The global arm of UK mapping agency Ordnance Survey (OS) International and space systems provider Deimos Space UK are to work with a Dubai space centre to help the United Arab Emirates (UAE) improve how it plans and manages its natural resources and infrastructure.

Working with the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, the geospatial data will help the country keep track of its green resources such as palm trees, land cover changes, soil moisture, irrigation needs and the effects of climate change in the face of rapid urbanisation.

Advanced data analytic tools developed by Deimos Space UK and the Space Centre will demonstrate the value of new geospatial data extracted from high-resolution satellite imagery. From this, OS International will help the UAE develop a single source of digital geospatial data to inform a variety of key policy initiatives, including a vegetation index.

The project also aims to create a common digital geospatial data platform to be deployed across UAE government departments, which will improve efficiency and provide the basis for future spatial projects.

Peter Hedlund, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey International, explains: "The conservation of natural resources is a global concern; geospatial data often reveals the simplest answers to many of the world's most complex questions. In the UAE natural resources, rising population, high energy demands and Climate Change are very real challenges. The UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment requires this reliable up-to-date geospatial information to support the development and implementation of plans to protect the environment and manage water resources."

Satellite image of Abu Dhabi courtesy of Deimos Imaging