It is now possible to monitor the environment in unprecedented detail and discover entirely new facts, by active remote sensing from satellites. The European Space Agency is conducting a very efficient and successful Earth Observation Programme. The Agency is at the forefront of remote sensing and is almost exclusively aimed at Science and Industry. No body or institution exists that regularly monitors the specific scientific environmental results that are brought about by the satellites. The public is, at the same time largely unaware of the enormous potential of new Earth Observation Techniques, especially regarding vital information on the environment.
The overall scope of the project was to improve the public information about the environment by adapting and applying new forms of satellite data visualisation to consumer mass media. The aim of State of the Earth was to extract the data, visualise it and to convert it into presentable information for general public consumption. The methodology, the adapted technology and the end results would be validated for economic and practical use and demonstrated to end-users in TV and Multimedia Publishing. The results would then be disseminated throughout the Community for both increased public awareness, business opportunity improvements and information to related businesses. Assistance was to be provided by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, The Danish Environment Agency, The Danish Meteorological Institute and The European Environment Agency.
The project objectives were:
- to create access to data currently not reaching the public.
- to apply new visualisation techniques, coupled with high quality design showing broadcasters and electronic publishers that the environment is good programming business.
- to create tools which allow linear visualisation of the data to be adapted to interactive models. These models will be very valuable in consumer-level multimedia, and on-line services.
- to qualify key market end-users with demonstration material validated for economic viability and sustainability.
The project report indicates that the some of the original assumptions changed significantly during the course of the project because PC technology was changing rapidly. Overall, the net effect of the project was increased data access and management efficiency, an improvement in the visual output quality and reduced costs.