If you wish to know more about the theory and practice of Earth Observation, ESA produces a large amount of documentation to support the increased understanding and use of satellite data.
A wide variety of general and technical material can be accessed online in electronic form, or else in print or CD-ROM format available by ordering from the ESA's Earth Observation Library. More than 20 000 printed publications and CD-ROMs are distributed to users each year.
The ESA Bulletin is a magazine-format guide to ESA activities that often includes features on Earth Observation subjects.
ESA's Envisat brochure (order in print format) is a brief but authoritative guide to the capabilities of the largest and most advanced Earth Observation satellite ever launched. The Envisat 2005 CD-ROM offers an up-to-date overview of mission results and their operational applications.
Another ESA CD-ROM called Around the World in 80 Images re-traces the journey made in Jules Verne's famous Around the World in 80 Days novel with images from ESA's Envisat, a much more rapid global traveller.
The Planet Earth, Heavens Above - Ciele, ma Planete! CD-ROM is a multimedia guide to our world from space that is dedicated to children and available in different languages: English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
The Careers in Earth Observation CD-ROM is a good starting point to learn more about the variety of scientific and non-scientific careers related to environmental issues.
Also available is the Earth Explorers CD-ROM, which is a detailed guide to all five of ESA's new class of science missions planned to launch during this decade. For details of the first of these Earth Explorer missions, see the brochure on GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer) which is due to fly in 2008 to map variations in the global gravity field.
Another publication called Further Achievements of the ERS Missions summarises the trailblazing activities of ESA's ERS-1 and ERS-2 spacecraft up until 1998. The ERS-2 - 10 Years in Orbit brochure takes up the story to 2005.
The Earth Watching Anthology, produced jointly with Eurimage, is a colourful compilation documenting Earth Observation responses to disasters around the globe.
A set of Earth From Space brochures presenting satellite images of ESA Member States, South America, Morocco, China, Africa, North America, Asia and Oceania can be ordered online. Some of them are also available for download.
ESA's Earth Observation Market Development (EOMD) programme has a series of information booklets available at its website, detailing Earth Observation business services and applications.
Some of the older material available is nominally outdated, but remains valuable as historical background, or else a source of information about the theory underlying Earth Observation techniques.
One example is ESA's 1993 book on Radar Imagery: Theory and Interpretation, a succinct outline of the principles underlying the radar instruments aboard ESA's ERS and Envisat spacecraft.
The international Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) works to co-ordinate global Earth Observation systems. On behalf of CEOS, ESA has prepared the wide-ranging Earth Observation Handbook, which explains the vital role played by global Earth Observation satellite systems supplying information for high-level policy decisions.
The publications listed above are just a brief sampling: a full list of resources available for download or ordering is featured at the ESA's Earth Observation Library.