GEO Community Portals developed using the GEOSS Platform technology

In a move to better serve Earth observation user communities, the ever-evolving GEOSS Platform incorporates new and customisable instruments and services, as part of the continuous improvement of the Global Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS).

In the current era of big data, the number of Earth observation resources is growing exponentially. Despite the existence of more data, users often can't find or connect to the resources they need for their work and decision making. In response to this challenge, in 2017 the GEOSS Platform connected users with over 400 million open Earth observation resources from over 7,000 data providers, all accessible through a single portal. These numbers continue to grow as more data providers make their EO data and information discoverable through the GEOSS Platform.

In order to better serve data users, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Research Council of Italy (CNR –IIA) worked in close collaboration with the GEO Secretariat, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the University of Geneva to develop the GEOSS Platform to house customisable instruments and services for user communities.

The GEOSS Platform strengthened to serve users with diverse needs

In November 2018, enhancements and features of the GEOSS Platform were demonstrated in Kyoto, Japan. Managed by ESA as part of the EDGE project and co-funded by the European Commission and ESA, the platform offers improved discovery, access and use of all registered open Earth observation resources from all over the world via the GEOSS Portal and developed Community Portals.

The GEOSS Platform strengthens linkages with the GEO Flagships, GEO Initiatives and Community activities by leveraging reusable components on the Platform. The need to respond to diversified user categories, highlighted at various GEO Data Provider Workshops, urged the importance of bringing the GEOSS Platform to the community of users. Continued engagement and co-design with all the communities involved is fundamental to be able to provide tailored functionalities.

"These new GEOSS widgets could really easily be integrated into our wetlands portal" said Jonas Eberle of the GEO Wetland initiative. "Users can now directly access GEOSS data via our own portal and combine them with our own data."

Over the past decade, GEO has been working to build GEOSS. GEO has already made over 400 million open Earth observation data and information resources available via the GEOSS Portal and through the GEODAB API, both part of the GEOSS Platform, in order to contribute to global development efforts.

However, not everyone working with Earth observations has same access to this data. For example, this is not possible where high-speed landlines and/or Internet connectivity are not available, or in regions where terrestrial communication lines are not reliable or have been disrupted by disasters. In an effort to increase access to Earth observations, GEO delivers data and products on a routine basis using satellite Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) technology to a worldwide user community through its initiative GEONETCast.

GEONETCast is a global network of cost-effective satellite-based dissemination systems which broadcast Earth observation data, products and services (including space-based, air-borne and in situ data) to areas with otherwise limited access.

Currently serving approximately 6,000 users in 169 countries, this user-driven and low-cost service operates through 3 GEONETCast Network Centres: GEONETCast Americas (US NOAA), EUMETCast (EUMETSAT) and CMACast (China), with established data exchange between them.

The cost of reception stations is kept to a minimum, resulting in an affordable solution for individuals, communities and businesses to ensure access to the Earth observations they need. A typical GEONETCast reception station includes a standard PC, a Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) reception device, and a satellite off-set antenna, and costs approximately $3,000 USD for all equipment and installation.

Read the full story here.

 

NextGEOSS Platform helps transform Earth observations to actionable information for the SDGs

In March 2019, the NextGEOSS data hub and platform was unveiled to promote scalable transformation of Earth observation data into actionable information and knowledge across all 17 SDGs.

Copernicus, Europe’s eye on Earth, is a major contribution to GEO and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), providing vast amounts of open data about the Earth for European citizens and global communities. The European Commission funds activities that transform Copernicus data to actionable information. One of these activities is NextGEOSS, a centralised European Earth observation data hub and platform, where the users can access data and deploy applications.

Now open for public use, the NextGEOSS data hub enables users to easily explore European Earth observation data and services, and the platform services empower developers to build their own research and development or commercial applications with dedicated tools and support. External users can benefit from the tools being used to develop NextGEOSS internal pilots, a suite of next generation technology, when building their own Earth observation-based applications and services. The solution is cloud agnostic, so users have flexibility to deploy their processing to any cloud providers.

Providing new services and technology are not enough to transform Earth observation data into actionable information - an engaged community contributing to system design is equally important. The integration and support processes that enable new and existing partners to contribute to NextGEOSS have been carefully developed, based on experience and feedback gained through internal NextGEOSS pilots. Various training and capacity development activities, including the NextGEOSS webinar series, have been integrated in the process.

Read the full story on the GEO Observations Blog here.