Changes on the Living Planet: the Sentinels and Society
Herold, Martin1; Verbesselt, Jan2
1Wageningen University/GOFC-GOLD, NETHERLANDS; 2Wageningen University, NETHERLANDS
Our Living Planet is changing fast and information on where and how change is happening is in high demand, i.e. since many policies and land-based activities are causing or trying to influence how changes occur in many societal benefit areas (as defined by the Group on Earth Observations). There is increasing amount of free-and-open remote sensing datasets for the past and in the future (i.e. coming from the Sentinels). This creates increasingly longer and denser time-series observation data available to allow for synoptic, more consistent and transparent global view on the human activities on the land surface and related changes on a detailed local level. For example, the new GMES Sentinels, arguably provide the most important improvements in temporal revisit and continuity, and thus allow for improved assessments of dynamics on the space-time scales where many important human-induced changes on the land surface occur (such as from Sentinel 2 in combination with Landsat); also in near-real time.
This level of information and transparency created by Sentinel satellite observations will create unprecedented interactions of satellites, science and society. This goes beyond citizen observer networks that play an increasing role in the improvement of remote sensing studies through providing local information and knowledge. Developments of the 2.0 and 3.0 world has created two-way roads with more consideration of society's expectations to satellites and technology to help and motivate interaction and participation, and, thus, benefits. Citizens participate and contribute to social networks and, for that matter, to scientific work if they feel motivated. These motivations are related to personal and locational details since there is a fundamental interest on where things are, how and why things are the way they are; the notion of the self-aware world that is stimulated by the criticism on restricted data, and the related need for transparency in information, and independent data and observations for specific topics; the delta-driven information priorities: information on dynamics and change are commonly more interesting than stability, and specialized science interests (i.e. citizen science). So with the arrival of Sentinels we are starting to start to create data streams that go beyond expert users but offer avenues to engage with society and provide more direct contributions and benefits than before and as advocated in many programs such as GEO, GMES and Horizon 2020.
To exemplify how changes in the living planet and the Sentinels and Society are interlinked, we are provide case studies for monitoring tropical deforestation. This is a worldwide issue since both the drivers causing forest loss and the resulting impacts are related to both local and global scales and linked to major policy and societal engagements (i.e. REDD+). We will present experiences with the Google Earth Engine that reduces some of the complicating issues in using remote sensing for a wider societal audience, and show examples how near-real time satellite monitoring using Sentinel 2-type data stimulates citizen participation and interest in forest monitoring and assessments. We highlight how the Sentinels will help towards "Remote Sensing 2.0" driven by interactions and networking with citizens and society and their motivations.