Satellite technology to observe the Earth, so-called Earth Remote Sensing or Earth Observation, has become in recent decades one of the most important ways for scientists to gather and monitor a wealth of information about the status and changes of planet Earth. Earth Remote Sensing makes it possible to obtain a very complete picture of the health of the planet in important fields such as resource management, environmental and climate change monitoring, and disaster management.
Copernicus is the most ambitious Earth observation programme to date. It provides accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. This initiative is headed by the European Commission (EC) in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA).
To foster a wide use of the satellite data and to make EU citizens aware of and used to its high potential, ESA has launched a large variety of activities that aim at informing teachers and students about Earth observation and providing easy access to material that can be used in lessons. In the context of these activities, in 2005 a first ESA School Atlas was published. More than 15 years later this ESA School Atlas Next Generation is published, exploiting the potential of digital maps and of an online platform.