Earth Observation into the Future - UK National Earth Observation Conference

  • By Richard Flemmings

    ‘Earth Observation into the Future’ was the title of this year’s National Earth Observation conference, held in Birmingham last week (#EarthObsConf2018). The conference was an opportunity for academics, researchers and industry professionals to come together and share developments, discoveries and all things new within the earth observation (EO) industry.

    I spoke at the conference within a panel chaired by Ian Downey of European Space Agency, as one of 4 exemplar companies that have created business applications from satellite and EO technology (#ESAbusinessapps). It was a pleasure to share TCarta’s experiences in the product development of satellite derived marine data.

    Earth Observation

    TCarta’s Bathymetrics Project with ESA Business Applications 

    Alongside TCarta’s marine and maritime applications, the panel demonstrated the wide variety of possible uses of EO data; we heard about applications in air quality, subsidence monitoring and forestry management.

    After presenting our applications, the four participants fielded audience questions. The stand-out question for me was 'How do we ensure that our technology is actually useful to the end customers?'

    This question is very pertinent at a conference with a significant research and academic focus. At TCarta, we continuously speak to our customers to ensure that our innovative products and services are directly relevant to their needs. This is critical for the success of new technology deployment. And this success is being demonstrated as TCarta has experienced an increase in requests for proposals and work being commissioned that specifically asks for satellite earth observation technology, for example, our hurricane relief project delivered to the UK government agency Cefas earlier this year.

    Earth Observation

    TCarta Delivers Satellite-Derived Land/Sea Floor Surface Models for Caribbean Disaster Recovery

    It’s fantastic to witness earth observation innovation go from strength to strength, which is clearly evidenced by the variety of research and development that is on show at this event. With the support of the likes of European Space Agency (as experienced by TCarta during recent years), and through proper engagement with customers and end users to fulfill real life applications, the possibilities for earth observation into the future are very bright.

    Richard FlemmingsRichard Flemmings

    Richard is a partner in TCarta and responsible for company operations and management. Richard has been involved in the geospatial industry for more than 16 years. He has an MSc in Geographical Information Science and significant world-wide experience in offshore, airborne, land and satellite based surveys and mapping.  Richard is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) and a Chartered Geographer (CGeog GIS).

    For more information about TCarta's products and services, contact us at

    Further reading:

    How can satellites be utilised to collect water depth data? 

    What is satellite derived bathymetry?

    TCarta Wins National Science Foundation Grant to Enhance Satellite-Derived Bathymetry Technology