SnowMonit wins GMES Masters Best Service Challenge

SnowMonit
16 October 2012

A service designed to improve natural resource management and detect hydropower generation and areas at risk of drought was selected by an online audience as the winner in one of seven categories of the GMES Masters competition.

The GMES Masters competition awards prizes for the best projects and business ideas involving commercial Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) applications. Its purpose is to support the development of market-oriented applications that use data from the programme.

While experts are still assessing the proposals submitted in six of the 2012 GMES Masters categories, the winners of the Best Service Challenge have already been selected by the competition’s online audience.

This year, almost 900 visitors to the GMES Masters website voted for the Earth observation service they found most beneficial to European citizens.

The clear winner of the Best Service Challenge 2012 with a total of 3477 votes was SnowMonit – Monitoring Snow and Water Equivalent.

Submitted by the Italian company GeoBeyond Srl, it improves natural resource management and early-warning tools for detecting hydropower generation and areas at risk of drought. It thus addresses the GMES Masters’ focus area of emergency management.

SnowMonit is also designed to integrate and improve current services that treat snow avalanche information, snow accumulation and derived parameters such as snow water equivalent for mapping the management of resources (hydropower, water) and the predictability of mountain hazards.

This near real-time service will be able to raise the situational awareness of nowcasting and forecasting products at the local, regional, and cross-border level.

As the winner of the Best Service Challenge, GeoBeyond Srl will benefit from a substantial satellite data quota made available through financial support from the European Commission.

Taking second place, with 3407 votes, was Fire Outbreaks – Prevention and Fast Reaction, submitted by Marco Talone for the Italian company Serco S.p.A. and SMOS-BEC.

Fire Outbreaks aims to prevent uncontrolled fire outbreaks and the serious ecological damage they cause every year, while facilitating the fast responses needed to manage such events.

Earth Snapshot - A Daily View of the Planet was ranked third by the GMES Masters online audience.

By publishing satellite images every day, this online portal enables both specialists and laypeople to monitor environmental issues such as desertification, glacial melt and deforestation.

The service was submitted by last year’s Best Service Challenge winner, Luca Mellano for CHELYS Srl.

All other winners of this year’s GMES Masters will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 25 October in Munich.

The overall winner of the competition – the GMES Master – will be selected from among the winners of the Ideas Challenge, ESA App Challenge, DLR Environmental Challenge, T-Systems Cloud Computing Challenge, European Space Imaging High-Res Challenge and Astrium Radar Challenge.

The winner will receive a cash prize of €20 000, as well as a substantial satellite data quota made available by the European Commission.

The GMES Masters was initiated by ESA, the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the DLR German Aerospace Center and T-Systems, and is supported by the EU, European Space Imaging GmbH, and Astrium GEO-Services.

The results of the competition will be published on the competition website on 26 October.

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