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Making best use of Earth observation data

The widespread availability of satellite and other Earth observation data is opening up a huge range of potential applications to monitor the natural environment and the services it provides.  

We have considerable expertise in the field of Earth observation (EO) and use this expertise to provide high-quality evidence on biodiversity and ecosystems, to inform decisions affecting the natural environment.  Earth observation techniques have the capacity to provide a vast amount of environmental data on a large scale, on a frequently repeated basis (e.g. days or weeks rather than months or years). As more and more data are becoming freely accessible, we are playing a key role in developing methods and standards to make the data easier to use.

Our experts are continually exploring the potential that Earth observation data and analyses offer for biodiversity monitoring.  


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    Develop standards and methods:  We are developing standard mechanisms and approaches for processing satellite data into a format that is ready to use and enables cost-effective application of the data.  We are also promoting standards for environmental evidence from Earth observation data, and have developed analysis-ready data products from Copernicus satellite data

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    Provide cost-effective habitat mapping:  We have the technical capabilities to combine satellite data with other sources to generate habitat maps and assess habitat condition or status. This includes Natural England's Living England Map and habitat mapping in the Overseas Territories.

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    Develop natural capital assessments: We have developed approaches to demonstrate how the Earth observation data we gather, and the maps we generate, can be used to underpin assessments of natural capital and ecosystem services.

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