The innovative transformation in geospatial information technology (GIT) and Earth observation (EO) data provides a significant opportunity to study the Earth’s environment and enables an advanced understanding of natural and anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems at the local, regional, and global levels (Thapa et al. in Carbon Balance Manag 10(23):1–13, 2015; Flores et al. in SAR handbook: comprehensive methodologies for forest monitoring and biomass estimation. NASA Publication, 2019; Leibrand et al. in Front Environ Sci 7:123, 2019; Chap. 1). The major advantages of these technologies can be briefly categorized into five broad areas: multidisciplinary; innovative and emerging; providing platforms for analysis, modelling, and visualization; capability to support decision-making; and impact on policies.