Conference “US and European Geospatial Data Policies”

On 17 June 2015, the NPOC Space Law Austria together with the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) organised an evening event on the topic “US and European Geospatial Data Policies”.

The collection of data by Earth observation satellites represents an increasingly important application of space technology, both in the US and in Europe. In the EU, the Copernicus program is being established to provide services in the fields of atmosphere-, marine- and land-monitoring, climate change, emergency management and security. In the US, the Land Remote-Sensing Satellite System (Landsat) is operational since 1972, but also other satellites are used for Earth Observation.

An important characteristics of the EU data policy is that it adheres to the concept of an ‘open data-policy’ and is also committed to the protection of several other rights and principles, such as the right for private life, the protection of personal data and of intellectual property. The US has already for a long time applied the principle of free access and free re-use of information. Yet, the protection of privacy, civil rights and liberties, and national security interests plays also an important role.

The event was moderated by David Kendall, incoming Chair of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space for 2016/17. The conference was organised with the financial support of Austrospace.



  • Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz: Professor Emerita and Director Emerita of the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law of the University of Mississippi School of Law, Journal of Space Law Editor-in-Chief Emerita
  • Irmgard Marboe: Professor of Public International Law at the University of Vienna, Director of the NPOC Space Law Austria