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Profiles of Earth observation portals

In an effort to promote awareness of ongoing efforts to improve access to Earth observation data and services, this website regularly features brief articles on various internet portals. These articles are first profiled on the home page and then moved to this subdirectory. To further improve access to the resources being contributed to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, GEO also continues to advance the development of the GEO Portal; the GEO Portal can be visited here.


Detail of a map showing the seismicity of the Caribbean from 1990-2006 [Source: USGS]  

Haiti Supersite highlights critical earthquake information

Initiated by the geohazard scientific community as a contribution to GEO, the Supersites provide easy access to Earth science data and information on natural hazards in geologically active regions. In light of the recent tragedy in Haiti, the Haiti Supersite has been updated with seismic maps, damage maps, topography data, visible and infrared images, interferograms, and useful links. See

CBERS image:  Coast of State of Rio de Janeiro  

GEO Forest Carbon Tracking portal now live

The portal for the GEO Forest Carbon Tracking (FCT) Task was launched at the GEO-VI Plenary meeting in Washington DC and can now be viewed on-line at The portal allows users to visualize the FCT National Demonstrators, the relevant Validation Sites and the inventory of the coordinated acquisitions of satellite and in-situ data; maps and information resulting from the processing of the data will also be posted here when available. A three-minute video describing the portal is also available.

CBERS image:  Coast of State of Rio de Janeiro  

INPE reaches mark of 1 million images distributed free

A pioneer in the distribution of cost-free satellite images, Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (INPE) announced that it has distributed one million images, more than 70% of which come from the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) program. For more details see the news clipping here.

Detail of ASTER Global DEM map  

Global Digital Elevation Model (DEM) set for release

Responding to the strong demand by GEOSS and by Earth scientists around the world for a well validated, high-resolution global topography framework, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI)and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are releasing the ASTER GDEM on 29 June. For more information, see the release here.

Detail of cyclone frequency map  

UN unveils new Global Risk Data Platform

The United Nations and its partners are presenting an innovative new portal for disaster risk-management data on 19 June. The launch will take place at the Second Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Reduction, which is being held in Geneva from 16 to 19 June.

For direct access:

Detail of Earth System Atlas map showing world map with precipitation in mm/day  

Earth System Atlas promotes access to research data

The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) has long recognized the challenge of sustaining, and ensuring continued access to, the numerous data bases being generated by researchers. One of the most active spin-offs from the IGBP’s early efforts in this field is the Earth System Atlas.

Read more here.

Detail of satellite image of Beijing [Source CBERS/INPE]  

Comprehensive Land Surface Imagery now available via GEOSS

In an exciting advance for the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), ten leading space-related agencies collaborating through the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), its Land Surface Imaging Constellation Study Team, and its Working Group on Information System and Services (WGISS) have developed a portal that collects and distributes satellite imagery of the Earth’s land surface.

Users can now access images from all ten partners via a single web portal. This new portal is a gateway to the world’s largest collection of Land Surface Imagery and data (LSI) taken from space. Read more here.

Detail of landsat image covering Shanghai region  

Accessing the Landsat archive

The Landsat Earth observing satellites have assembled an essential record of moderate-resolution data sets of the planet’s surface features that can now be downloaded via the internet. The nearly four decades of data provide a valuable resource for scientists and decision makers concerned with changes to the land surface, as do the daily, current observations. Read more here.

Detail of population density predictions map  

The UNEP Global Environment Outlook Data Portal

The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook Data Portal is the authoritative source for the data sets used by UNEP and its partners for the widely respected Global Environment Outlook report and other integrated and thematic environment assessments. Read more about this Data Portal here.

Guatemala landslide – January 2009  

Spotlight on the SERVIR portal


The SERVIR Regional Visualization & Monitoring System for the Mesoamerican region provides an excellent illustration of how GEOSS can support decision makers. To visit the SERVIR Data Portal and explore its functionality, start with this brief guide and demonstration video.