The Space Applications Institute (SAI) of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre has recently published its annual report for 1998. This report shows that the Space Applications Institute had a busy year in 1998 when it redefined its mission and activities in line with changes at the Joint Research Centre. The annual report presents the SAI's thematic activities in 1998 and the results of some of this work. The topics covered include: - Results on monitoring desertification, watersheds and forests; - A study on the EU's information needs; - Recent developments in the MARS project; - Marine environment activities; - Research results on techniques such as radar polarimetry and interferometry. The objective of the SAI is to develop and promote the use of space derived data and geo-spatial data from other sources in the service of EU policies. This data is mainly drawn from the fields of agriculture, fisheries, transport and anti-fraud. The SAI also aims to make the best use possible of data from space systems, to maximise the return from European investments in space technologies. The SAI's work covers the following areas: - Technologies for the detection and positioning: anti-personnel mines; - Environmental and geo-information; - Agriculture and regional information systems; - Global vegetation and monitoring; - The marine environment; - Strategy and systems for space applications.