A critical issue which is fundamentally affecting the development of the Earth Observation sector is not so much the technology but the data policy. The conditions which govern access to the data, distribution of the data and the price of the data are now vital to the exploitation of this important environmental data resource. This book examines and analyses these data policy issues and recommends how the Earth observation sector can best develop appropriate and useful policies so that the scientific, operational and commercial value of the data can be maximised. This book provides a summary of the influences on Earth observation data policy and a review of the main organisations which develop Earth observation data policy including the United States, the committee on Earth Observation Satellites, the International Earth Observing System and space agencies such as the European Space Agency. The book analyses four key parts to Earth observation data policy: access to Earth observation data, data protection, pricing policy and data preservation. Details of the satellite Earth observation systems of the United States, Europe, Japan, Canada and other nations are included throughout the book. In preparing the book the author has interviewed over 70 experts in Earth observation data policy in Europe, the United States and Canada.
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