This page shows the taxonomy structure of the EO services organised thematically. There are 6 classes of service as shown on the tabs. Each class contains a number of thematic sectors into which the EO services are grouped.

  • Thematic Sector: this is the classification of the grouped EO services.
  • Client view: These are each EO service described as a client may wish.
  • Key-words: these define the products which can make up an EO service.

Thematic Area

EO Services


Monitor agriculture

Assess environmental impact of farming

Assess how yields and production are evolving and how agricultural activities are impacting the environment (i.e. the monitoring of farm-produced dust and particulate matter, polluted runoff, etc).

Assess crop damage due to storms

Protect crops from extreme weather events (hailstorms, lightning and extreme temperatures) using early warning systems. Accurately and repeatedly assess current and historic losses for crop insurance, identify the plant growth stage, warning-service loss assessment, food-security, impact.

Assess and monitor crop disease and stress

crop health (disease and stress), crop acreage and yield harvest (inventories / statistics), crop types (extent, growth, health, stress), crop yields

Monitor and forecast crop yields

Monitor and forecast specific crop types i.e. predicting certain crop characteristics on a day-by-day basis after a planting date, near-real-time data which helps make day-to-day farming decisions, to assess crop status, and predict how changes in the plant growth stage will affect crop acreage and yield harvest (inventories / statistics), crop types (extent, growth, health, stress), land surface and temperature.  Seasonal forecasts with adaptive decisions such as (choosing crop varieties, crop–grazing balancing, commodity trading and food emergency preparedness, return on investment (nutrients & fertilisation monitoring)).

Detect illegal or undesired crops

Crop planting area monitoring, crop area information acquisition, multi-temporal data and multi-spectral time series are two major aspects for improving crop identification accuracy and illicit crops, estimates, cultivation patterns, hyperspectral thematic crop type mapping.

Monitor water use on crops and horticulture

Monitoring of run-off, improved agricultural water management, overall irrigation, taking into account soil water index, surface soil moisture, map vegetation index, etc.

Monitor forests

Assess deforestation / forest degradation

Assessment and monitoring of forest biomass (above-ground, deforestation, reforestation, afforestation and degradation). Time series analysis of forest loss, disturbance index, carbon emissions, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, disturbance, measurement reporting and verification (MRV), Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).

Assess forest damage due to storms or insects

Assessing and managing damaged timber due to events such as storms, fires, insect damage etc. Elaboration of impact maps including sudden changes in forest stock volume, pest infestations modelling, ice and snow damages, etc.

Assess, monitor & manage onitor forest resources

Mapping forest and classifying forest type/cover change (classification/capacity) such as biomass (diversity, health, height, volume stress, location, extent), tree cover density (canopy coverage) and tree species, tree height and diameter), growth predictions, harvesting analysis (timber volume, inventory, clear cuts, accreditation and certification), forest condition mapping, time series, change detection monitoring of moist, etc.

Detect illegal forest activities

Detect and identify illicit logging, change-detection, forest cover, forest types, biomass, density, etc.

Assess environmental impact of forestry

Assess changes in the forestry and tree line (fragmentation, capacity, location, extent and tree cover density, atmospheric deposition and GHG emissions, transboundary atmospheric pollution, climate change effects on forestry, etc.).

Monitor forest carbon content

Monitor carbon balance, carbon tracking, global carbon stocks, greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF). Support to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, REDD+.

Monitor bodies of inland water

Assess and monitor water bodies

Provides qualitative and quantitative information (e.g. time series and/or/of maps) concerning inland water quality, regarding chlorophyll content (algal blooms), suspended matter (turbidity, suspended sediment concentrations), and the water body (surface water extent, water quality, pollution, temperature, volume, level, alkaline water, evaporation, surface temperature) for permanent, ephemeral, inland water bodies.

Assess & monitor wetlands

Water bodies monitoring and assessment, surface water dynamics, wetland ecosystem extent, water quality, ecosystem service mapping (e.g. carbon sequestration, flood regulation).

Assess ground water and run-off

Assess water run-off (water quantity), hydrological network and catchment areas (water catchment), hydrological simulations, run-off season, groundwater, integrated water management, soil moisture as relevant on the threshold runoff response in a small headwater catchment.

