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.