December 2017. The world’s first full-colour, full-motion video satellite is scheduled for early January launch.

Earth-i launches prototype of world’s first full-colour, full-motion video satellite constellation

12 January 2018. British ‘New Space’ pioneer Earth-i has confirmed that the pre-production prototype satellite of its upcoming satellite constellation was successfully launched earlier today.

Earth-i Orders Satellites from SSTL for World’s First Full-Colour Video Constellation

21 November 2017. Innovative British Space Company prepares for launch of next prototype satellite.

Euroconsult Report on Satellite-Based Earth Observation: Market Prospects to 2026

Now in its 10th edition, Satellite-Based Earth Observation, Market Prospects to 2026 is the only report providing industry forecasts, assessment of business opportunities and analysis of the entire civil & commercial value chain for this growing segment of the satellite industry. It includes a detailed breakdown of application sectors within each region along with consolidated forecasts per application sector and per region.

GAF demonstrates improved geological mapping with Sentinel data

GAF is currently completing the AMGI-ESA project. The African Mineral Geoscience Initiative (AMGI), promoted by the World Bank, is an initiative for the collection, the consolidation, the interpretation and the dissemination of national and regional geoscience data.

GAF established a Geodata Management System for the Geological Survey Department, Malawi

In January 2018, GAF successfully established Geological Data Management and Information system (GDMIS) for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy & Mining in Malawi.

GAF established computerised mining cadastre (eMC+) in the Republic of Tajikistan

The overall project objective aims at improving the governance in the mining sector by establishing a transparent system for granting and managing mineral permits. The efficient and reliable administration of such titles is considered to be a key factor in increasing investment and growth in the Republic of Tajikistan’s mining sector. The project was embedded in the “Private Sector Competitiveness Project” financed by World Bank.

How can satellite-derived bathymetry data help your coastal projects?

DHI GRAS is one of the world’s leading providers of Satellite Derived Bathymetry. From our physics based methods, our proprietary software allows production of high quality and very detailed water depth data based on optical data in a spatial resolution ranging from 2m – 30m. We are currently building an online database with detailed 2m bathymetry data accessible through the Bathymetrics Data Portal.

Implementing a wetland monitoring capacity

GeoVille and its international partners DHI GRAS and ITC are currently cooperating with national authorities in Uganda to develop and implement a user-friendly wetland monitoring system. The system will provide an operational capacity to generate spatial time series statistical data for inventorying, monitoring and quantitatively reporting on national wetland resources using Earth observation data.

InSAR nationwide monitoring: the Italian box

TRE ALTAMIRA together with E-geos have made thousands of images from the PST project ( Piano Straordinario di Telerilevamento ), which went live in 2008, years prior to the launch of Sentinel-1 satellites. The PST results are now presented in the article: Analysis of surface deformations over the Italian territory by interferometric processing of ERS, Envisat and COSMO-SkyMed radar data.

Is your future water use for irrigation a cause for concern?

Published on 13 December 2017 on DHI-GRAS blog by Torsten Bondo. 
In many parts of the world, water resources are under pressure due to the ever-increasing demand from growing populations and the need for increased agricultural production. Water scarcity is expected to increase in the future, in particular for the 40% of the world classified as semi-arid.

MySustanaibleForest: Earth-observation technology for sustainable forestry

November 21, 2017 saw the official kick-off of MySustainableForest, a project funded under the European Union’s framework research and innovation program, Horizon 2020, which aims at phasing increased use of Earth Observation technology and tools into the forestry sector to ensure a more sustainable use of our woodland.

New tools for advanced Sentinel 2 products selection

Gisat leads the SUCE project aiming at implementation of tools helping the EO community retrieve and effectively select optimal set of Sentinel 2 products based on tailored metadata analysis.

Planetek strengthens its alliance with Polish space companies

Bari, 18 December 2017. Planetek Italia has signed an alliance with two Polish companies, Creotech Instruments SA and Wroclaw Institute of Spatial Information and Artificial Intelligence (WIZIPISI), with the aim of developing cooperation in the field of Earth Observation (EO) and research, as well as in the development and commercialization of joint solutions.

Planetek’s new distribution agreements for TripleSat and RADARSAT-2 images

Bari, Italy, 8th January 2018. 
Planetek has signed two Distribution Agreements with the companies Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology (21AT Asia) and MDA Geospatial Services for the distribution of global imagery collected by TripleSat and RADARSAT-2 satellites.

