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Value Added Element (VAE) project EOMark addressing new and evolving opportunities for EO-based information services in the geo-marketing and retail business sector

By means of EO-based information extraction and service provision, GIM will be able to deliver improved information content for the geomarketing business sector. Sophisticated image processing techniques applied on EO imagery allow to extract impartial physico-morphological information, seamless cross-boundary data, improved spatial resolution and a better control of the update frequency.

VAE project EOMark addressing new and evolving opportunities for EO-based information services in the geo-marketing and retail business sector

In response to a need to enhance the existing geo-marketing services portfolio with the contribution of Earth Observation (EO) images, ESA awarded a contract under the name Value Added Element (VAE) to GIM for the development of those services. GIM is one of the top ranked private companies in terms of turnover in the EO activities in Belgium.

The first of the four suggested geo-marketing services concerns dasymetric population and purchasing power products with enhanced geographical detail compared to the current product offering. This technique of spatially redistributing statistical data based on the land cover of the area will be applied with low, high and very high resolution land cover maps. The second service corresponds to improved geo-demographic segmentations by offering relevant indicators on the urban land use like the presence of agglomerations, city centres, small urban housing areas, etc. The goal of the third service is to extend existing street segmentations by adding relevant information on the richness of the neighbourhood. In this instance focus is on the extraction of building typologies (detached housing, residential, etc.) and other relevant wealth indicators such as the presence of swimming pools and the size of the garden. This information is derived from very high resolution satellite images. The last service is rich urban maps, offering 3-D city maps at the individual building level which are used to update census data based on the usage and volume of the buildings

By means of EO-based information extraction and service provision GIM and its partner Epsilon will be able to deliver improved information content by using objective physico-morphological information extracted from EO imagery, uniform cross-boundary data, improved spatial resolution and a better control on the update frequency.

It has been agreed in collaboration with the Downstream Partners to test the proposed services on a number of areas of interest such as: Belgium (border region, NUTS 3 regions, and various municipalities), France (border region, Grand Lyon, Lyon municipality and Lille), Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Morocco, Moscow (Russia), Patras (Greece), Milton Keynes (UK) and Bournemouth (UK).

The Downstream Partners are represented by customer organisations of the geo-marketing sector such as MB-Research (Germany) specialised in EU wide purchasing power indicators, Pitney Bowes Business Insight (UK and France), specialist of location intelligence services with 1000+ employees, Experian (Belgium), a global information services company, the Mellon Group (Greece) and organisations of the direct marketing sector such as Bisnode Group (represented by Bisnode Sweden), a global leader in business & market information services.

The Downstream Partners all expressed a clear interest in the proposed services and confirmed that the offer corresponds to the current and future market needs. Additionally, for emerging markets characterised by a lack of accurate statistical data, the market potential is enormous.

The proposed service offering has been approved by ESA in January 2010 during a Service Readiness Review Meeting. The services are being prototyped by GIM and Epsilon and will be tested by the Downstream Partners over the first half of 2010.

VAE is an element of the ESA Earth Observation Envelope Program (EOEP-3). It follows on from its predecessor (EOMD) and maintains focus on the needs of the EO service industry. VAE is starting now its new activities over the financing period of the next 5 years (2008-2012).

About GIM

GIM is an internationally operating EO and GIS services company based in Heverlee near Leuven in Belgium. The company provides consultancy, software application development services and products in the geo-spatial domain. GIM specializes in remote sensing services and GIS applications as well as value adding data services and geo-spatial web applications.
Since start of activities in 1995, GIM has been able to establish a broad international customer base and successfully participated in more than 500 local, national, and European projects.
GIMs customers are to be found in private industry sectors, public organisations and research institutes. GIM is dedicated to provide a wide range of value added services for remotely sensed data and GIS applications in segments such as: defence, disaster management, humanitarian aid, nature resources and environment.

The GIM team has expertise in managing and executing national and international projects. At present, GIM is employing a staff of 30 experts and consultants graduated in earth sciences, engineering and informatics.

GIM uses cutting edge GIS and image processing software and provides consultancy, processing and development capabilities for software components from major G IS and remote sensing software vendors.

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