In recent years there has been increased interest in the concept of “Smart Statistics”, where traditional statistical data sources, such as survey data, are complemented by information from remote sensing, smartphones, IoT, and online tracking. These can provide new insights into social and economic trends, driving public policy making. 

Satellite Earth Observation data are an important part of such smart statistics, proving insights into land use, agriculture, urban planning, and air quality, as well as many other applications. 

Organisations such as UNSTAT, EUROSTAT and many National Statistical Offices are currently investigating the use of satellite imagery and other space-based data sources to provide official statistics.

The GAUSS project will demonstrate how Earth Observation can be fused with other data sources to provide the next generation of operational statistical services. It will deliver four key use cases showing that EO data can be used to deliver services meeting real operational needs of statistical agencies.

The project will also support the development of best practices for the use of new data sources in official statistics, and will define a roadmap for future adoption of EO by the statistical community.

GAUSS is an 18 month project, starting October 2021, funded by the European Space Agency, and is being implemented in partnership with key European and National Statistical Agencies. It is being undertaken by a consortium led by the National Observatory of Athens together with IGIK, FMI and Evenflow.

Further Reading