ReSAC team participated in Master Territorial Management Plan for Bolyarovo Municipality in Consortium headed by ASDE-ECOREGIONS

The Master Territorial Management Plan (General Development Plan) for Bolyarovo municipality, South-East of Bulgaria – on the border between Bulgaria and Turkey, is developed by a consortium headed by Agency of Sustainable Development and Eurointegration – Ecoregions (ASDE). ReSAC experts take part in the design team.

RUS: a new expert service for Sentinel users

Launched in October 2017, RUS (Research and User Support for Sentinel Core Products) was designed to support overcoming the difficulties generated by the huge amount of the downloaded data, the highly performant capacity required to process such data and finally, the capability to handle the data with an ad-hoc training offer, tailored to fit the needs of a wide community of users. This service (funded by the EC and managed by ESA), is offered at no cost to meet the requirements (in terms of technical and scientific support, computing resources and disk space identified by ESA) of different types of users: basic users calling for downloading support, R&D users wishing prototyping support and proficient users, in need of processing support.

Sanchi oil spill (China) seen by Sentinel-1 / 2 / 3

Since the collision, Sanchy oil spill is monitored by the various Sentinel satellites. The right image is the view #3 of Sentinel-2 HR optical observed on 18 January 2018 on 02:20:21 GMT showing a 100 km x 200 km slick around the sinking point.

Using Harris Geospatial Products For Preventive Conservation of Cultural Heritage Sites

ArTeK is a NAIS (NEXTANT Applications & Innovative Solutions) initiative in the frame of ARTES 20 IAP programme of the European Space Agency (ESA), supported by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). It consists of an advanced satellite enabled service for the support of Cultural Heritage (CH) preventive conservation, bridging a gap in the market where systematic high frequency monitoring over a medium-to-large spatial coverage scale is, to date, not available.


Book on "History of Earth observation in Europe"

This book was realised under the auspices of the “Institut Français de l’Histoire de l’Espace” (IFHE) and is entitled « Observation spatiale de la Terre – Optique et Radar- La France et l’Europe pionnières ». It provides a comprehensive overview over a period of 50 years (1965-2015) of Earth observation activities and applications performed in Europe.

China to freely share data from weather, carbon satellites: official

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) — China will freely share data from its new-generation weather satellite Fengyun-4 as well as its first carbon monitoring satellite TanSat with international users, a Chinese official said here Tuesday.

ESA and Radiant.Earth Join Forces to Support UN's SDGs

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Radiant.Earth announce their agreement to jointly enhance geospatial data literacy in the global development community to support tracking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

ICEYE Successfully Launches World’s First SAR Microsatellite and Establishes Finland’s First Commercial Satellite Operations

Helsinki, FINLAND – January 12, 2018. Historical launch of ICEYE-X1 on India’s PSLV-C40 rocket sends first ever under 100 kg SAR satellite into orbit.

ICIMOD, Radiant.Earth establish strategic cooperation to advance EO applications and SDGs Progress

7 December 2017. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development and Radiant.Earth have signed a strategic partnership agreement for knowledge and technology transfer of Earth observation (EO).

Japan eyes free satellite imaging data for businesses

TOKYO — Japan looks to offer companies free access to troves of satellite images starting in fiscal 2018, aiming to help with tasks such as inspecting infrastructure remotely and forecasting crop harvests.

KisanHub Raises £1.75m for Big Data Potato Platform

22 January 2018. UK-based startup KisanHub has raised a £1.75 million ($2.43m) second seed round to expand its farm management and data analytics software platform capabilities, with a focus on enhancing weather predictions. The round was led by UK-based B2B tech venture capital firms Notion Capital and IQ Capital. Calibrate Management and other angel investors also participated in the round.

Meteorological Technology World Expo 2018, Amsterdam

‘Bringing remote sensing solutions to the atmospheric sciences and meteorological communities’

Monitoring natural and urban environments

Dubai is one of the most rapidly developing cities in the world. This growth has a big impact on the natural environment, natural resources and native habitats.

NASA Links Port-City Sea Levels to Regional Ice Melt

by Pat Brennan for NASA Earth News. Pasadena CA (JPL) Nov 22, 2017, published on Space Daily.

New Map of Worldwide Croplands Supports Food and Water Security

new map was released detailing croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet, helping to ensure global food and water security in a sustainable way.

New study looking for lithium ‘fingerprint’ from space

A team of data scientists at the Satellite Applications Catapult is leading a new study, funded by Innovate UK, to see if it is possible to detect a lithium ‘fingerprint’ from space by imaging vegetation and minerals on the ground using satellites.

