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The first-ever European Carbon Farming Summit hosted by the EU-funded CREDIBLE project ( convened in Valencia (Spain) in March 2024 a vibrant community of over 600 professionals, organisations and enthusiasts dedicated to carbon farming and soil management. The event highlighted the community’s strong commitment and enthusiasm for recognising the potential of carbon farming.  Carbon farming presents exciting opportunities, with long-term benefits being uncovered through collaboration and innovative techniques, as well as challenges for successful implementation. EARSC actively led the discussion about the role of Earth Observation on Carbon farming and follow this exchange with experts on a monthly basis. If you would like to engage, please reach out to


The event provided some key insights: i) The EU Carbon Removal Certification Framework is a crucial component of Europe’s strategy to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The objective of this framework is to set the standards and guidelines for certifying and verifying these carbon removal methods, ensuring they meet the required environmental and technical criteria. ii) Measuring and monitoring are crucial for assessing the impact of any mitigation action, and carbon farming follows the same logic: climate claims linked to shifting agricultural management must be proven and validated. This is needed to offer clear quantification guidelines covering both soil emission reduction units and sequestration units, while at the same time acknowledging the impermanent nature of biogenic carbon. Proper and continuous monitoring ensures that the claimed carbon removals are genuine and verifiable. This not only serves as a technical requirement but is also fundamental in establishing trust and credibility in the carbon credit market among investors, policymakers, and the public. iii) The necessity of a harmonised approach to carbon credit certification across Europe. The current fragmented methods of certification create inconsistencies and uncertainties in the carbon credit market. iv) Farmers are central to the success of carbon farming initiatives. Their knowledge, skills, and on-ground experience are invaluable for implementing effective carbon sequestration and emission reduction practices. Complementary financing mechanisms and incentives need to be explored and farmers should be empowered through education, training, peer-to peer learning and ongoing support is crucial to accelerate the adoption and scaling of carbon farming practices across Europe. v) Carbon farming is a diverse and context-specific solution. Localised strategies and landscape-level initiatives, involving collaboration with local stakeholders such as communities, landowners, and agricultural organisations, are vital. These initiatives foster trust, enable better adaptation to diverse farming landscapes, and ensure that carbon farming practices are both effective and sustainable.

By embracing a multi-actor approach, encouraging collaboration among stakeholders, and implementing progressive and responsible policies, Europe can fully unlock the potential of carbon farming, positioning it as a cornerstone of its sustainability strategy. As we transition from theory to action, one thing is clear: the future of carbon farming in Europe is promising, but it demands concerted effort, innovation, and collaboration to realise its full potential. Would you like to join the conversation? Sign up to be informed about the next Carbon Farming Summit in Ireland in March 2025 (sign up).

The Canal Seine Nord Europe stands as a monumental testament to modern engineering, arguably the most significant civil engineering project in Europe this century. With its vast scale, the project encompasses a decade of work, stretches over 100 kilometers, and involves the excavation of more than 70 million cubic meters of soil. Yet its ambitions go beyond mere construction; it aims to transform goods transportation in Europe, promising to divert approximately 5 million trucks from the roads annually, significantly reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion.

This initiative aligns with contemporary environmental goals, marking a bold step forward in an era committed to curbing global warming and protecting biodiversity. By bridging the fluvial networks of Northern Europe with the Seine Maritime, it paves the way for more sustainable goods transportation across the continent.

The project has garnered support from the French Region Haut de France, French government, and the European Union, all demanding regular updates on progress and environmental impact. However, the project’s sheer scale challenges traditional monitoring methods, such as drones, which fall short in providing the needed comprehensive data.

Disaitek approached in mid-2022 to pioneer a satellite-derived data solution. After a year of rigorous discussion and negotiation, Disaitek was entrusted with an experimental contract to oversee the project’s progress and its environmental footprint. Our commitment spans three critical areas:

  • Work Progress Monitoring: We ensure meticulous measurement and traceability for excavated soils and oversee the construction progress of roads and fluvial locks and ancillary works.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment: Our high-precision mapping technology tracks vegetation and supports a nature-based compensation program, alongside automated crop identification.
  • Encroachment Detection: We vigilantly monitor operational boundary exceedances, illegal land use, and road deterioration.

