Euro Data Cube Custom Script Contest – COVID-19 edition

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has virtually paralyzed daily life as we know it. Even when the spread of this highly infectious disease has been halted, the world will face huge challenges getting back to ‘normal’.

European Space Agency (ESA), in coordination with the European Commission, is launching a special edition of Custom Script Contest, focused on the support of space assets during the COVID-19 crisis, managed by Euro Data Cube group. Following a similar format, but further to looking for new algorithms, we are in the quest for ideas on how satellite data could help monitor and mitigate the situation for the upcoming months, while the world will organize to get back to business and will need to adapt from this crisis.


Three focus categories were selected, for analysis of changes in:

  • economic operators’ activity (e.g. factories, supermarkets, transport networks, oil refineries, commercial ports),
  • human activity distribution (e.g. parked car distributions over urban areas, social distancing estimations),
  • agriculture activity (e.g. unattended fields and crops, disruptions due to supply chain issues, things that may contribute to mitigation of problems appearing in 6 months from now).

This initial focus does not prevent participants from elaborating other type of value-added information in relation with this challenge.

The focus geographical area is European Union, EEA, ESA member states.

Data and tools

In order to support you the Euro Data Cube team has specially prepared an environment where you will find:

  • Sentinel data of the European Union Copernicus programme complemented by standard EO missions’ data and high resolution data in partnership with Airbus and Planet available over several locations to support e.g. urban monitoring.
  • A plethora of Euro Data Cube Tools ready to be used for this purpose – starting from EO Browser, Sentinel Hub and xcube services, eo-learn, Jupyter Notebooks and more, something for any skill level and for every analysis.

If needed, we can add more and adapt to your requirements.


There will be several rounds of evaluation from 6th of April to 31st of May 2020 with possible continuation, each bringing the prizes:

  • Each end of week, the best contribution coming to that date (from start of the contest to the cut-off date) meeting quality threshold will receive a 1000 € prize.
  • Each end of month a prize of 1000 € will be awarded for each of the three main categories (change in situation of economic operators, change in human activity, change in agriculture activity).
  • The best idea overall, exploiting European Data, meeting quality threshold will receive a prize of 5000 €.

Evaluation will be performed by ESA. Each contribution can get one prize for each of the above (e.g. one weekly, monthly and overall).

Stay home, stay healthy and contribute to this humankind challenge!

Read more info on the Custom Script Contest page.




About the Copernicus Sentinels

The Copernicus Sentinels are a fleet of dedicated EU-owned satellites, designed to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Union’s Copernicus environmental programme.

The European Commission leads and coordinates this programme, to improve the management of the environment, safeguarding lives every day. ESA is in charge of the space component, responsible for developing the family of Copernicus Sentinel satellites on behalf of the European Union and ensuring the flow of data for the Copernicus services, while the operations of the Copernicus Sentinels have been entrusted to ESA and EUMETSAT.