Copernicus for Cultural Heritage: satellites to preserve the legacy from our past

2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Throughout the year, tangible and intangible, as well as natural and digital cultural heritage of Europe is celebrated. The free and open data and information delivered by the Copernicus programme represents a valuable resource for Cultural Heritage monitoring and preservation at European and global level.


The importance of cultural heritage preservation is globally recognised. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has a World Heritage mission aimed at management and preservation of cultural heritage sites – to date, 1,073 sites are registered and monitored by UNESCO. Found out more about UNESCO cultural heritage sites here.

The data and information offered by the Copernicus programme can contribute to tangible and natural cultural heritage preservation and management. Earth Observation (EO) data is becoming increasingly instrumental, with numerous projects and applications aimed at providing products tailored to the needs of cultural heritage.

Examples of useful EO-based products include: land-use change maps, natural subsidence, ground motion detection, risk assessment maps, archaeological sites monitoring and identification (e.g. buried sites), monitoring of the destruction or looting of sites, urban sprawl monitoring, Climate Change indicators, air pollution monitoring, coastline monitoring (erosion), bathymetry.

Find out more about Copernicus data and tools for preservation and management of Culutral heritage here.