We task the Pléaides satellite on a monthly basis, both mono and stéréo depending on location and use cases, to provide detailed imagery to feed our algorithms and AI models, achieving remarkable success in our objectives. Our GIS-based platform offers stakeholders easy access to a wealth of analyses across these domains.

As our experimental phase nears completion, we stand on the brink of negotiations to establish our platform as the project’s monitoring tool during its construction and exploitation phases.

The Large -scale Skills Partnership (LSP) for Space Data, Services and Applications (SPACE4GEO), promoted under the European Commission’s (EC) initiative Pact for Skills, aims to empower workers with the skills needed for the development of future innovations and to achieve the aims of the EU’s Space strategies. 

In line with the principles governing the Pact for Skills and its Charter, the proposed LSP wishes to ensure continuous exchange and cooperation among stakeholders from the academic, private and public sectors on skills development and requirements.

To this purpose, the partners are committing to establish and deliver a shared understanding of the volume of skills needs and capacity requirements needed (in the short, medium and long term) to achieve the high level vision of a successful space downstream and geoinformation sector.

The vision is being translated into strategic commitments which will lead to a certain impact that contributes to bridging the skills gaps and mismatches and an improved user uptake of space data, services and applications. 

Specific commitments for the Partnership are:

  • To monitor the occupational supply and demand to identify the skills and competences required and provide feedback on the evolving sector needs.
  • To help and guide candidate learners in their skilling, upskilling and reskilling efforts, supporting them to access quality training, promoting upskilling and reskilling of 3.5% of the workforce each year by 2030 across the ecosystem.
  • To facilitate and stimulate a more integrated and inclusive approach on skills development across different value chains (vertical sectors) and at different levels, including local and regional level.
  • To encourage citizens’ engagement, citizens’ science practices and hands-on activities enhancing the inclusion/recognition of space downstream and geoinformation applications’ value in everyday aspects of life, also attracting new talents to the present and emerging space geospatial professions.

To this purpose, EARSC as the partner of SPACE4GEO has committed to contribute to the establishment and delivery of a shared understanding of the volume of skills needs and capacity requirements needed (in the short, medium and long term) to achieve the high-level vision of a successful space downstream and geoinformation sector, as the latter faces a number of challenges, including a gender imbalanced workforce, an aging society and a shortage of relevant skills.


SpaceSUITE is an Erasmus+ Blueprint project for the development of innovative resources for education and training to bridge the gap between the supply and demand of skills in the ever-growing downstream space sector. The project was kicked off in January 2024, and it will end in December 2027. It integrates 28 partners, including 3 affiliated entities, from Academia, vocational education and training (VET) providers, associations, and representatives of industry companies. The partnership is complemented by 9 associated partners, mainly local and regional public bodies. The project was promoted in the framework of the SPACE4GEO Large-scale Skills Partnership on Space Data, Services and Applications (www.space4geo.euwere EARSC is key partner and will support the achievement of its strategic objectives in the framework of the EC initiative Pact for Skills.

With the aim of ensuring the development of advanced skills in space-related fields and the provision of education and training activities for higher education and VET providers for upskilling and reskilling, in particular for professionals, entrepreneurs, graduates and students, the SpaceSUITE consortium will:

  • release a Sector Skills Strategy, providing details on the way major trends in the downstream space sector are expected to impact skills’ needs in the sector, which will be continuously updated, and defining the roadmap to ensure medium and long term skills development through up-skilling and re-skilling actions for the current workforce, as well as the attraction of talents from other sectors and among youngsters. 
  • enhance and further develop the Body of Knowledge (BoK) on Earth Observation and Geo-information, also embracing Positioning Navigation and Timing (PNT) and Satellite Communication (SatCom), 
  • design “core” curricula for current in-demand and emerging occupational profiles, develop educational and training materials, and organise training actions for different persona, from a technician to a decision maker,
  • create an online “Open Space Academia” to provide these contents in a open flexible manner using the most recent learning techniques and including guidance to candidate learners.

