Running from the end of 2016 until mid 2020, NextGEOSS provides a streamlined, European hub for Earth Observation data discovery and retrieval, catering for European institutions as well as private sector needs in terms of Earth Observation data, ICT and services. It will engage global communities of data providers and GEOSS users, promoting pilot activities towards innovative GEOSS powered applications using GEOSS.
Earth Observation (EO) from satellites produce vast amounts of data and is playing an increasingly important role as a regular and reliable high-quality data source for scientific, public sector and commercial activities. However, the unprecedented large amount of data available for research and operational use is creating new challenges to GEOSS.
The resulting explosive growth of data poses far-reaching dilemmas regarding the fragmentation of data infrastructures at the international level. The time is for expanding the operational capability of global monitoring from space, and this opens a unique opportunity to build sustainable hubs that support user services exploiting archived and newly acquired EO derived datasets. The new data scientists, universities and research institutions, as well as the private commercial sector and value adding institutions in general, now expect easy access to EO data sources and tools enabling efficient exploitation of multidisciplinary data for advancing research, developing value-added products and contrive downstream services.
In order to support the creation and deployment of EO-based innovative research activities and commercial services, the project will rely on three main pillars: engaging communities, delivering technological developments and advocating the use of GEOSS.
Engaging Communities: NextGEOSS has a focus on engaging a strong community of not only of providers of Earth Observation data, but also of current and potential system users. It will actively involve the main operational actors from the Land Monitoring, Marine Environment Monitoring and Security Copernicus services, the lead institutions for the Copernicus Processing and Archiving Centres for Sentinel satellites, an ESA Data Hub, the Global Atmosphere Watch, as well commercial providers of satellite imagery. It will provide a framework to ease the discovery and retrieval of this data (satellite-based remote sensing and in situ measurements) using best practices for search services, including standardized and harmonized access to the metadata and data coming from earth observation providers worldwide. Through the promotion of pilot activities, NextGEOSS will directly engage researchers and developers in creating new applications and services, by providing them with specific tools and scalable Cloud appliances, covering their user requirements.
Technological Concept and Approach: NextGEOSS will facilitate the connectivity to the European and global data centres with new discovery and processing methods. It exploits the latest advances in EO data management, leveraging Web and Cloud technologies, offering seamless access to all the relevant data repositories, as well as providing efficient operations for search, retrieval, processing/re-processing, visualization, analysis and combination of products from federated data sources, all this delivered on user demand, as a Service. NextGEOSS will create a data hub that demonstrates the potential of new advances in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to help develop and deploy new GEOSS powered applications, and strengthen existing ones with additional data access and tools, therefore creating a solid foundation for capacity building through community platforms. NextGEOSS will deploy new data exploitation capabilities brought by Cloud technologies that automate and ease the access and processing of data, and support scaling up the storage and processing capabilities without the cost rocketing. It will provide virtualized work environments and the necessary interfaces to leverage the storage and computing resources of private and commercial providers. NextGEOSS will also support the optimization of the connectivity between the data centers involved in multi-stakeholder operations.
Advocating the Use of GEOSS: In addition to participating in international Conferences and Workshops, NextGEOSS will advocate the use of GEOSS by organising a number of regular events, including annual high-profile summits taking place in Geneva. The NextGEOSS Summit will gather worldwide stakeholders in Earth Observation data provision and services, relying on several of the project’s partners and recognised international experts for significant project and generic GEOSS relevant announcements, as well as for showcasing the project’s achievements. Intertwined with the annual summit, the NextGEOSS Online Courses and Learning Kit will support the adoption of GEOSS technologies, through worldwide web-based events, supported by dedicated learning material focused on empowering communities to use GEOSS data sources.
The NextGEOSS project exploits the latest advances in scientific data management in leveraging Web and Cloud technologies, offering easy and seamless access to all relevant data repositories as well as efficient operations (search, retrieval, processing/re-processing, visualization and analysis), for example to extract and distribute single parameters, or to combine products on user demand from federated infrastructures. NextGEOSS will create a data hub that demonstrates the potential of new advances in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to help develop and deploy new services requiring a wide variety of data sources and creating a solid foundation for capacity building through GEOSS community platforms.
The NextGEOSS consortium is composed of 27 institutions in total, including leading European companies and institutions, active in many GEO-related activities and many other European, ESA and international projects. The consortium covers 13 European countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The Project Coordinator is DEIMOS Engenharia and includes the participation of the German Space Agency (DLR), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the Open Geospatial Consortium(OGC) and the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC), among others.