Monitor snow & ice

Monitor ice on rivers and lakes

Monitor grounded and floating ice covers on shallow water and lakes (ice cover concentration, extent and phenology, inland ice, ice sheets, thickness, freezing period, melting period, land fast ice, ice/lake extent, snow/ice surface temperature).

Detect changes in glaciers

Long term monitoring of glacial variations especially at the glacier margins and terminus location. Mapping and charting fluctuation, ice caps, landslides, etc. or measuring parameters such as ice thickness, surface ice velocities, and changes in surface elevation over time.

Monitor  & assess snow cover

Monitoring snow cover area extent (depth, temperature), fractional snow cover, snow water equivalent and snow mass.

Assess land ecosystems

Assess land ecosystems and biodiversity

Assessment of the ecosystem condition and pressure mapping of biodiversity with critical habitat maps, monitoring wildlife corridors, linear features (hedges and boundaries), soil moisture, vegetation indices (e.g., normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), greenness and biomass, leaf area index (LAI), estimation of stem volume, etc.

Assess environmental impact of human activities

Monitoring anthropogenic impact on land resources; LU/LC, productivity, Soil Organic Carbon (SOC), burnt area mapping, Forest & wooded land, Cropland, Pasture (improved grassland), Wetland, Settlements (villages, urban), Cropland/ grazing land management, Long-term cultivated; improved pasture, unimproved pasture, new set aside, old set aside, wetland/paddy, shifting agriculture, abandoned/ degraded, etc.

Monitor land use

Monitor land use and land use change

Monitoring Land Use (LU) and Land Cover Change (LC) is the measure available to monitor pressures on terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity; mapping surface imperviousness, canopy structure phenology, etc., its classification and change detection (accuracy assessment procedures), Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry (LULUCF) reporting, land use studies, baseline map, etc.

Detect illegal mining activities

Monitor and address various impacts of mining and hydrocarbons extraction studying environmental changes like acid mine drainage, illegal surface mining supporting law enforcement and allowing the regulatory agencies helping to avoid or minimize the adverse effects of illegal mining. These activities monitor the progression of disturbance caused by illegal mining, identifying and tracking reclamation sites, and assessing land use and land cover changes. 

Assess land accounting (value, ownership, type, use)

Measure land use statistics and land accounting (land administration, baseline map, land use studies and statistics; life populations, human settlement patterns, impact of drought on agricultural production, impact of loss of agricultural land on production, pollution caused by use of fertilizers/ pesticides, threats to wildlife due to habitat destruction, land evaluation for agriculture, areas at risk to land degradation, remedial measures to counter inappropriate land management, soil sealing). Monitoring human–environmental interactions such as landscape changes e.g. land use land cover (LULC), soil and terrain forms, surface hydrology (including shallow lakes, rivers, marshes and swamps) as well as ecological services (conservation), anthropogenic usage and land take (urban planning and management), land accounting and land administration, land use studies and statistics (use, parcels), cadastral.

Monitor vegetation encroachmentMonitoring terrain surrounding infrastructure such as railways, pipeline and high voltage power line corridors. Major products to support this service are vegetation condition index (VCI), ancillary data, risk identification layer, prioritization layer.

Monitor land cover and detect change assessmentA range of direct and indirect measurements to monitor pressures on land cover which is changing over time. Land cover assessment includes mapping from wide coverage (land cover and use) to locally or regionally focussed (habitat mapping). High-resolution Layers (characterization & classification), soil sealing, arid areas, wet areas, erosion potential, LCCS (Land Cover Classification System), imperviousness (e.g. CORINE land cover inventory).
Monitor topography & motionBaseline mappingSurface deformation maps and profiles elevation data products such: Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), Digital Surface Model (DSM), Digital Terrain Model (DTM), terrain roughness measure, slope stability (curvature, aspect), etc

Measure and detect land surface change

Measure ground and infrastructure displacements (change detection monitor), surface movement (sand dunes, pipeline routes, corridor status, soil erosion) or landslides and subsidence. 