The direct beneficiaries of this action are the 230.000 professionals currently employed by the EU downstream  space sector, which accounts for close to 80% of the global space economy.


SDGs-EYES is a three – year Horizon Europe Research and innovation action (RIA) project (January 2023 – January 2026) that aims to strengthen Europe’s capacity to monitor the the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the basis of Copernicus by building a portfolio of decision-making tools to monitor SDG indicators related to the environment from a cross-sectoral perspective and in line with the priorities and challenges of the EU Green Deal. 

Led by a consortium of 10 partners representing diverse disciplines, SDGs-EYES embodies the spirit of collaboration, cross-fertilization, and knowledge integration. One of the key strengths of SDGs-EYES lies in its ability to combine data from Copernicus’s six core services to develop more accurate SDG indicators. Through a scientific and technological framework, EARSC is leading the using engagement of the project facilitating access to Earth Observation (EO) information while enhancing its usability for a wide range of stakeholders, as e.g. national statistical offices, SDG custodian agencies such as FAO, UNEP, the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) or the Working Group on Geospatial Information (WGGI), etc.

In addition to its core objectives, SDGs-EYES embarks on a pilot-driven approach. Indeed, the project solutions are demonstrated through four EU and one non EU pilot areas (Sahel Countries, North Sea area, City of Turin (Italy), Romania, and Cosenza province (Italy). 

Overall, SDGs-EYES aims to:

  1. Facilitate Access and Increase Usability of EO Information: SDGs-EYES focuses on designing and developing a robust framework for aggregating and processing EO data provided by Copernicus’s core services and the space and in-situ components. By improving the accessibility and usability of EO information, the project empowers stakeholders with valuable insights for decision-making.
  2. Improve Reliability, Robustness, and Accuracy of SDG Indicators: Through a pilot-driven approach, SDGs-EYES demonstrates the potential of Copernicus-enhanced measurement for six SDG indicators related to SDG13 Climate Action, SDG14 Life Below Water, SDG15 Life on Land, and a cross-goal indicator will be also formulated to explore the exposure of vulnerable communities under cumulative climate extreme. These indicators are evidence of the project’s commitment to advancing the quality and accuracy of SDG monitoring efforts.
  3. Advance Stakeholder Capacity in SDG Monitoring: SDGs-EYES seeks to empower stakeholders by creating a range of user-friendly data products tailored to simplify the tracking and reporting of specific SDGs. These service-oriented products are developed, showcased, and co-designed in collaboration with a diverse community of users and stakeholders within designated pilot areas.

More information about the project are available on the website: and on the project social media channels: LinkedIn (  and X (@SDGsEYES)

VorteX-io is an innovative French company at the cutting edge of hydrology, offering a range of high added-value decision-support services. These include preventing flood and drought risks, improving water resource management and optimising the operation of hydraulic infrastructures. Within two years, vorteX-io will offer the first river forecasting service for the whole European continent based on the creation of digital twins of watersheds. To this end, vorteX-io is currently deploying a network of several hundred of its own innovative remote sensing devices across Europe as part of the WHYLD project, co-funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC).

vorteX-io is developing the first European database for real-time, high accuracy, hydrological data, aiming to monitor all European watercourses, with a focus on the 7,000 flood risk areas identified by the European Commission. Their user-friendly data marketplace, Maesltrom, allows customers to visualize real-time watercourses and access features like archived data, rainfall estimates, water flow, and a predictive indicator for flood risk. The data is obtained through low-cost, plug-and-play hydrological stations and artificial intelligence algorithms. This solution addresses the lack of large-scale hydrological data and provides a cost-effective, scalable solution for stakeholders.

