ConnectinGEO (Coordinating an Observation Network of Networks EnCompassing satellite and IN-situ to fill the Gaps in European Observations)

After 2 years of intense work, the H2020 CSA ConnectinGEO is finalizing to provide the main outcomes of the project. ConnectinGEO wants to continue some of these activities after the end of the project.

ConnectinGEO (Coordinating an Observation Network of Networks EnCompassing satellite and IN-situ to fill the Gaps in European Observations, H2020 Project Nr: 641538) started on 2015 with the aim to provide to link existing Earth Observation networks with science, private sector and with GEOSS and Copernicus stakeholders. Following this objective, other major achievements have been reached, mainly, the enablement of the European Network of Earth Observation Networks (ENEON), and the provision of a gap analysis among existing EO networks prioritizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Essential Variables (EV).

The gap analysis has been performed by applying the ConnectinGEO Gap Analysis Methodology, structured in five threads:
• Top-down 1 (TDT1). Derivation of sustainability indicators needed to monitor progress towards GEOSS Strategic Targets and SDGs and infer the EV.
• Top-down 2 (TDT2). Incorporation of international programs such as the Future Earth, the Belmont Forum, and the Research Data Alliance.
• Bottom-up 1 (BUT1). Direct dialog with members of ENEON.
• Bottom-up 2 (BUT2). Through an observation inventory populated from the GEOSS GEODAB and the SEE IN (Socio-Economic and Environmental Information Needs) Knowledge Base.
• Bottom-up 3 (BUT3). SMEs participation in pilots to transfer experiences and generate new products based on open access GEOSS EO data.

The preliminary results of the gap analysis carried out in the context of the project have been collected in the ConnectinGEO Gaps Table (CGT), which is an on-line table in the ConnectinGEO wiki available at this page.

Main conclusions on this analysis are:
• The distribution of the gaps over themes is dominated the Climate theme with 52% of the gaps associated with this theme followed by the Ocean theme with 30% of the gaps (Fig. 30). This uneven distribution is mainly due to the climate and ocean communities being the most active one in contributions to the CGT.
• Most of the gaps currently in the CGT resulted from TDT2 i.e., the review of published literature from international programs such as Future Earth, Belmont Forum, the Research Data Alliance and community assessments of socio-economic benefits of Earth observations.
• BUT1 provided 20% of the gaps. These gaps come from the consultation process in the current EO networks, consisting of collaboration platforms, surveys and discussions at workshops and the involvement of citizen science.
• BUT3, i.e., gaps coming from the realization of a series of real industry-driven challenges to assess the problems and gaps emerging during the creation of business opportunities (see Section 4.5) contributed 4% of the currently published gaps.
• Concerning the gap type, most gaps are found with respect to required temporal resolution followed by temporal extent and geographical coverage.
• The distribution of the gaps over groups of EVs is heavily biased towards the Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) with 91% of all gaps being associated with this group of EVs. However, many of the ECVs are also Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs) and/or Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs).

Agriculture Essential Variable (AgV), Essential Biodiversity Variable (EBV), Essential Climate Variable (ECV), Essential Ocean Variable (EOV), Essential Renewable Energy Variable (EREV), Health Essential Variable (HeV), Water Essential Variable (WaV)

Additionally, ConnectinGEO also analysed the level of maturity of the concept of EV in all GEOSS SBA Coming from a Workshop in Bari, in June 2015, and reported in the public D2.3 Proposal of EVs for selected themes In particular, 147 EVs were reviewed and analysed, leading to the following main conclusions:

  • The community that has defined the highest number of EVs is currently the Climate one, led by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).
  • Other communities already working on a mature set of EVs are Weather (led by WMO/GAW) and Ocean, led by the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).
  • EV discussion and related work is growing fast in Biodiversity and Water. Energy community follows. Agriculture, Disasters, Ecosystems, Health, and Urban Development, are still in the initial stage.
  • Most of the ECVs can be relevant and useful to the other GEO SBAs or themes, and so many SBA could rely on a number of EVs already available in other areas.

Moreover, analysing the SDG, only 30 indicators from 240 can be extracted with the combination of socio-economic data and Earth observation (in-situ, airborne or remote sensing), and only 9 by Earth observation information alone. For these 9, a link with EVs was proposed (results available in the deliverable D2.3 Proposal of EVs for selected themes).

ENEON , particularly focused on the in-situ segment, is created to increase the connection between the existing European EO networks and the relevant communities engaged in the assessments, forecasting, and projecting of future developments: policy makers, EC, GEO/GEOSS, Copernicus, etc.

ENEON is also a platform to promote emerging European networks and sensor development projects to provide future provisions, which may not yet be part of GEOSS or Copernicus Services. By this, ENEON ensures that all networks are contributing valuable resources to GEOSS and in the contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Essential Variables (EV).

Through ENEON, a lively, dynamic graph on existing European EO networks has been created based on JSON-LD & JavaScript. EOnetworks. The graph also incorporates the possibility of provide feedback.

ENEON wants to play a major role in developing, validating, populating, and using the Socio-Economic and Environmental Information Needs Knowledge Base (SEE-IN KB) for virtual collaboration between providers, scientific and societal users, and, in particular, decision and policy makers. For this reason, an ENEON Virtual Marketplace/Commons is created to support the sharing and reuse of digital objects in a web space.

ENEON is taking an active role in pushing in-situ observations in GEOSS through the GD-06 Foundational Task on “GEOSS non-space based Earth Observation Resources”.

Other activities have been done during the project. On one hand, interoperability experiments on providing access to in-situ measurements through a WebGIS Client based on the 52N SWE (Sensor Web Enablement) solution following OGC SOS (Sensor Observation Service) standard and GEOSS recommendation on interoperability.

On the other hand, a stimulation of the industry sector to the use of GEOSS data was promoted by means of the EO product award competition within ConnectinGEO together with EARSC.

More information on these activities at ConnectinGEO and ENEON