About the project

Copernicus is the European Programme for the establishment of a European capacity for Earth Observation. Copernicus products are created using satellite imagery and in situ data which is defined as all non-space-born data with a geographic dimension, including observation data from ground-, sea- or air-borne sensors as well as reference and ancillary data licensed or provided for use in Copernicus. Geospatial reference data are a special category of in-situ data, for Copernicus services providing a geographic framework to which other required in-situ data are referenced and maintained. Reference data are required by Copernicus services for creation, verification and validation of information products and services derived from satellite images.

CORDA (Copernicus Reference Access Data) is a single entry point node to the relevant national and regional geospatial reference data. This node provides an index of URLs to the relevant for Copernicus services and digitally available national and regional reference data and services across Europe and is restricted to access by Copernicus services providers only. As the coordinating body it is the European Environment Agency ensures that only authorised users, namely Copernicus service providers, are provided access to the index of URLs.

Copernicus programme addresses six main thematic areas: http://www.copernicus.eu/main/services

In line with its data and information policy, the Copernicus programme provides users with free, full and open access to environmental data.​

Who’s involved in CORDA

The European Environment Agency

European Environment Agency logo

CORDA is managed by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The EEA is an agency of the European Union which is charged with the task of providing sound, independent information on the environment. It is a major information source for those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and also for the general public. Currently, the EEA has 33 member countries.

CORDA is a single entry point node to the relevant national and regional geospatial reference data from EU39 countries (EEA 33 member countries and six cooperating countries) for Copernicus service providers.


CORDA has been developed by a consortium made up of the information technology services company Bilbomática, Geograma and Epsilon Italia, a group of companies specialising in GeoInformation. The consortium is actively developing the platform, drawing on feedback from the EEA, the data providers and the end-users. It also manages the platform, ensures access to and validity of the data and provide help services to end-users.

Data Providers

The EEA works closely with prominent European data provider networks to improve access to essential in situ data. The data providers provide the life blood of CORDA

On a pan-European level, the EEA is currently focusing on creating or revising agreements with EuroGeoGraphics for spatial reference data, Eionet for environmental data, EuroGeoSurveys for geological data, EuroGOOS for oceanographic data and EUMETNET for meteorological and climate data.

Data providers fall into the following categories:

  • Global: worldwide organizations
  • European: European Union and pan-European organizations
  • NGI: National Mapping, Cadastre and Land Registry authorities
  • National Governments: national organisms
  • Scientific: research institutes and universities (statistics)
  • Subnational: regional and provincial authorities
  • Private sector
  • NGOs: Non-Governmental Organizations


Current end-user organisations come from land monitoring and emergency services management organisations.

However, the scope of CORDA will be expanded to cover all the following Copernicus services:

  • Marine Monitoring
  • Atmosphere Monitoring
  • Security
  • Climate Change

End-user organisations do not just use the data provided by CORDA. They also actively participate in refining the platform through feedback to the EEA and the Consortium.