The solutions provided by vorteX-io contribute to EU priorities such as risk prevention, civil protection, and climate disaster prognosis. They also support the construction of an accurate and connected European network for collective resilience. The actions of vorteX-io align with UN Sustainable Goal 13, which focuses on addressing climate change and its impacts, and strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.’s unique selling point is hydrological data as a service, with two differentiators: micro-stations that measure and transfer water parameters in real-time, and a scalable distribution model through a self-subscription service on an all-inclusive SaaS platform. The innovation includes a proprietary sensor, the micro-stations, providing real-time hydro-meteorological parameters, and a non-binding turnkey business model. The level of innovation is high, as the availability of an “anytime/anywhere” hydrological database through a SaaS service is new in the hydrology domain. The type of innovation includes a new lightweight and scalable in-situ measurement system based on space technology transfer.

The WHYLD project, led by vorteX-io and co-financed by the European Innovation Council, aims to meet the increasing need for real-time monitoring of hydrological surfaces in Europe, particularly in France where over 8,000 cities lack such solutions. The project could serve as an enabler for more precise predictive analysis regarding climate change impacts, such as floods and droughts. The initiative is expected to strengthen Europe’s technological sovereignty in preventing hydrological hazards.

The need for hydrological measurements is growing worldwide due to increasing flood risk awareness and climate change. The proposed WHYLD project, a first-of-its-kind SaaS service, aims to address the lack of hydrological data with a network of micro-stations providing real-time measurements. This innovation, already tested in France and Europe, is a strategic technology for all countries threatened by floods.

The total addressable market (TAM) for this service is expected to reach $23.46 billion by 2027. The company aims to capture 1% of the serviceable available market (SAM), estimated to be $2.4 billion by 2027. The company faces competition but has a unique value proposition and a business model that differentiates it from its competitors. The company’s strengths include a scalable product, an experienced team, and a unique business model. However, it also has weaknesses such as a prototype service and a lack of skills in marketing and sales.


To address the worldwide rise in climate-change driven devastating flood events, project WHYLD at vorteX-io aims to demonstrate the benefits of a large-scale real-time hydrometeorological database towards assisting governments in effective flood risk management.
Backed by the EIC Accelerator Programme, project WHYLD involves the development and deployment of an innovative and intelligent river forecasting service. This is made possible thanks to proprietary algorithms and hardware inspired by satellite technology: vorteX-io’s Micro-stations that can measure data such as water surface height and velocity, with ongoing R&D for river flow and rainfall rate parameters.
The project’s initial phase involves large-scale deployment of this non-binding turnkey service in two pilot countries, France and Croatia, eventually covering all of Europe and flood-risk areas globally.

Seven European partners, including offshore renewable energy and Earth Observation specialists, have teamed up for the BLUE-X project. Together, they will develop a satellite-based decision support tool to accelerate offshore renewable energy deployments. This is the first ​​blue energy Horizon Europe project funded by the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA).

Seefeld, Prague – Feb. 2024 –  (…) Blue renewable energy sources such as offshore wind, offshore solar, wave and tidal energy have a high and mostly unused potential in times of a changing global energy policy. In 2020, the European Commission set ambitious targets of 300 GW of offshore wind and 40 GW of ocean energy across all the European Union’s sea basins by 2050. However, achieving these calls for thorough and time-consuming MetOcean, geophysical and environmental campaigns. 

Increasing the share of blue energy is a key building block for reaching the goals of the Green Deal.Scaling up the use of Copernicus satellite data can support the rapid and fact-based decision-making needed’, says Fiammetta Diani, Head of Market Downstream and Innovation at EUSPA, reminding that BLUE-X aims to help the acceleration of the energy transition in the European Union. 

For upscaling offshore renewables, BLUE-X will provide key data useful for all five steps of the blue energy lifecycle: site assessment, planning, construction, operations, and decommissioning. ‘Our mission is to give valuable decision-support to offshore renewable energy projects. We aim for a tool that is easy to use and offers quick access to key data on the coastal areas in question,’ states Kim Knauer of EOMAP, leading the BLUE-X consortium. 

