The economic value of earth observation from space (2015)


ACIL Allen undertook a study into the Value of Earth Observation from Space for Geoscience Australia. The report examines case studies of applications of earth observation from space and reviews the economic, environmental and social benefits that accrue.


The goal of the project was to address the gaps in past economic assessments by examining in greater detail the current and potential economic benefits resulting from new and emerging Earth Observations from Space (EOS) applications. Key objectives were to:


• reassess the estimates made in earlier reports for the year 2010
• examine new and emerging applications in the case study areas
• estimate the likely socio-economic value of EOS in 2025 for the Australian economy

Geographical scope


Non-quantified impacts

The impact of disruption to space services on the broader economy was not quantified but is likely to be far higher than the quantified benefits outlined below due to the difficulty of substituting other processes in many fields in the Australian economy in which space data is used, particularly agriculture and mining.

Quantifiable impacts

Many of the benefits from the case studies arise in important sectors of the Australian economy, including agriculture, aviation, tourism and recreation, petroleum, mining, water, property, and insurance. The results by subject area and totals for economic, social and environmental are shown in the table below:



Summary of results




On this basis of initial calculation, it was estimated that the combined impact of the use of EOS services resulted in employment in 2015 being around 9,293 higher than it would otherwise have been without EOS. This figure is expected to increase to 15,997 by 2025.





Study type

Case studies

Economy sector

Infrastructure (Energy), Disaster Risk Management, Retail, Insurance, Real Estate and Land Administration, Public Sector Local Government, Public Sector Central Government, Environment, Agriculture