Monitor coastal land coverMonitor coastal land cover, coastline, shoreline change and coastal morphology (coastal terrain models), including pollution by oil, litter etc.

Detect and monitor ground movement Detect reservoir compartmentalization & optimization, permafrost zone stability, ground displacement: fault identification, reactivation & discontinuities, uplift, subsidence, heave, thawing, landslides, earthquakes.
Extract information about subsurface geologyMap geological features

Detect and map features extraction, near surface features, lithology features, linear disturbance features (faults & discontinuities).

Map seismic survey operations

Map seismic (survey, coupling, logistics), gravity-seafloor classification maps, onshore seismic survey operations (hydrocarbon exploration), satellite derived bathymetry products (water depth, water clarity - turbidity).

Monitor mineral extraction

Monitoring the environmental impacts of mineral resources exploitation (ground surface), illegal activities, recovering abandoned sites, mine waste mapping and monitoring (erosion, land subsistence, biodiversity/habitat loss, destruction & disturbance of ecosystems).

Identify hydrocarbon seeps in soil

Identification of hydrocarbon seepage (oil seeps) detection (near surface geology: faults, fractures, unconformities or carrier beds) as indicators of petroleum charge.

Thematic Area

EO Service


Monitor built environment

Monitor urban areas

Observation, identification, mapping, assessment and monitoring of urban areas and their dynamics at a range of spatial and temporal resolutions. Digital imaging processing methods such basic thresholding, unsupervised classification or products such urban heat island, impervious surfaces, land use change (residential, commercial, other), building density (3D city modelling), high photovoltaic penetration at the urban scale..

Monitor urban surroundings

Understanding human settlements on the outskirts and near rural areas. Mapping and evolution characterization of human interactions (environmental, population and habitat fragmentation, soil sealing and socio-economic) of rural areas and surroundings, urban sprawl, green urban areas.

Monitor urban green & blue areas

Monitor green and blue urban areas (in relation to urban form, energy use and carbon emissions). It is about the estimation of urban energy fluxes at a neighbourhood scale (urban energy balance) using land cover, Digital Surface Models (DSM), surface roughness parameters (such as plan area index, frontal area index, roughness length and zero-displacement height), urban ecosystem restoration, urban heat island effect, green corridors, garden monitors.

Monitor construction & buildings

Construction site surveying and progress mapping, comprising surrounding ground as well as displacements of key components of such structures. There is a need for Near Real Time (NRT) data delivery and measuring stress.

Monitor  infrastructure & installations

Assess damage from industrial accidents

Assess structural integrity of the infrastructure, site suitability and vulnerability. Connection with disaster risk reduction (emergency response, recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction).

Asset infrastructure monitoring

Industrial activity assessment, monitoring of functional planning zones, exploit correlation with industrial activity to improve the model of subsurface, site suitability and vulnerability, land cover, infrastructure, dyke monitoring, emergency airport planning, etc.

Map & monitor solar energy (solar farms)Urban solar mapping and understanding the basic characteristics of solar radiation over specific monitoring locations including estimating the variability of solar radiation for site selection and grid data/operators. Solar monitoring services use time series, Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI), Diffuse Horizontal Irradiance (DHI) and Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI), shadow mask.

Map & monitor wind energy (wind farms)

Understand where wind farms can be sited most cost-effectively and monitor and map wind energy fields (design and operation), wind roses, wind speed & direction.

Map & monitor hydroelectric energy

Hydrological network mapping (drainage navigation erosion) including hydropower grid monitoring and resource assessment. Water resource (reservoirs) monitoring, hydrological modelling and flood forecasting and mapping (dams).

Monitor transport networks

Map line of sight visibility (land surface)

Landscape visibility mapping and analysis, including spatial planning, terrain mapping (DTMs), land surface, map transmission and land routes.

Map & monitor transport networks

Transportation systems, interdependencies and industrial progress planning including site, soft ground and network mapping, highway environmental monitoring and assessment, identification of road or track for logistics planning.