Six use cases across Europe will ensure a BLUE-X solution in line with the user demands of offshore renewable energy developers and providers. These cases will cover various blue offshore energy sources. 

The consortium partners include the Dutch Marine Energy Centre (DMEC, The Netherlands), EOMAP (Germany), Fórum Oceano (Portugal), INESC TEC (Portugal), Inyanga Marine Energy Group (France/UK), Politecnico di Torino (Italy) and Wave for Energy (Italy).

Please access the complete joint press release + an infographic and free imagery at this LINK.

Developing Next Generation EO Applications

The Company

RSS-Hydro is a Luxembourg-based company developing innovative water and climate risk solutions to help public sector and industry clients achieve impact in the SDGs for a better and safer future. We are regularly carrying out a number of research projects with national and international partners to develop science-based commercial solutions using the newest advances in Earth Observation (EO) and space technologies and combine this with numerical modeling and novel computing architecture. This allows us to push current state-of-the-art capabilities to the next level, so we can build next generation products  and offer them today.

One of our flagship EO products that has now entered its commercialization phase, is FloodSENS, an AI-based algorithm that creates valuable flood impact maps even from clouded satellite images to support the financial risk industry as well as the international disaster response community.

Motivation for FloodSENS

The value of satellite sensors  for mapping and monitoring floods has long been established and oftentimes during flood disasters satellites represent the only means of obtaining actionable information. Over just the last couple of years, under a strong climate risk signal and economic insecurities, we have witnessed disastrous flood events, spanning across unprecedented spatial and temporal scales. These disasters trigger humanitarian crises, massive asset damage and very often result in large displacements of people that cause security and conflict concerns. During such large events that are unmeasurable and cannot be monitored with traditional field equipment, satellites are one of the only means to gather crucial information for mitigation, response and recovery. Although SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) may be the obvious choice for detecting flooding during adverse weather conditions, the present archive of available SAR images is still rather small to infer trends about flood risk and climatology of floods whereas optical satellite sensors of various resolutions have been around for more than 50 years now, albeit hampered by cloud cover during floods. Nonetheless, there are many examples of flood disasters where optical satellite sensors have been providing cloud-free or partially clouded imagery.  

The FloodSENS Algorithm

It is clear that overcoming the cloud cover issue in optical flood images would certainly be beneficial since it would allow a higher number of impacted areas to be mapped and it would also greatly extend the archive of flood maps from satellites, thereby providing better information to both the flood response sectors, including defense intelligence, as well as the financial risk industry, particularly the insurance and reinsurance sectors. To this end, RSS-Hydro has gathered needs and requirements from both the humanitarian and reinsurance sectors, and together with the UN WFP and Willis Towers Watson (WTW) as stakeholders, has joined ESA’s InCubed program to  develop a Machine Learning (ML) application, called FloodSENS, to extract flooded area in optical flood images, whether cloud-free or partially clouded.

Example tiles of FloodSENS from different regions in the world.

The ML model is based on the well-known U-Net architecture and uses Sentinel-2 (S-2) flood images and derivative layers from digital elevation models relating to topography and waterflow to map flooding even below partial cloud cover. The algorithm further employs a squeeze and excitation network to extract information about the importance of the different input layers. During the project, FloodSENS was trained on a large number of expertly labelled S-2 flood images across different biomes, events and locations to ensure acceptable transferability, which is to become an important part of RSS-Hydro’s IPR of FloodSENS. Internal application testing and validation shows, unexpectedly, varying degrees of performance and accuracy. Overall, on average, FloodSENS performs at least as well as any robust and calibrated traditional band ratio index (>90% correct prediction), and in some cases outperforms such, and even maps below low cloud cover and correctly includes flood impact areas from dried out areas by following debris lines.

Moving to the Next Level of Implementation

Many exciting developments are happening in the new space sector, from smallsat SAR or thermal sensor constellations and satellite video to in space data relay systems  and even in-orbit computing platforms. 

