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ESA’s Earth Observation Catalogue and its services

29 Sep 2020

Launched at the end of 2019, EO-CAT is the Earth Observation Catalogue tool allowing users to search ESA and Third Party Mission collections, to view metadata and download the products of interest for their application.

In December 2019, ESA released a new catalogue and download tool, EO-CAT, replacing EOLI-SA, which had been used for nearly two decades by ESA’s Earth Observation data users.

The new tool has a more user-friendly interface and is a web application not requiring installation, which is based on a more modern technology with better performances. Its purpose remains to provide a single access point to many satellite images, organised in collections, representing either:

  • The complete mission for one instrument (e.g. the complete ERS or Envisat ASAR Image mode SLC archive)
  • Live collections, being populated as the mission is still operational; data may be available in near-real-time (e.g. four collections of SMOS data)
  • A predefined coverage, as in Image2006 European Coverage
  • Data procured over the years from Third Party Mission owners upon users’ requests and made available thereafter to all eligible users (e.g. Pleiades ESA archive).

Overall, today products originate from various platforms and the data offer is continuously increasing, answering the evolving needs of ESA customers for longer time series, different resolution and data type.

The EO data collections can be searched applying different filters related to the mission, the instrument or the application, over a certain time period and an area of interest. More advanced filtering criteria are available depending on the collection (i.e. orbit, cloud coverage, polarisation, etc).

The footprint and, if applicable, the browse of the retrieved products can be visualised before deciding to download one or more product(s).

EO-CAT screenshot
EO-CAT screenshot

The search functionality is open to anonymous users, while the products download implies registration to obtain a personal account and the request for accessing the specific collection. Depending on the latter, the access can be granted upon a simple registration or will require the user to submit a short proposal, describing the purpose of the data needs.

ESA plans to continuously increase the data available on the system with new missions and instruments.

Information regarding the access conditions is included in each collection page on Earth Online.

The functionalities are detailed in the user guide. For additional support, users can contact EOHelp using the Contact Us tab.

EO-CAT screenshot


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