January 23, 2014

CNES’s SPOT World Heritage programme to provide free SPOT satellite archive imagery over five years old for non-commercial uses

At the plenary session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday 17 January, France announced it is offering SPOT satellite archive imagery over five years old free of charge to the public under the SPOT World Heritage programme.

The high-resolution optical SPOT (Satellite Pour l’Observation de la Terre) satellite system was initiated by CNES in the 1980s for its Earth-observation programme.

The announcement, made on behalf of CNES and its partner Airbus Defence and Space by France’s representative at GEO, was warmly received by all participants at the event. This initiative was lauded as the first major contribution from the private sector to the construction of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). It will process and deliver 10-metre-resolution SPOT archive imagery dating back more than five years free of charge for non-commercial uses.

In the last 27 years, the SPOT satellites have acquired over 30 million images, building up a uniquely valuable scientific record for studying our changing planet. A first batch of 100,000 images will be made available during the course of this year.

CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “This archive imagery is an unparalleled tool for improving our understanding of the planet. The SPOT satellite series has been built on sustained government investment through CNES, so it is quite natural that this archive imagery should be made available to the wider public. With this contribution to the SPOT World Heritage programme, France is blazing a trail that other nations are soon likely to follow, given the enthusiastic reception for this initiative.”

CNES press contacts

Alain Delrieu Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 74 04 alain.delrieu@cnes.fr
Pascale Bresson Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 75 39 pascale.bresson@cnes.fr
Julien Watelet Tel. +33 (0)1 44 76 78 37 julien.watelet@cnes.fr