María Ballester

Senior Project Manager, GMV Aerospace and Defence

BA Hons. NWS University, Sydney; PhD (2000) in Remote Sensing, UCM University, Madrid, on multitemporal satellite series for LULC and crop phenology. Image processing abilities range from meteorological to VHR satellites for geo-strategic interpretation. Project Manager at GMV since 2007 in the Remote Sensing Applications Unit, she has been responsible for the development of Earth observation services for EU institutional clients governing environment and climate programmes (EC, ESA), agriculture and forestry (DG ENV), emergency response and security (REA, ESA, DG GROW), requiring the MGCP mapping standard. Between 2014 and 2018, Dr. Yagüe managed the EC study on User Requirements & Service Specifications to be fulfilled by the next generation of the Copernicus space component (NEXTSPACE) across European institutions and users in six application domains. In the frame of H2020, she leads Horizon 2020 project MySustainableForest which consolidates a portfolio of 21 EO based forest products, including a specific module for Carbon Stocks. The market launch of MySustainableForest products has pivoted upon seven workshops chaired by Dr. Yagüe with over 500 sustainable forest management stakeholders in France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Czech Republic and Lithuania. Moreover she participates in H2020 CoRdiNet, spreading the network of Copernicus data and services users, on behalf of GMV as Spanish Copernicus Relay. In the context of ESA, the studies in progress are HAPSVIEW, -Identification of High Altitude Pseudo Satellites in Support of Satellite Air Quality Activities- and SPAEO - Mission Requirements for Future Spanish Space Mission in the Earth Observation Domain-. In response to the World Bank’s Forest and Landscapes Team within the Climate Funds Unit (SCCFM) she leads the Assessment of innovative technologies and their “readiness” for remote sensing-based estimation of forest carbon stocks and dynamics, which shall conclude in December 2020 in preparation of the COP26 to be held in November 2021 in Glasgow.

María is speaking at

Application Track 3 - Data Driven AI solutions
November 4, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


  • Anca Costea (Parallel session chair) Manager, Policies, Strategies and International Cooperation, Terrasigna
  • Codrina Ilie (Parallel session chair) GIS/RS Specialist, Terrasigna
  • Florin Serban (Parallel session chair) Managing Director, Terrasigna
  • Francesco Barbato (Speaker) Policy Officer, European Commission
  • Manolis Koubarakis (Speaker) ExtremeEarth
  • Sergio Albani (Speaker) Head of RTDI Unit, European Union Satellite Centre
  • Emmanuel Pajot (Speaker) Secretary General, EARSC
  • María Ballester (Speaker) Senior Project Manager, GMV Aerospace and Defence
  • Ana Sebastian (Speaker) Business Development Manager for EO Applications -, GMV
  • Alessandro Donati (Speaker) Artificial Intelligence & Operations Innovation Manager, ESA


Scrutinizing the European progress, ongoing and planned initiatives, it  is safe to say that Europe has all the necessary building blocks prepared to assume leadership in the development of a robust AI ecosystem, with a high emphasis on the wealth of knowledge that can be extracted from Earth Observation.
The main objective of this session is to highlight the progress made with all the different components, from infrastructure developments, to faster, more complex algorithms and innovative use cases of Earth Observation usage across Europe. 

From the beginning the stated scope of the Earth Observation working group within BDVA was to build bridges between the ICT community and the Earth Observation one, as we identified it as being crucial in order for the wider community to fully benefit from the wealth of EO data.  Through our EBDVF 2020 session, we share the progress made, the public and private initiatives, the opportunities identified, as well as what are the challenges that lie ahead.

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