Our growing international partner network, in which EARSC plays an important role, allows us to play a major part in these exciting developments with our EO applications that we thrive to improve with potential stakeholders in an agile development process.

One of our latest exciting developments includes the partnership we have with NVIDIA. We use various geospatial datasets with NVIDIA’s scene-generation platform Omniverse to build realistic 3D animations of disaster impact that help increase resilience of vulnerable communities.

A snapshot scene from our own 3D animation creation using the Omniverse platform of the flooding in the coastal areas of Mozambique caused by the massive tropical cyclone Idai in March 2019, mapped with FloodSENS 

From these partnerships and collaboration we, at RSS-Hydro, ensure that our products can seamlessly grow in value-add and market share potential. 

“Together, let’s shape the future of the global EO market”


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Yield prediction for arable crops in Germany based on Sentinel-1 SAR data 

For a farm in Thuringia/Germany, we have developed a model based on historical yield data and  ESVI (enhanced SAR Vegetation Index) that enables the yield to be reliably estimated.  Sentinel-1 satellites deliver data regularly every 12 days worldwide with a resolution of 20x20 m.  The ESVI is based on this data and can be seen as a proxy for fresh biomass.  SAR data are independent of daylight and atmospheric disturbances and are therefore ideal for time series analysis. In this evaluation, we used yield and satellite data from all years 2018 - 2022.  

Data: Zonal statistics were created for all individual plots, all years, and for each acquisition date,  which resulted in the mean value, the maximum, and the minimum being extracted from the respective ESVI data sets.  

This data was then compiled in data tables and compared with the yield data for the respective years. Yield data results from weighing logs captured after harvest.  

Method: For the modeling of the yield values, 5 consecutive ESVI datasets were used. The same formula was used for all cultures and all years.  

The formula depends on a weighting table for each crop-type, which is valid for all years.  Depending on the weather conditions, the start of the season may be delayed by a few days.  The model allows a corresponding adjustment if it becomes apparent that the growth phase in the current year will start much earlier or later than in ‘normal’ years.  

The evaluation in the graphic below, for one plot and one year, shows a slightly thicker green line. It represents the mean value of the individual plot. The line is flanked by 3 other lines showing the mean value over all plots of the same crop-type and the same year. In addition, you see the simple standard deviation around the mean as a confidence interval. The two gray bars indicate the period for which the yield modeling was calculated in this example (early March – mid-April). 

On the right-hand side you can see the modeled yield values for the individual plot (minimum, mean  and maximum) in the bar chart and below that the harvest date, the measured yield and the moisture content in the grains. 

Results: The tables for every single year can be seen in Annexes 2-6. In the header of each table you can see the acquisition dates on which the last of the 5 succeeding ESVI datasets were used for yield modelling. The table shows the deviation of the modeled yield/ha from the measured yield/ha.  A value of 104 in this table means, that the model overestimated the yield by 4 %.  

In the first line of each table you see the deviation of the modeled yield from the mean ESVI value over all plots of the same crop-type and the same year. 

Plots with relatively low yield values but high ESVI values were massively overestimated. However, it  is also possible that the assignment of yield per plot data, in the logistic chain or the weighing log  was not always without errors. On average over the entire farm, the results are surprisingly good.  

In the following table you see an aggregation over all five years. The result from all years, all plots  and all varieties show a result close to 100% compared to the measured yield. Yield prediction can be done from early April and with high reliability from early May to mid of June. 

Overall, it can be said that the model seems to be stable over the years. Even if individual plots stand  out as outliers, the average over all plots of one crop type is close to the measured yield.  

The standard deviation indicates, that yield prediction between early and mid May, for each single  crop and over all crop-types deviates from the real yield in 2 from 3 years by less than 10 %.  Only in 1 from 20 years it can be expected, that the predicted yield deviates by more than 20%.  

Based on this data, a farmer can plan at an early stage how much storage capacity is needed or how  much of his predicted yield he can sell in advance into the market.  

Various applications based on yield estimation can be seen in crop insurance and agricultural  trading.  

