Projects

Data Services API

Our Data Services are supported by an OpenAPI. An API enables two or more software applications to communicate with each other.

All the functionality available through our Data Services web portal, can also be achieved programmatically through the use of this API, including defining regions, searching our holdings and requesting products. The use of OpenAPI standards facilitates access by allowing, for example, the automated production of ‘stub’ connectors, for rapid deployment of software that can connect to and utilise our services.

Our API is compliant with the Swagger/YAML standard. You can access our Swagger/JAML open API description here.

If you want to speak to someone about our Data Services API please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Modelling exposure to show environmental stress

The spectacular map shown below indicates the risk of frost pocket formation in Wales. Modelling exposure to show environmental stress for Wales was part of the wider SaFAS (Spatial Analysis for Area Statements) project for Natural Resources Wales, which set a framework for modelling ecosystem services for area statements. The project identified high exposure areas as a factor determining types of natural management interventions that could be implemented at different sites with particular reference to crop suitability.

The map shows areas with low risk of frost pocket formation in yellow and green and areas of medium to high risk in blue

Terrestrial ecology is affected by the location of frost pockets with plants that are susceptible to frost in the spring not growing well in locations that will experience frost later on in the year. This will also affect the type of agricultural crops that can be grown in an area, an effect that is stronger the more frost sensitive the crop in question is.

The map was created using a number of factors that either increase or decrease an area’s likelihood of frost. The factors include wind, solar radiation, proximity to the coast (less temperature fluctuation and associated salt spray), concavities, elevation, soil type and vegetation type.

Ecosystem service mapping study for water safeguard zones in north Somerset

Environment Systems was commissioned by Bristol Water to undertake a prioritised ecosystem service mapping study for water safeguard zones in north Somerset. The project set out to investigate issues around water quality and supporting biodiversity. The work focused on Cheddar Reservoir, Chew Magna Reservoir and Blagdon Lake. These water bodies and their surrounds are designated Drinking Water Protected Areas, which are also Safeguard Zones due to concerns about surface and groundwater. Over recent years significant algal blooms, occasioned by increased nutrient concentrations have become an increasing pressure on the water resource. Safeguard Zones promote voluntary adoption of measures that will prevent further deterioration in water quality through an active and collaborative catchment management approach led by Bristol Water and involving the Wildlife Trusts and Natural England.

Blagdon Lake, a reservoir in north Somerset where blue-green algal blooms have increased since 2006

Using our SENCE (Spatial Evidence for Natural Capital Evaluation) toolkit for mapping and modelling ecosystem services we produced a series of maps which identify where opportunities occur to undertake land interventions that are likely to improve the water quality of the receiving reservoirs as well as slow the flow of runoff. SENCE uses a rule-based approach to map and combine individual environmental variables of the ecosystem service in question. This builds a representation of the whole or part of a complex ecosystem interaction. The rule base is built around a series of key factors such as habitat, soil and geology, location and current management.

We also mapped the eco-connectivity of the semi-natural habitats in the area, to show where establishing habitats might have the greatest effect in terms of enhancing biodiversity resilience. There were three main outputs, a technical report to explain the methodology of the ecosystem approach and map production, a series of ecosystem service and opportunity maps and an advisory guide. The advisory guide is intended for use with the opportunity maps to help those involved in land management improve water quality in drinking water reservoirs, reduce the risk of downstream flooding, enhance biodiversity and improve land and wetland management practices.

You can download the case study here.

Ireland’s National Ecosystem and Ecosystem Services Pilot

This project commissioned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service set out to establish a framework for a National Ecosystem Assessment for Ireland. By assessing and valuing the known benefits of ecosystem services it is possible to demonstrate how Ireland’s biodiversity affects the economy, society and future development opportunities. It also demonstrates that conserving biodiversity and healthy ecosystems gives multiple benefits to society.

On this project Environment Systems used its SENCE (Spatial Evidence for Natural Capital Evaluation) tool because it can accept a wide range of data sources at different scales and deliver outputs for a variety of ecosystem services. A ‘Habitat Asset Register’ and 8 Ecosystem Services maps were created from over 300 spatial datasets with inputs from a number of different stakeholders. These included organisations likely to be involved in implementing projects to restore ecosystems in Ireland, people with existing knowledge of environmental and societal issues and policy, and technical experts with knowledge of relevant data and projects. All the outputs from the project are available for download from the National Parks and Wildlife website.

A web based ‘Story Map’ provides an explanation of supporting ecosystem service information. Each ecosystem service map can be viewed along side an explanation of what the service is how it was produced and how it can be interpreted and used. The Story Map can be viewed here.

The full report on the research has been published and can be downloaded here.

Satellites to Improve Agri-Food Systems

This is a two year, collaborative R&D project which aims to develop applications of Sentinel, Earth observation (EO) derived information products for environmental compliance and productivity monitoring in agriculture. The team comprises Ecometrica, Environment Systems and Rothamsted Research. The project is funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the industry partners.

The focus of the research is the development of processing methods, calibration, validation and demonstration applications that can be scaled-up to run across large geographical areas on a continual basis. The data output is aimed at the specialist/expert users in national agencies and businesses focused on food production and food security markets.

Environment Systems is providing advanced automated Sentinel-1 data processing with a direct feed into Ecometrica’s award winning earth observation platform. Rothamstead Research is already using the data for ground testing and evaluation focused on soil moisture and crop productivity.

Work is also underway to introduce the Environment Systems Sentinel-2 processing chain, promising indices such as NDVI. The project runs until August 2018.

Data Services Update – July 2017

At the time of writing, early July 2017, our open Data Services platform has just received an update. When the portal was originally launched, earlier in the year, there was only a free data option. This enables those who sign up, to view and download free and open composite imagery of Great Britain derived from the Sentinel 1b radar satellite. A user can also view and download time series and feature analysis data based on representative points within the four most recent seasons.

We are now providing a ‘Premium’ service option that builds on our expertise to deliver not only imagery but also change and feature metrics. As a premium user you can select precise areas using the map based tools or upload a shapefile and then select the dates of interest. If you need to be able to track change over time for a particular area or region this is the way to do it.

The Data Services platform also provides access for Enterprise customers. We work with customers to provide consultancy and direct access to the platform’s data processing API. The platform roadmap includes access to Sentinel 2 data, multiple projection support and of course wider coverage. Go there now.

Environment Systems has recently been approved as a G-Cloud 9 supplier, which will make any buying decision for public sector organisations even easier.

EO4cultivar


Environment Systems is leading ‘EO4cultivar’ an international collaboration project with partners in the UK, Peru and Colombia.
Earth observation (EO) can provide timely field scale crop observations at regional and national scales for use in the high value South American agricultural market. By developing the ability to easily disseminate and incorporate EO data into local and national management practices, EO4cultivar will have real impacts on improving agricultural production and food security in Peru and Colombia.


Sources of free and commercial satellite imagery abound, but currently there isn’t the capability to process the data necessary to deliver national agricultural data services in South America. EO4cultivar will work with commercial and government stakeholders in Peru and Colombia to deliver information frequently and rapidly within the growing season via trusted channels. A cloud-based processing and storage infrastructure will be developed to deliver data services (analysis ready data), such as field-level time series imagery to both monitor performance and target management. Data services will also be used for crop identification to support biosecurity, resource planning and market intelligence needs.

The project is funded under the UK Space Agency’s International Partnerships Programme, a £150M multi- year programme which will use people’s space knowledge, expertise and capability to provide a sustainable, economic or societal benefit to undeveloped nations and developing economies.