PlanetObserver presents new PlanetSAT Updates imagery basemap of the United States and Mexico

The French company PlanetObserver, specialized in geospatial data production, has just finalized the new PlanetSAT Updates imagery basemap of the United States and Mexico. Processed with fresh and cloudless Landsat 8 source data, this new basemap covers more than 10 million square kilometers at 15-meter resolution. With an advanced natural color imagery processing, this high quality mapping product provides up-to-date and detailed geographic information, perfect for 1:50,000 scale mapping.


On April, 19-20, 2018 COMNEWS holds the 10th International Conference SATELLITERUSSIA & CIS 2018 in Moscow, Russia.

South Africa’s first United Nations small satellite symposium draws to a close

15 December 2017. South Africa’s first United Nations symposium on small satellite technology attended by some 140 delegates from 33 countries drew to a close this week on the campus of Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.


Appointment of Mr Gilberto Câmara as the next GEO Secretariat Director

The Group on Earth Observations is pleased to announce the appointment of Gilberto Câmara as the next GEO Secretariat Director, effective 1 July 2018.

Copernicus Data and Information Access Services (DIAS) contracts signed with 4 industrial consortia

Brussels, 14/12/2017 – The four suppliers for DIAS, the Copernicus Data and Information Access Service have been announced today.

Copernicus4Regions - Submit a Copernicus user story!

Copernicus is a user-driven programme, and local and reginoal authorities are a key user group in this respect. The European Commission, the European Space Agency and the Network of European Regions Using Space Technologies (NEREUS) are collecting (at least) 100 Copernicus user stories from local and regional authorities across Europe.

ESA and SatCen formalize cooperation with Administrative Arrangement

On 23 January 2018, in the presence of HR/VP Mogherini, the European Space Agency and the European Union Satellite Centre signed an Administrative Arrangement on the formal establishment of their cooperation.

EuroGEOSS infographics

EuroGEOSS is Europe’s part of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). It brings together all of the Earth observation resources available in Europe so that they can be used more effectively.

European Space Agency (ESA) announces Overall Winner FFSCat at the Copernicus Masters 2017

Tallinn, Estonia, 7 November 2017 – FFSCat – providing complementary data to the Sentinel fleet –wins the 2017 Copernicus Masters, the international competition on innovative solutions for business and society based on Earth observation (EO) data.

GEO-CRADLE in 2017

2017 was a very productive year for the GEO-CRADLE project.

How Earth Observation became Europe’s “Silicon Valley”

Extracted from the Copernicus Observer Newsletter

Brussels, 1 December 2017. The Copernicus Programme with its full, free and open data policy is tapping into the core of the open data movement that is powering today’s tech breakthroughs, just like open source has been key to most of the innovation in the last decades.

Invitation to the the 3rd EARSeL SIG LU/LC and NASA LCLUC joint Workshop

The 3rd EARSeL SIG LU/LC and NASA LCLUC joint Workshop will be at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Greece, 11th -12th July, 2018.

Mitigating Flooding and Drought through Data for Decision-Making

GEOGLOWS projects seek to connect emergency managers, governments with data ahead of flooding. This article is part of a series by Earthzine covering GEO Week in Washington, D.C., Oct. 23-27.

Romania and ESA sign ground segment cooperation for Sentinel data

An agreement for the Sentinel Collaborative Ground Segment Cooperation was signed on 13 December at ESA’s Headquarters in Paris, France, to facilitate Sentinel data utilisation in Romania.

The African Union Commission Awards Thirteen Consortia of Institutions to Implement the GMES and Africa Support Programme

November 28, 2017. The African Union Commission (AUC) officially awards grants to thirteen successful consortia of institutions that will serve as Regional Implementing Centres for the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa (GMES and Africa) Support Programme.

The Toolbox for ESA Climate Data Analysis

As part of the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI), a toolbox has been released for the easy access, visualisation, analysis and processing of ESA climate data. The CCI Toolbox v1.0, which we call Cate, also facilitates the melding together of different climate indicators.

The URBANFLUXES project now concluded

URBANFLUXES is a Horizon 2020 funded space research project, coordinated by the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece).

Two new Earth Explorer concepts to understand our rapidly changing world

15 November 2017. ESA has chosen two concepts, FORUM and SKIM, to be developed further and compete to be the ninth Earth Explorer mission.


Events Winter 2017/2018