China on Wednesday announced that the 16 meter resolution data from its Gaofen Series Satellites can be shared free by the global community.

The announcement came at the just-concluded week of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in Canberra, Australia.

Through the website, people can access three types of GF 16-meter data: a global coverage map generated with archived data, historical archived data, and 16-meter data updated daily, said a representative of the China National Space Administration at the meeting.

Registered users are allowed to check and download images and data generated by the Gaofen 1 and 6 satellites and can also learn how to use those products.

As the GEO 2020 Co-chair, China also vowed to further integrate earth observation with digital economy, make the inter governmental organisation better serve the three priorities of sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and climate change, and enhance developing countries participation in and cooperation with firms so as to bring more benefits to the international community and people around the world.

“It is also the first time that China has taken over as the chairman. China has entered into an era of digital economy because of our fast progress and fruitful results in earth observation technology, space, UAV and the ground-based Internet of Things. China will share its experience with more developing countries,” said Li Pengde, Chief Representative of China in GEO and Deputy Director of Geological Survey of China under the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources.

Gilberto Camara, Director of the GEO Secretariat, also hailed China’s strong capability in geoscience and its contribution to the world.

“China has a strong technological capability on the satellites, and also a very strong scientific sector. So among the early contributions for China were the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite which was made available including ground stations in places like South Africa and then projects run by the Academy of Science such as GEO-ark, which covers the Belt & Road, the three pole project about the cryosphere on the Himalayan region, and also a number of projects related to agriculture.

Now this year, China is taking the lead as the lead co-chair in GEO, China has announced a major investment on making data available from the Gaofen-satellites, Gaofen-one and Gaofen-six, fully available to the community. We are extremely pleased and honoured that China is putting a great effort in making Chinese technology available globally. We’re very thankful for this decision by the Chinese government and the Chinese people,” he said.

About 1,500 people from GEO members and international organisations, including more than 30 ministerial representatives, attended the six-day event, which concluded on Saturday.

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Switzerland’s Geneva, the GEO is the world’s largest inter-governmental organisation working for earth observation.