Impact of Global Earth Observation – Systemic view across GEOSS Societal Benefit Areas

Felicjan Rydzak, Michael Obersteiner, Florian Kraxner


Global Earth Observation (GEO) is perceived as instrumental to attain sustainable development goals and to be a major driver of how the society–technology–environment system is managed. However, appropriate scientific methodologies to assess the benefits of GEO and validate investments in earth observation infrastructure development have been missing. This paper presents the systems approach to measure and analyze the impact of Global Earth Observation across nine GEOSS Societal Benefit Areas. The described methodology framework was used as part of global-wide earth observation assessment conducted during the European Commission sponsored project “Global Earth Observation – Benefit Estimation: Now, Next and Emerging” (GEOBENE). The applied systems approach enabled integration and aggregation of GEOBENE project findings. Apart from the assessment framework, there are described specific tools used for the GEO’s impact assessment, i.e. system dynamics model and based on it freely available simulator, as well as some assessment results. Although the total system benefits are strongly policy scenario dependent it was found that improved data due to use of Global Earth Observation and the data availability for community has a great potential in shaping the sustainable future of our planet.


Earth observation, benefits assessment, modeling, simulation, system dynamics

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