Open Data Critical for Global Sustainability

Ensuring sustainability is indeed a global emergency and we are running out of time. This is where space-based technology and timely data accessibility can play a significant role.

Open data access should be our main goal. The public sectors can use it for KPIs to monitor, visualize, and provide services such as mapping droughts, forest fires, and biomass level. This information can also be utilized by the private sector.

Sharing data timely with national authorities enable proper planning, decision-making, and implementation.

For instance, in case of fire breakout in rural areas, it’s crucial for local authorities and stakeholders to identify hotspots to douse the flames and ensure public safety.

Space tech innovations are proving to be critical in managing forests, water, biomass, and addressing the effects of climate related events such drought, overheating, and floods.

Droughts and forest fires afflict Portugal. Earth Observation tools are vital to tackle them.

With the help of accurate data and space tech, we aim to create a national GeoHub.

Focus Area

Portuguese Space Agency’s key priority is to build capacity for the national programs.

The other key priorities include capacity building and supporting companies to develop national programs in order to enhance space literacy.

We are developing National Geohub, in order to advance “a policy of national Earth observation data in high and very high resolution”.

Open data policy for the country is our main initiative that will concentrate all the data available for free to develop downstream applications.

This is our responsibility as national entity is to provide answers about the dynamics of the territory with a certain frequency of data inflow that we can implement in daily operations.

Challenges Ahead

One of the challenges confronting Portugal is water scarcity. 70% of the water in the south is used for agriculture.

It is also a touristic region, which puts additional stress on water usage. With the help of space technologies, proper analysis and Digital Twin technology, proper calculative actions can be taken to monitor water wastage and prevent leakages.

There is also a dire need to focus on maritime economy. As an Atlantic nation, oceans bring equilibrium to Portugal’s ecosystem. Hence, the use of space technologies to take care of the oceans, and coastal lines could be the direction where collective efforts is needed the most.

Greater Public Good

Space must be seen as a public good to be associated with our institutions and collective ambitions. It is critical to continue to democratize access to Space.

With data access, the public can manage their territory in several dimensions of sustainability and city planning.

In the European context, Digital Twin will greatly help to tackle climate change.

Through the open data policy, data can be made available to develop applications. But there’s also a need to build capabilities for the timely exchange of information.

The Digital Twin of the ocean is being developed under the European Commission. However, the unavailability of realtime data is proving to be a problem for some institutions working on it.

The Digital Twins of Lisbon is quite advances in some areas. We have used it to monitor rainfall, temperature, and provide relief to people by highlighting the hotspots.

We are trying to use Digital Twin to tackle climate change, especially in agriculture.

For two years, we are trying to monitor plastic litter in the ocean using satellite dataset, supercomputing, Artificial Intelligence but we did not get real-time data from satellites, which is really frustrating.

Without access to continuous flow of data, high-tech gadgets, and powerful applications such as supercomputing are of no use.

This is why an inclusive open data policy has the potential to initiate a true paradigm-shift.

Geospatial data should be made available to everyone to make the world more resilient and sustainable.

Disclaimer: Views Expressed are Author’s Own. Geospatial World May or May Not Endorse it

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