More than 190 countries descended on Glasgow for COP26 in November to better understand and combat climate change. Here Scott Franklin, Head of Event Delivery & Content at the Department for International Trade explores the power of UK space data and the impact of using a Pufferfish display.

Eyes on The Ball!

The Pufferfish display showcased UK ingenuity, innovation, and creativity at the UK Presidency Pavilion at COP26, demonstrating the UK’s world-leading space earth observation capabilities. Data from space has become a key tool in the mechanics of climate action and being able to display that information in a compelling manner can prove a challenge at large-scale events.



The team at Reading University and Space4Climate, a group that spans government, industry, and academia set out to demonstrate the UK’s pioneering capabilities with earth observation data, and the impact of the  Puffertouch experience was out of this world. The display consistently drew visitors in and encouraged them to explore the outstanding visualization of the data compiled by climate experts.



Intrigue for The Wisest Brains

Children as young as 4 and as old as 87 were mesmerised by the shining globe in the heart of the country pavilions in the blue zone of COP26; presenting more than 30 earth observation data sets from UK NGOs, research institutions and universities, businesses in partnership with the global earth observation industry and community.


Never Before Seen Data

Avid data scientists gleamed when met with the Pufferfish display showcasing Space4Cliamte data applauding “I’ve worked with this exact data but never seen it in a 360 environment, only in a spreadsheet”. Many of these delegates were with colleagues or recent conference acquaintances who then began (with a sanitised bamboo stylus) to explore various data sets on cryospheres, ocean surface temperature changes, or dengue fever outbreaks.

Never Before Seen Data

Due to the sheer amount of data hosted on the Puffertouch2+, climate scientists could jump between different sub-sectors related to their field to learn more about consequential environmental impacts.




What About My Country?

After a quick whizz around the Puffertouch, government ministers, climate scientists, and business leaders began wanting to engage with their country and how the climate crisis was impacting at home. With a revolving door of country delegates entering the UK Presidency Pavillion every 5 minutes, the Puffertouch allowed for delegates to explore how climate change was directly affecting their shores while showcasing the UK’s world-leading earth observation capabilities.

The views and opinions contained and expressed in this article belong solely to the original writer and do not reflect the Department for International Trade’s views and opinions.

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