Better together

Presenters emphasised the added value that geolocation and earth observation services offer when they work together
Presenters emphasised the added value that geolocation and earth observation services offer when they work together

The European GNSS Agency (GSA) highlights how the combination of GNSS and Earth observation services mean increased benefits for geospatial applications.

As part of its recent annual congress, the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) held a special session on Galileo and Copernicus and their role in geospatial land applications. The session, jointly organised by the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Horizon 2020 funded LARA project, drew over 70 participants.

A common theme of the session was a general need for a stronger connection between GNSS-generated geospatial data and remote sensing applications and services, including its relevant stakeholders. To demonstrate why, presenters emphasised the added value that geolocation and earth observation services offer when they work together.

Also read: Galileo and EGNOS benefiting the Geospatial World

“The successful launch of Sentinel-2, along with Earth observation’s increasing capacity to use Very High Resolution sensors, are providing a boost to the European remote sensing industry,” said EEA Project Manager of Copernicus Land Services Hans Dufourmont. “The combination of precision geolocation services with satellite imagery at sub-metre pixel sizes paves the way for a new range of uses and in domains as diverse as precision farming, ecosystem service monitoring and urban growth monitoring – to name only a few.”

“Galileo’s improved signal robustness and varying levels of authentication, along with the Commercial Service’s high-accuracy receiver error below one decimetre, are all features that will greatly benefit geospatial users,” added GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “With virtually all professional surveying receivers preparing for the declaration of Galileo Initial Services later this year, geospatial users are increasingly able to benefit from European GNSS.”

Multiplying benefits

Galileo, Europe’s own global navigation satellite system, provides a global positioning service under civilian control. Offering dual frequencies as its standard, Galileo’s open service will deliver improved real-time positioning accuracy, in combination with already existing GNSS constellations. Copernicus, Europe’s Earth observation system, consists of a complex set of systems that collect data from the Sentinel satellites and other sources. It bundles these data and provides users with reliable and up-to-date information through a set of services related to environmental and security issues.

Though there is already a wealth of applications for both European systems, their open data policies will enable the creation of new services and applications and, as a result, new business creation. Galileo determines a precise position anytime and anywhere on the globe, while Copernicus provides information on the Earth’s surface, its atmosphere and marine systems. The joint use of both systems in applications will unleash synergies and result in multiple benefits for the users.

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