Monitor wasteMonitor land pollution & waste management

Identifying illegal dumping and waste management and disposal for law enforcement. Landfills and dump sites emit large quantities of methane, quantify the emissions from these large sites in a single snapshot (maps) and do it frequently, surface and subsurface soil contamination monitoring, Land use/Land cover (LU/LC) maps which depict the physical characteristics of the surface, dry matter productivity, migration of pollutants and imperviousness land surface are parameters needed for this service.

Thematic Area

EO Service 


MetoceanForecast & monitor ocean currents and drift

Ocean water forecasting including ocean dynamics and circulation: tides and ocean currents (surface current models for tides), sea level, sea surface salinity (internal waves, eddies and frontal areas), upwelling, sea state, etc.

Forecast & monitor ocean winds and waves

Wind resource mapping, derived winds (speed, direction, stress) and waves (current veins, swell-maps, sea surface height), wave exposure (fetch, averaged directional wind speed and bathymetry). The sea surface roughness is impacted by wind (waves) and rain cells.

Forecast & map large waves

Forecasting extreme waves / tsunami, inundation forecasting (flow depth distribution), vulnerability maps, bathymetry, current velocity.

Detect & monitor hurricanes and typhoons

Monitoring atmospheric front, local weather phenomena, cloud structure, winds and waves, sea-surface temperature and sea-surface height.

Monitor ocean level & surface

Monitor (changes in) sea level, physical characteristics such as gravity, currents, temperature and salinity, ocean circulation (currents and eddies at the edges of holes and bumps), seasonal or inter-annual variations, or even longer periods (long-term rise in sea level), hindcasting.

Monitor coastal areasMonitor water depth or charting

Satellite derived bathymetry mapping and charting. Surveying shallow waters.

Monitor transitional water bodies

Essential environmental monitoring and management in aquatic ecosystems focus on rivers (inland waters, watershed) and lagoon/estuary-coastal region-ocean/Sea. Research projects now aiming to harmonise monitoring approaches across different water bodies.

Assess & monitor coastal water quality

Detecting and mapping suspended sediment concentrations sediment (qualitative, quantitative), turbidity (quality, quantitative), visibility, chlorophyll-a concentration, suspended sediment may be indicative of estuarine processes, re-suspension or pollution.

Predict jellyfish

Assess the impact of jellyfish in human activities through ocean physics analysis maps (salinity, currents, sea level (SS hight), temperature (SST), ocean colour), ocean biogeochemistry analysis maps (ocean chlorophyll), policy objectives (marine policy, coastal management, common fisheries policy, marine strategy framework).

Monitor marine ecosystemMonitor ocean quality & productivity

Assessing water-related ecosystems. Water quality status (sea surface temperature (SST), transparency or turbidity, and ocean colour ocean colour composite (chl-a, transparency, swath, qualitative, quantitative), which enable eutrophication assessments and the detection of algal bloom (phytoplankton, harmful blooms - HABs), ocean productivity (carbon content, primary production).

Monitor marine habitats 

Monitoring generic life marine ecosystem (algal blooms, marine mammals...), sea surface temperature, sediments, plumes, nutrients, dredging operation, coral reef health assessment (bleaching), marine non-indigenous species (NIS), etc.

Monitor ocean acidification

Monitoring the ocean carbonate chemistry, bio-geo-chemical cycles, ocean salinity, insitu (partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the water, dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity and pH).

Monitor invasive species

Sargassum detection for seasonal planning (estimate drift and eventual landings on the coasts), Products such as drifting simulation modelling, together with weather and surface currents.

Monitor fisheriesMap fish shoals

Fish-shoal location, fish population dynamics fed by-catch reports (ERS-Electronic recording and reporting system) and catch efforts estimated from VMS (Vessel Monitoring System), collection of catch reports. Other products in consideration such bathymetry, waves, current movement and drift, pollution, ocean colour, surface temperatures (SSTs), sea surface height anomalies and sea surface colour revealing the abundance of chlorophyll a).

Detect & monitor illegal fishing

Track and localization of licensed fishing vessels movements and detect suspicious activity, fleet management services (ocean colour, PP, SST, etc).

Monitor sea-ice & icebergsDetect & monitor ice-risk at sea

Detect sea-ice and icebergs (ice cover, sea ice thickness, height of the ice surface, water body extent) during ship routing.

