This week, Helsinki hosted the European Space Week, which delivered insights into the European Union’s Space Programmes EGNOS, Galileo, and Copernicus as well as updates on the New Space Economy. While the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and the Galileo programmes focus on improving navigation on earth using Europe’s very own global positioning service, comparable to the US Military’s Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian GLONASS system, the Copernicus programme focusses on earth observation. The latter programme relies on over 30 satellites to collect accurate and timely data about security threats, natural disasters and emergencies, land use, the atmosphere, the ocean as well as climate change. These satellite data in combination with in-situ data collection efforts like the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) for the ocean and the European Environment Agency (EEA) for the land are vital to improve our understanding of our planet, contribute to sustainable management of the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change.
To celebrate the space week, the map of the week features a high-resolution European dataset of land cover, which was collected by the Corine Land Cover (CLC) programme, a part of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service. Land cover is the physical material at the earth’s surface, think of vegetation, water bodies, bear rock but also urban, agricultural and industrial areas. It is the part of our planet that has been most influenced by humans and hence is key to understanding our effects on the other parts of the earth system like the oceans, atmosphere and climate. Go and have a look at the land cover in your area.
The data in this map were provided by the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service.