Accounting for people in Earth Observation

In July 2011 I was invited by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre to give a presentation at a workshop organised together with NASA on socio-economic benefits of Earth Observation.

Each presentation was to follow a specific format, so as to end up answering questions posed in the workshop invitation. My presentation was not in the first half of the talks, and I recall editing various parts before going “on stage”.

I don’t know how the presentation was really received, but for me it was important as this was the first time I proposed concepts such as the “role layers” including artists in the relational chain. Possibly, this was a first hint towards geomusical developments, to be materialized six years later?

During the talk, there was a progression of eyebrows getting raised. This started on slide 7 on my 2005-2010 actitivies on multi-band Earth Observation, as a development of my work on SAR remote sensing (1993-1997).

Things got interesting reaching the “proposals” section of the presentation. These included: a football game (which was eventually held in the social program of the 2011 INSPIRE Conference), the idea of putting on hold part of the available funding (this is something I had already proposed in the advisory board of the Sardinia Science and Technology Park around 2000), and -last but not least- to assign part of the funds through a sort of lottery.

At the time of writing (May 2020), these ideas have been developed for nine years. Some things which were presented in 2011 have not worked, but several other have gone beyond positive expectation. If you would like to learn more about this, please write to