Students and young professionals learn how to make the best use of satellite data

The Copernicus ‘Eyes on Earth’ Roadshow made it to Tallinn, allowing students and young entrepreneurs to explore the creative ways of using the free satellite data of the European Union's Copernicus programme to create jobs and business opportunities as well as help us understand our planet better. The event was held on October 3 to 4 at the National Library of Estonia and welcomed 226 participants from 20 countries, most of which were students and young professionals.

The Copernicus Roadshow is a series of events that are held across Europe to support not only the development of applications with space data and other geo-information systems, but also of the technical and scientific skills that are needed to work in the Earth Observation sector.

The Roadshow event included an expo area with interactive tools, technical lectures, and interactive masterclasses dedicated to real business cases on Earth observation. Some of the workshops allowed the participants to use space data for power plant localisation, tracking shipping emissions, and crop fertilisation.

Inspire, explore, act – at the same time

The Roadshow is especially aimed at students and young professionals. Isaac Buo, a PhD student at the University of Tartu, said that he has been using Earth observation data since his Bachelor’s degree. In his opinion, events like the Roadshow are a good way to meet new people and catch up with new ideas in the industry. He thought that the sessions did a good job of showing the entrepreneurial side of Earth Observation. “It’s about time we made good use of the Copernicus Earth observation data,” Buo stated.

The students and young entrepreneurs were encouraged by experts who shared their experiences and knowledge. The keynote speakers advised youngsters to see space data as a tool which can be applied to everyday activities, from site mapping to video games and virtual reality.

“Earth Observation is not just algorithms,” said Carl Pucci, Head of US Operations at AS DATEL. He stressed that Copernicus can make an actual difference in the government, science, and business across Europe.

Director of the University of Tartu Tartu Observatory Dr Anu Reinart pointed out that although many Estonian enterprises already use Copernicus space data for their services and goods, hard work is needed in order to make the most of the data. “The Roadshow tagline is “Inspire, Explore, Act”, but we don’t necessarily need to do it in this order. We must do them all at the same time: we inspire, we explore, we act for the future.”

Copernicus is the future
Tallinn was the third stop for the Roadshow after Germany and The Netherlands. Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Aivar Riisalu stated that for Estonia as a space nation and a technology hub, it is very important to host events like the Roadshow. “For us, Copernicus is the future. It’s important that young people are aware of it and take advantage of its data,” Riisalu added.

The next Copernicus “Eyes on Earth” Roadshow events will take place in Romania and Italy in the first quarter of 2020. Further information is available at Copernicus website.

Copernicus is the European Union's Earth Observation Programme, looking at our planet and its environment for the ultimate benefit of all European citizens. It offers information services based on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data.