Roland Piquepaille writes "The GLOBCOVER project, started by the European Space Agency (ESA), has a very simple goal. It will create the most detailed portrait of the Earth's land surface with a resolution three times sharper than any previous satellite map. The image acquisition will be done throughout 2005 and use the Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument of the Envisat environmental satellite. To create this sharp map, the GLOBCOVER project will analyze about 20 terabytes of data gathered by the European satellite. When it's completed, the map will have numerous uses, 'including plotting worldwide land use trends, studying natural and managed ecosystems and modelling climate change extent and impacts.'"