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Jump on to explore, provide feedback and tell us about your needs'

OPO has been selected to join Microsoft for Space Startups Australia and uses the Microsoft Azure platform to process and analyze its data. OPO has utilized this power to ask the question: ‘How Green Is Your Suburb?’, where we aligned national vegetation cover (annual data set of all plant material for the year 2020) to Australian LGA’s & suburb boundaries. Signing up for a deeper dive then allows the user to easily order products such as the OPO ‘Analysis Pack’. 


The platform is now in a Beta version, with user feedback enabled, and plans for a full launch within coming months. Jump on to explore, provide feedback, tell us about your needs and engage with satellite environmental data for the planning of our cities.


Go check it out!

Easy ordering on the OPO Urban Greening Platform (Beta)

An additional benefit of the OPO model is the frequency with which it acquires satellite data overcomes the issues of cloud contamination and missing data which provides increased confidence for decision-making. Ultimately, the OPO platform will enable users to monitor change in our cities Green Infrastructure over time and therefore enable planners and urban foresters to better direct and prioritize their efforts to protect and increase vegetation and canopy cover. Using static data is always problematic, particularly the approach of one assessment per year means that seasonal change is not understood, and the timing of the data gathering is impacted by weather making it vulnerable to error.

The user can access rich data sets without lengthy engagements and analysis periods'

Tree canopy loss can be monitored easily and the ability to select assessment dates can enable the user to identify whether that loss was due to continuing urban development and construction or if it was due a natural event, such as a storm. Users can easily select a street, a suburb or customise an area on the OPO map to conduct assessments. This ability to conduct either specific macro or micro vegetation assessments is novel and will contribute to new ways of reporting and decision making, particularly for local government.

Urban Greening Platform

Traditionally, cities with greening strategies focused on conducting monitoring and mapping exercises annually or even less frequently due to the associated costs. The OPO platform uses satellite remote sensing  data from various satellites. Users can select satellite data based on resolution requirements – high (<10m), medium (<30m) and low (<100m). The evaluation of satellite imagery over a selected period of time can be easily used to identify trends and changes in land cover, canopy cover and vegetation health.

The intention behind the platform is to transition decisions for urban nature away from static data towards high frequency time series data. Making the ordering of products easy and at the click of a few buttons. The benefit of such an approach is the data is always fresh rather than frozen in time, and the user can access rich data sets without lengthy engagements and analysis periods.


Urban ecosystem processes are by their very essence dynamic, therefore the time series-based approach repeated with regular frequency is the key to developing our understanding of these processes. It also provides rich data sets for benchmarking policy, reporting, planning and design through mean maps aligned to specific boundaries.

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26th August 2021

Written by Yvonne Lynch

In Touch With Nature..

Last week marked the launch of the Office of Planetary Observations (OPO) Urban Greening Platform (Beta) for Australian cities.  This platform represents an evolution in how city planners and urban foresters can quantify and assess urban nature.


Typically; monitoring vegetation cover, particularly canopy mapping, has previously been a costly and time-consuming exercise for many, requiring briefs, budget approvals and consultants.  The OPO Urban Greening Platform now makes vegetation cover/health, land surface temperature and tree canopy maps readily available and affordable to specific area’s of interest.

The golden age of satellites heralds advances in vegetation and canopy monitoring for city planning decisions - underpinned by environmental data.

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We recognise the traditional owners of the land where we work, their elders past and present and their relationship with the landscape.

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We recognise the Earth’s right to exist in its integrity, with all planetary boundaries intact and healthy so that all life on Earth can be sustained.

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