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GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme


GEONETCast Development and Operations

Activity ID: 136


GEONETCast is a global network of sustained and cost-effective satellite-based dissemination systems.  It delivers Earth observation (EO) data and products to GEO community activities, initiatives and flagships on a routine basis. GEONETCast currently serves approximately 6,000 users in 169 countries. GEONETCast and is also used for EO data transmission where high-speed landlines and/or internet are not available, or in regions where terrestrial communication lines have been disrupted by disasters. More than 350 users in Africa rely on GEONETCast for data access.  In the Americas, GEONETCast has extended access to GEOSS resources to over several dozen national networks including in Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Mexico. The use of the GEONETCast system is based on GEO’s founding principles of open data sharing, so country participation in the utilization of GEONETCast system promotes GEO’s strategic objective of advancing broad open sharing of EO globally. GEONETCast also engages with partners in public and private sectors, and in academia to build capacity in the use of Earth observation in a wide range of application areas through hands-on training events.

The main activities during the 2017-2019 period will be to continue operating GEONETCast –– while improving links with GEO initiatives and services provided to Users worldwide.

The task activities are coordinated by a task Team, supported by the Secretariat. The system operation is ensured by EUMETSAT, NOAA and CMA (each one operating its own “hub”). Some data providers and partners are also involved (e.g. INPE, VITO and WMO).

The task activities include:

  1. Operate GEONETCast infrastructure:
  • Disseminate GEO-related data to users operationally;
  • Exchange data between the GEONETCast Hubs;
  • Integrate GEONETCast performance measurement tracking and reporting capabilities and
  • Pursue the integration of the GEONETCast collections catalogue with the GEOSS Common Infrastructure
  1. Further integrate it with other GEO initiative and flagships, and increase user base:
  • Evolve GEONETCast into a fully operational global data dissemination system providing support to GEO Flagships, Initiatives and Community Activities (considering also regional priorities);
  • Engage, through the GEO Secretariat, with GEO initiatives, flagship and community activities to assess at early stage needs for data access and dissemination;
  • Facilitate improved access to disaster information in developing countries through collaboration with key disaster management mechanisms, including the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters; and
  • Foster relationships with GEO data providers and users to enhance data content in line with the SBAs, and evolving needs of users and decision- makers.
  1. Improve Service to users:
    • Expand interaction with networks of users in developing countries to improve access to data in areas with limited data accessibility (e.g through AfriGEOSS as well as through projects such as MESA, GMES&Africa);
    • Expand the GEONETCast broadcast footprint over the Pacific region;
    • Enhance the integration of other existing or emerging satellite data distribution systems;
    • Build capacity for using GEONETCast information, particularly in developing countries;
    • Develop GEONETCast Training Channels to (i) train end-users; and (ii) transmit training materials to local trainers; and
    • Support Help Desk activities put in place by GEO Secretariat (see below), through coordination with existing GEONETCast Hub Help Desks.

Activities for the period

  • Continue GEONETCast operations (2017-2019) and include performance reporting – see point i. above;
  • Increase number of station and users as well as quantity and diversity of data disseminated via GEONETCast;
  • Establish close cooperation with at least three GEO initiatives/flagships in ensuring disseminated of related data via GEONETCast (e.g GEOGLAM, GFOI, Blue Planet, etc);
  • Establish close cooperation with GEO existing or future regional initiatives (AfriGEOSS, AmeriGEOSS, etc) (as per point a. ii) above);
  • Improve services to users (as per point a, iii) above);
  • Progress towards achieving global coverage (i.e. Pacific region) (2017-2019); amd
  • Develop and test a GEONETCast Help Desk tool with a friendly User Interface (including a service desk) (2017-2019).

Future Plans

Will be developed in 2017 and beyond along the objectives and activities described in the overview.


GEO Trust Fund (Secretariat Staff)

In kind resources (Leads and contributors)




Chunfang Wang






Mike Williams



Sally Wannop



Eric Madsen



Luiz Michado



Paul Seymour



Diego Souza



Vincent Gabaglio


Tim Jacobs


Mikael Rattenborg

Secretariat Support:

  • Overarching coordination and GEONETCast configuration management including to maintain the GEONETCast documentation and the list of the GEONETCast Components and related representative persons;
  • Facilitate engagement of GEONETCast with GEO Initiatives, Flagships and Community Activities to assess at early stage needs for data access and dissemination; and
  • Provide a service desk operation for User Communities and Stakeholders.

Osamu Ochiai, (GEO Secretariat) -

Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)

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