Copernicus - The European Earth Observation Programme

The Copernicus programme comprises satellite-borne earth observation and in-situ data, and a services component that combines these in order to provide information essential for monitoring the terrestrial environment.

The Copernicus land monitoring service provides geographical information on land cover/land use and on variables related to vegetation state and the water cycle. It supports applications in a variety of domains, such as spatial planning, forest management, water management and agriculture and consists of the following four main components.

    Global Component
The global land component is coordinated by the European Commission DG Joint Research Centre (JRC). It produces data across a wide range of biophysical variables at a global scale, which describe the state of vegetation (e.g. leaf area index), the energy budget (e.g. albedo) and the water cycle (e.g. soil moisture index).

    Pan European Component
The pan-European component is coordinated by the European Environment Agency and will produce 5 high resolution data sets describing the main land cover characteristics: artificial surfaces (e.g. roads and paved areas), forest areas, agricultural areas (grasslands), wetlands, and small water bodies. The pan-European component is also updating the Corine Land Cover dataset to the reference year 2012.

    Local Component
The local component is coordinated by the European Environment Agency and aims to provide specific and more detailed information that is complementary to the information obtained through the Pan-European component. Besides an update of the Urban Atlas, the next local component will address land cover in areas around rivers for the purposes of biodiversity monitoring.

    GISC Project: In-situ data coordination
The European Environment Agency (EEA) coordinates the GMES in-situ component through the GISC project. In support of the GMES Bureau, the project explores how future operational management (governance, architecture) of the in-situ component might best be achieved. GISC aims to link data providers and service providers, developing sustainable mechanisms for in-situ data delivery/access, building on existing national systems and European networks.