This one-day workshop organised by the ESA Downstream Gateway covered how the space sector combined with cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning can help protect the world’s cultural heritage.

Space for Cultural Heritage Workshop – Downstream Gateway (

Topic overview: How Space technology can help discover and preserve our cultural heritage?

Worldwide, our cultural heritage is endangered by many factors, both natural and artificial ones: flooding, earthquakes, erosion, looting, urban sprawling and climate change. Some 5% of the 869 World Heritage sites are in danger and space technology can give an important contribution to the discovery and maintenance of those sites. Earth Observation data, provided by the Copernicus satellites constellation, can help by monitoring the degradation of sites, the level of air pollution and the coastal erosion. Satellites can also provide useful insights in the form of change maps, highlighting the changes over time of a certain area in order to better assess the risks of incidents. This technology, combined with the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, can provide a fundamental contribution for the sector.