Considering the current situation in Ukraine, a reliable and early yield forecast would be important  for the entire logistics chain right down to the end consumers. 

Implementation: The software enterprise ESRI built an application where the algorithm for the yield  prediction is already onboarded. The tool allows the farmer to select single plots or all plots of one  crop-type to calculate the yield prediction for the actual year, based on the map product ESVI.  Customers who register for that service have as well access to other map products from the same  sensor like SWI (SAR Water Index), which is useful to monitor drought condition in cropland.  Within ArcGIS online they can easily apply seasonal and annual change detection on-the-fly. 

The data will be actualized according to the acquisition schedule of Sentinel-1 with a delay of less  than 48 hours and is later available in the online platform ArcGIS Imagery

iMap| software that moves us 2/2

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UP42 brings STAC to its storage

Over the past few years, the geospatial industry has grown significantly, and with it, the number of image providers and data volume. Most users have probably faced a few data management challenges along the way. Data standardization, or the lack of it, in particular, is often cited as a major barrier to the widespread adoption of geospatial data.

SpatioTemporal Asset Catalog (STAC) is a specification designed to establish a standard in exposing geospatial data and simplify data management for providers, developers, and users. It allows searching across multiple providers for geospatial assets which share a common structure and set of metadata. UP42 has further strengthened its commitment to the STAC standard by integrating STAC in UP42 storage and ensuring a common metadata format across providers.

STAC might seem like another data standard at first. It is not. First introduced in 2021, it has improved and grown in popularity significantly. Many of the biggest providers of remote sensing and spatiotemporal data use the STAC specification. STAC has a well-designed, standard format, it is user-centric, as well as searchable, crawlable, and indexable. STAC allows users to easily search for, acquire, and analyze geospatial data from multiple providers and sources. This is extremely important because a lack of standardization often leads to low availability of plug-and-play integrations. STAC enables a strong foundation for exploring data from different providers, as well as for building a robust backend, downstream integrations, web portals, visualization, and more.

UP42 provides a STAC API endpoint for data searches in UP42 storage. The assets in storage can be data from catalog or tasking orders. This ensures a consistent metadata format across all providers, and with standardized metadata, customƒfers can more easily integrate data into their pipelines. For example, if someone places a tasking order, they will automatically get the respective metadata for the tasked assets in the API shortly after the raw asset is delivered to storage, so theƒy can immediately work with it.

STAC is organized into the following structure.

  • STAC catalog is a top-level object that provides a linking structure for grouping other STAC objects.
  • STAC collection is a UP42 asset resulting from a completed tasking or catalog order. It groups related items and aggregates their summary metadata. It contains STAC items.
  • STAC item is an individual scene in a STAC collection with a unique spatiotemporal extent, such as tiled images, images with different acquisition times, stereo pairs, or tri-stereo triples with different angles and acquisition times. Different spatiotemporal extents produce different STAC items. A STAC item contains STAC assets.
  • STAC asset is a geospatial feature of a STAC item, its quicklook, or metadata file. For example, multispectral and panchromatic products of an image acquired by an optical sensor are different STAC assets.
  • STAC extension is a JSON schema with additional parameters available for a specific STAC object. Extensions differ based on data availability, sensor, and constellation.

More information is available in our technical documentation.

In addition to introducing STAC and enabling STAC-compatible endpoints for all geospatial assets, UP42 has introduced a new set of functionalities to UP42 storage. Users can now reflect their internal asset structure by customizing assets with their own titles and tags. They can also search for a specific asset property (e.g., order ID, title, or asset name) or create a consolidated view of their assets through sort and filter operations for collection, producer, tags, title, and source (catalog or tasking orders) - on the workspace and account level.

We will continue to play a key role in supporting our partners and customers on their journey with STAC. We will also continue our commitment to implementing more cloud-native geospatial data formats such as standardized COGs, exposed through STAC, enabling streaming capabilities and access to subelements of UP42 assets, as well as unifying file format and directory structure. Expect more updates from us soon.

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