GBOV Background
• Environmental information is of crucial importance …
• Copernicus European Earth monitoring information….
• The Global Land service of the Copernicus program…. to provide accurate and reliable Land products
• Provision of in-situ data for calibration and validation of dedicated mission observations (Article 6.2 of the 377/2014 regulation, specific to ground-based data for validating EO products)”


GBOV objectives

The GBOV service shall allow the quality control of the main land products (top-of-canopy reflectances, surface albedo, fAPAR, LAI, fCover, LST and soil moisture) providing collections of multiple years of ground-based Reference Measurements (RMs) and derived land products (LPs).

RMs are collected over a series of selected sites organised through international research networks (such as SurfRadAERONETFluxNetNEON, IMAGES, ARMBSRNTERNOZFluxUSRCN …). Please, click here to obtain more details on the list of RMs available.


Overview of Copernicus Program

Copernicus is a large EU Programme aimed at developing information services using satellite Earth Observation and in situ (here: non-space) data. The Programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission. It is implemented in partnership with the EU Member States, ESA, EUMETSAT, ECMWF, EU Agencies, and Mercator Océan.

Copernicus services address six main thematic areas: atmosphere, marine, land, climate change, emergency, and security.

Copernicus is served by a set of dedicated satellites, the Sentinel series, as well as by contributing external missions providing complementary observation capacity. Additionally, Copernicus ingests information from in situ systems operating on the ground, at sea or in the air.

Copernicus information services are freely and openly provided to their users. They are accessed through dedicated data portals for the individual thematic areas.

Further reading

• EU-funded website on Copernicus
• ESA website on the Sentinels satellites

Copernicus logo. Source:

Sentinel-1: Seeing through the clouds. Source:


The Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS) provides information on land cover and a number of related variables. It supports applications in a variety of domains such as spatial planning, forest management, water management, agriculture and food security, etc.

It consists of three main components:

• The global component is coordinated by the European Commission DG Joint Research Centre (JRC) and produces a wide range of biophysical variables on the status and evolution of the land surface, at global scale and at mid to low spatial resolution (ca. 0.1 to 5 km).

• The pan-European component is coordinated by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and produces high resolution (ca. 20 m) data sets for five land cover types: artificial surfaces (e.g. roads and paved areas), forest areas, agricultural areas (grasslands), wetlands, and small water bodies. The pan-European component has also updated the Corine Land Cover dataset to the reference year 2012.

• The local component is also coordinated by the EEA and aims to provide specific and more detailed information complementing that produced through the Pan-European component. It focuses on “hotspots” which are prone to specific environmental challenges. The local component provides very high resolution (2.5 m) land cover and land use information for urban areas (urban atlas), as well as along rivers and in designated Natura 2000 sites.

Further reading:

Copernicus Global Land Service, surface albedo (product ALB BHV V1, resolution 1 km) in the Harz area (NE Germany) for 13 May 2014. Very low albedo values in the forested mountaineous areas contrast with high albedo values in the crop growing areas further North. Source:


GBOV status


Under construction


GBOV team

The GBOV service is developed, operated and maintained by ACRI-ST with the support of Expert Support Laboratories :

  • University College London (UK)
  • University of Leicester (UK)
  • University of Southampton (UK)
  • University of Valencia (Spain)
  • INFORMUS (Germany)