ESA earth observation data to be made open

​Serco, a multinational public service provider, has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency to create a cloud-based platform where anyone can look at ESA data

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The data in question comes from ESA's Copernicus programme and includes earth observation and geospatial data. Copernicus is the largest earth-observation programme in the world, with a set of dedicated satellites feeding it imagery and data (Sentinel satellites), and many on-the-ground sensors recording air quality, precipitation, sea levels, and other information. The data is already being used by governments and businesses worldwide for a variety of uses from counter-piracy to climate change tracking.

The contract has been awarded to Serco's Italian arm, and will last for 4 years. The new platform will launch after a 6-month building and testing phase. Serco and ESA have already worked together on projects over several years.

The platform will be easy-to-use and is aimed at providing data to entrepreneurs for new applications and services.

The press release states that "the project aims to stimulate a wave of innovation, resulting in the creation of a range of exciting new data-based applications and services."

The full press release is at the SERCO website.

Ben Johnson

Magazine Editor, Nature Medicine, Springer Nature

I trained as a virologist, starting with an undergraduate degree in virology from the University of Warwick, UK. My PhD, in influenza virus genetics and immunoevasion, was from Public Health England and the University of Reading, UK, with Maria Zambon and Wendy Barclay. My research interests then moved to smallpox vaccines, viral ion channels and cell adhesion, while a postdoc at Imperial College London with Geoffrey Smith, FRS. I then joined open-access publisher BioMed Central in 2011 as an editor and then associate publisher and was Head of Communities & Engagement at Springer Nature from 2016, running the Nature Research Communities and other online engagement activities for researchers. I joined Nature Medicine in 2021, with responsibility for news and opinion content, and am based in the London office.