The aim of the 'GEO Network for Capacity Building' (GEONETCAB) project was to create opportunities for the development of the market for satellite imaging. The motivation was the still limited awareness of the possibilities offered for environmental monitoring to warning systems for health hazards. Partly, this is due to issues with access and reliability of data. However, lack of familiarity with solutions offered or knowledge of available products also plays a role. The capacity building strategy formulated was a marketing effort to promote the use of Earth observation products and services. The target group was a triangle formed by decision-makers, professionals and end-users. The GEONETCAB project established links with a critical mass of research institutions, public organisations, policy-makers in new EU Member States, neighbouring countries and developing countries. Specifically, promotion activities were carried out in Southern Africa, the French-speaking African region, the Czech Republic and Poland. These four regions were selected to provide practical examples that demonstrate how public and private organisations can benefit from Earth observation data. These include success stories of applications of Earth observation data that work and can be replicated in other parts of the world without too much investment. Most importantly, they are put together in terms that are understandable by non-experts. On the other hand, the GEONETCAB partners compiled an online database with technical guidelines and training material. In addition, a catalogue was built, referencing various kinds of useful resources for accessing Earth observation data and open source software for their manipulation. This inventory of Earth observation resources is planned to be continued even after the project ends. The GEONETCAB project has made a small, but significant contribution to the Global Earth observation system of systems (the capacity building resource facility is further developed and now an integral part under the name GEOCAB). Through cooperation between users and resource providers, it facilitated the capacity building that is needed to use Earth observation data for environmental and societal purposes.
Satellites, environmental monitoring, marketing, Earth observation, decision-makers, success stories, guidelines, training, Global Earth observation system of systems