Ships monitoring, detection & trackingDetect ships in critical areas

Detect and monitor the movement of ships and activity at associated ports and infrastructures (baseline activity), shipping and navigation.

Monitor ship movements

Monitor sea-traffic, shipping lanes, ship-source pollution, discharges, sea surface temperature (SST).

Monitor marine pollutionMonitor pollution at sea

Monitoring turbidity & pollutants at sea such marine litter, marine plastics, hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) with relevant parameters (altimetry, sea-surface salinity, sea-surface temperature, ocean colour and sea-ice data) and policy objectives (integrated maritime policy, environmental action programme, etc).

Detect & monitor oil slicks

Detect and monitor size, extent and location of oil spills, as well as providing information on wind, current and waves to predict oil movement. The oil spill threats are on early warning stages of natural oil seepage and during the disaster monitoring and characterization).

Monitor oil rigs & flares

Monitoring of methane and other gases flared from gas flares and oil rigs, oil wells due to possible malfunctioning. Typically service accompanying forecast weather conditions.

Thematic Areas

EO Service


Monitor the atmosphere

 Monitor and forecast air quality & emissions (fluxes)

Pollution and greenhouse gas emission monitoring. Measuring atmospheric concentrations and characterizing the micrometeorology or using atmospheric dispersion models to back-calculate the emission rates that gave the concentrations observed. Air quality/pollution source maps (CH4, CO2, NO2 & SO2, Particulate Matter, maps of average pollutant flux PM2.5, PM10).

Monitor atmosphere composition

Monitoring present conditions and forecasting the distribution (transportation), for a few days ahead, of both anthropogenic and naturally occurring key greenhouse gases (GHG) like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), or reactive gases such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), etc.

Forecasting sunlight exposure

While the solar radiation impacting the top of the atmosphere can be well modelled, the solar radiation arriving at the surface is dependent on the atmospheric transmission and turbidity and aerosol optical depth. Forecasting and risk assessment amount of solar (sunlight) radiation which reaches the surface of the planet (UV, radiation measures, models).

Monitor climate change

Assess changes in the carbon balance

Measuring carbon stocks, especially aboveground biomass and providing an overview of a range of approaches that have been developed and used to map biomass across a diverse set of conditions and geographic areas (quantifying stem volume and carbon stock changes). It also includes historical climate data.

Assess climate change risk & climate forcing

Assess current and future vulnerability to climate change including variability caused by a perturbation of the climate system and associated atmospheric composition (aerosol, ozone and greenhouse gases) driven by human activities). The radiative forcing measures the imbalance in the surface solar irradiance and is a useful predictor of globally averaged temperature change.

Forecast the weather (meteo)

Forecast weather  

Monitor and forecast weather conditions such as temperature, storms, precipitation, heat waves and tropical cyclones – as well as other hazards influenced by weather, like floods or dispersion of atmospheric or marine pollution.

Thematic Area

EO Services


Assess disasters & geohazards (emergency)

Map and assess flooding

Map and assess the extent of the flooding event (floods map, exposure), floodplain mapping, flood risk dynamic assessment and management of water buffer areas (overflow). Measure a variety of physical and biological parameters (incl. turbidity levels) in aquatic ecosystems over small and large areas. Products look into the flood impact and extent in phases such as early warning (early/quick/rapid detection), response and recovery monitoring.

Forecast and assess landslides

Mapping, monitoring, early warning (quick/rapid detection) and assessment of trigger events, unstable areas (rainfall influence) such as landslides (dynamic risk damage, slope instability, subsidence detection, fault and discontinuity maps (vector or raster), ground deformation and motion). Associated services include support for the evacuation of areas prone to collapse or the identification of suitable areas for urban replacement.

Assess and monitor volcanic activity

Assess ground deformation associated with volcanoes, seismic activity, volcanic eruptions (pre-eruptive, sin-eruptive, gas emissions, atmospheric ash, dispersion, heat flux). Rapid damage estimation (prevention), earthquake damage extent (loss adjuster dispatch). Impact on land cover and landscape (changes). Early warning (quick/rapid detection) and tracking of unrest / eruptive activity using satellite data in support of hazards mitigation activities. Map of the recent lava flows.

