Welcome to Geoff's Blog. Geoff Sawyer is the Secretary General of EARSC and this is where to find out more about his views - which are expressed on a personal basis. For those logged in, please feel free to leave comments at the bottom of the blog. I shall be happy to exchange on views and reactions would be very welcome!!

The Value of EO
A major workshop took place in Frascati over 3 days. Hosted by ESRIN, it was organised by ESA, USGS, NOAA, EC, Fourbridges and EARSC on the subject of how to improve the measurement of the Value of EO. Around 60 experts from around the world and covering several important disciplines gathered to exchange views on how to develop clearer, stronger and credible messages for policy makers and citizens about the value of the investments being made in EO technologies.…
EARSC is 30!
Tomorrow we start the 30th annual general meeting of EARSC! We have a celebratory cocktail with many friends in the evening. We shall be in the Natural History Museum so shall be standing amongst the dinosaurs! This year, we have moved this annual event onto a new level. ExpandEO provides two full days of events and workshops with parallel sessions for much of tomorrow. The number of registrants is about double that of previous years, so it looks promising.…
EARSC and the eoSTORE
Returning to the ESA ITT to develop an e-commerce platform also referred to by us as an eoSTORE. After having talked with many companies about their views, what should EARSC do? The ITT presents us with a strong dilemma. I hold to a strong principle that we should not compete with members. This principle accompanies our change in business model away from one based on Membership fees to one which is driven by projects.…
I return to the subject of the ITT to create a platform for micro e-services issued last week by ESA. By my reading, the objective is to create what we called an eoSTORE in our study of the Marketplace for EO Services (MAEOS) 2 years ago. After study and consultations, we split the Marketplace into 2 parts just like a shopping centre (Mall). The first part is the surrounding infrastructure, eoMALL, with a very sophisticated guide to find the services for which a client is looking. Once found,…
Brexit - the end is Nigh.
I have stayed silent on Brexit for some time; watching the drama unfold and the chaos ensue in horror but without comment. Personally, I am unaffected unless major economic crises are a result (I have two pensions paid from the UK). A slump in the value of the pound will hit me, as my pensions are paid in pounds but I have taken some precautions against this and I do not see it as a likely long term issue.…
Building an eoSTORE
We were surprised last Friday to see ESA release an ITT to develop an “e-commerce platform for micro-services”. We were completely unaware of this project although given the pre-announcement we should have been) and have had no discussions with ESA concerning it. Two years ago, we studied the changing market for EO services and the idea to establish a Marketplace for EO services (MAEOS). We concluded that EARSC should develop eoMALL as a neutral,…
SME's and Jobs
A few years ago, I produced a report with Marc de Vries on the impact of the (then proposed) free and open data policy for Copernicus (then GMES). We called it GMES and Data: Geese and Golden Eggs as it looked at the trend towards open data and the impact this is expected to have economies and then linked this to the Copernicus Sentinel data. We argued that as the data had been paid for out of public resources, users (taxpayers) should not be asked to pay a second time.…
Happy New Year!
I start by wishing everyone reading this a Happy New Year! have been rather inactive on this blog, so a first new years’ resolution is to try to write more! In part it is caused by the volume of work which, as we start another new year, it is good to reflect on the successes from last year and the challenges which we face over the next 12 months – which largely stem from the aforementioned success! In 2018 we have grown from 5 persons to 8 and are now looking for 2 more to join us.…
GEO Week 2018
The GEO plenary was held this year in Kyoto. Two days of side-events were followed by the 2 day plenary session. It was the first for Gilberto Câmara, the new director of the secretariat following the term of Barb Ryan who reached the end of her mandate in June. We organised a side-event on the Value of Earth Observations which became a joint event with GeoCradle. It was very hard to put together this year due to late designation and difficulty of taking contact with potential speakers.…
EARSC History - Part 2
As I stated in the previous blog, for the very first years of the EARSC we have copies of minutes and letters coming from ESA which provide a factual reference of EARSC being established. From 1990 on, no such records exist as far as I know and so we shall need to rely on my memory and hopefully the recollections of others to recreate EARSC in the early years. I strongly encourage anyone who is able to add to what I write or correct my faulty memory to comment on the blog. Collectively,…
EARSC - The beginning
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the meeting in Baveno to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the birth of the Copernicus programme. I wrote about how interesting it was to compare notes and perspectives on what happened at the event 20 years ago. At the event, it was a particular pleasure to meet Claes Goren Borg who was the EARSC chairman in 1998 and Marcello Ricottilli who was chairman from 2000 to 2003. As a result, we had the 3 chairs from 1991 through to 2003 all together in the meeting!…
At midnight (CET) on 29th March next year, the UK will cease to be a member of the EU. At a stroke, unless there is an agreement beforehand, UK becomes a third party to the EU, and the whole legal basis of the relationship with UK will change. What will be the implications for the EO services industry? On the table is a withdrawal agreement (WA) which if agreed will prolong the application of EU law to the UK until midnight on 31st December 2020.…
Brexit - No Deal?
I wrote about Brexit only once before, immediately after the vote in June 2016. I hoped at that time that the vote could be reversed but could not see the mechanism as to how that possibility could arrive. Now it is possible to see a mechanism through the growing voices for a second vote, but less the wisdom of repeating a vote as, even if some polls show people changing their minds, it is not clear that a decisive result would be the outcome.…
Climate Change
Climate domino.jpg In this summer of further record-breaking temperatures around the world, of more devastating, deadly fires in Greece, California, Portugal and elsewhere, of extreme floods in India and extreme temperatures in Europe, of drought conditions affecting agriculture in Australia and slashing the yield for potato growers in Belgium, few people can doubt that climate change is happening faster than ever. A recently,…
Baveno, GMES and Copernicus
Last month, I attended the 20th anniversary of the Baveno meeting which established the GMES programme which has now become Copernicus. The Baveno Manifesto was a landmark document put together by representatives of Europe’s space agencies under the guidance of the European Commission. EARSC was there represented by our then chairman Claes Goren Borg. It was great meeting up with so many friends (I shall not say old friends!…

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