Winning Satellite Images Of Water Ecosystems Announced

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
December 1, 2022
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Winning Satellite Images Of Water Ecosystems Announced
Winning satellite image in the “Seize the beauty of our planet””” contest – “Greenland – Tiniteqilaaq by Emanuele Capizzi from Italy

Winners of the 3rd edition of the international contest “Seize the beauty of our planet” for the best satellite image of Earth have been announced. Internet users and a jury consisted of the representatives of leading institutions of the European space sector, chose 13 images that best depict water ecosystems on our planet.

The winner is Emanuele Capizzi, an Italian researcher from the Polytechnic University of Milan, who entered an image of melting glaciers in Greenland. The contest was organized by CloudFerro, the provider and operator of Earth Observation platforms with access to Copernicus data and a cloud environment to process it.

From the very first edition launched in 2020, the contest ‘Seize the beauty of our Planet’ has attracted attention of many researchers, scientist and environmental advocates. The main objective of the contest is to raise public awareness of environmental changes on Earth. The third edition focused on worsening condition of water resources.

The organizer CloudFerro also aims at promoting the use of Copernicus data in environmental research to show that remote sensing plays a key role in efficient environmental monitoring. The company is a member of the Copernicus Relays network and an operator of EO platforms, where over 33 PB of Earth observation data can be accessed and processed in a cloud environment.

Joanna Małaśnicka, Marketing Director at CloudFerro, says:

We can see that the Earth observation data community is very eager to get involved in pro-environmental actions, and we are happy that our contest has contributed to the sector’s collective efforts to protect the environment. We would like to thank our partners and clients – ESA, EUMETSAT, EUSPA, German Aerospace Agency DLR, and the Polish Space Agency who joined us again to support this important cause. This year, we wanted to draw public attention to the alarming state of water ecosystems, and the urgent need to prevent their further degradation. Many participants submitted images of endangered water areas in their country or region, hoping it will help spread the word and influence decision-making process to save them.

Joanna Małaśnicka, Marketing Director at CloudFerro.

This year’s edition attracted participants from many countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, India, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, UK. The contest images depicted consequences of climate change and human activity for water ecosystems, such as water pollution, droughts, floodings or melting ice. The winners were selected in two phases of voting: 13 images were chosen in public voting, where almost one thousand online votes were cast, and in the second phase, the first three places were chosen by a jury consisted of the representatives of the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Union Space Program Agency (EUSPA), the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the German Space Agency (DLR), the Polish Space Agency (POLSA), and the contest organizer CloudFerro.

Emanuele Capizzi from Italy, who took the first place, says:

I am a research fellow working with the GIS Team in the GEOlab (Geomatics and Earth Observation laboratory) of Politecnico di Milano. At the moment, my main research topic is related to the use of air quality data for particulate matter monitoring (also using EO data), and I used Copernicus data frequently also for other projects. I find Copernicus data very useful for researchers because they allow access to a big amount of data very easily. I chose an image of Greenland because I find it interesting to observe areas near the poles through satellite images, allowing to see the effect of climate change on glaciers very clearly. Specifically, that image impressed me because of the beautiful shapes and features visible in it.

Emanuele Capizzi from Italy, 1st place winner

Second place winner Boyan-Nikola Zafirov from Bulgaria, a geospatial consultant, explains where the idea for the contest image came from:

I chose the image of Atanasovsko lake because I wanted to find the best example to represent the diverse and unique nature that can be found in Bulgaria. If the viewer takes a closer look, many clues can be identified as to why the lake is under threat but one important aspect was missing from my short description. The lake also represents the harmony that can be achieved between people and nature. The lake is a natural reserve and the conversion of the lagoon for salt production has benefits for the economy and biodiversity, as the active maintenance of the dikes is required to determine the suitable locations for nesting birds. It is worth mentioning that preventing the degradation of this lake is a huge part of the work that the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation is doing. They are very proud now that Atanasovsko lake is among the winning images, which will help attract more attention to this cause.
Boyan-Nikola Zafirov from Bulgaria, 2nd place winner

The contest images were generated by the participants on the platforms provided and operated by CloudFerro: the European CREODIAS and WEkEO, and German CODE-DE and EO-Lab, and then processed in a dedicated software to highlight the changes in water ecosystems. All the winning images will be published in a unique calendar for 2023, which will be distributed to the leading institutions and organizations of the European Earth observation sector.

The winning entries can be seen on the contest website:
Media Contact:
Agnieszka Mrozowska
[email protected]
(+48) 666 300 051

Winning imagery

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.