Detect and monitor wildfires

Use optical data to detect and monitor the heat emitted by the fires [forest fire risk (extent, burnt scars) under rapid damage estimation, fire weather index[1] damage, fire protection, rapid damage estimation (prevention, insurance)]. Impact on global atmospheric emissions, with biomass burning to contribute to the risk on human health (besides direct effects, PM2.5, PM10 health impacts) and also to global budgets of greenhouse gases (GHG) like carbon dioxide etc. Monitoring of risk prevention factors [early warning (early/quick/rapid detection)] and issuing alerts for high risk locations.

Assess damage from earthquakes

Mapping and monitoring of seismic exposure (e.g. population distribution and density in high-seismic-hazard areas). Earthquake disaster prevention, early warning (early/quick/rapid detection), recovery (reconstruction monitoring, residual risk assessment, dynamic risk assessment, information, damage). Extracting background information on seismic, inter-seismic deformations, slip rates & active faults, stress transfer on faults, rapid damage estimation (prevention), change detection and preliminary damage map earthquake damage extent (loss adjuster dispatch).

Map disaster areas and multi hazard assessment

Assess overall disaster risk maps in an appropriate format by using space, in-situ and location-based disaster risk information, vulnerability, capacity, exposure, hazard characteristics and their possible sequential effects at the relevant social and spatial scale on ecosystems, in line with national circumstances. Products will include disaster recovery maps and rapid mapping for crises, humanitarian aid maps (population density, infrastructure, logistical information), vulnerability assessment, damage assessment. Important to note the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

Thematic Areas

EO Service


Monitor critical assets

Monitor  sensitive risk areas

Geospatial intelligence analysis, sensitive risk areas (mines, unexploded objects (UXO), de-mining) mapping, high risk areas mapping, precision mapping, activity detection, auxiliary research and judgment on anti-terrorism in important areas of public security.

Monitor critical infrastructure

Risk evaluation, threat analysis, vulnerability assessment, dams monitoring, water treatment monitoring facilities monitoring, oil fields monitoring, pipelines monitoring, pumping stations monitoring, airports monitoring, governmental buildings monitoring, transport networks monitoring.

Cultural heritage assessment

Mapping heritage sites and in supporting the archaeological investigation, understand the scale, impact, opportunities, responses and tools for conserving world heritage and mitigating threats, vulnerability assessment, damage assessment, risk evaluation, looting tracking. Detect ground deformation and monitor subsidence at archaeological sites, monuments and historic urban centres to detect different types of surface changes caused by erosion, floods, vegetation or human actions.

General crime & security surveillance assessment

Border control monitoring, terrorism threat risk assessment, piracy, illegal cropping analysis, cross-border state disputes analysis.

Monitor bordersMonitor land & marine border incursions

Border area monitoring, coastal area monitoring, migration monitoring.

Assess pressures on populations and monitor humanitarian movement

Monitor movement of people, population pressures, monitoring of settlements, evolution, characterization, situation maps, migration and cleansing monitoring, population pressures, displacement of population assessment, planning of contingency operations and operations security & coordination maps (moving objects such vehicles), impact on the surrounding environment, humanitarian camps.

Monitor transport routesMonitor economic activity, transportation of legal and illegal goods monitoring, tracking and identification (drug trafficking monitoring), smuggling location, maritime traffic assessment.
Monitor healthForecasting epidemics and diseasesHealth maps and epidemic vector control mapping (daily disease risk maps, NDVI, land cover, soil type), environmental monitoring of endemic diseases and chronic diseases, public health emergencies disaster/danger, pollution-health risks profiling in the urban environment.
Food security & productionFood security monitoringMap and assess the extent and intensity of the drought. support food security throughout the cycle, from design to implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and adaptive decision making. Assess a variety of physical and biological parameters in ecosystems and economy; maximize sustainable yield and productivity by providing timely and accurate information (early warning system) like; drought, insect plagues, pest and diseases, infection risks, storm damage. Monitor crop’s growth, monitor groundwater and water levels in rivers, radiation and soil, etc.

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