Workshop on web services for Big Earth Data: Innovations in geospatial data access and processing

Where: ESRIN, Frascati, Italy
When: 2 days in 2017 Q3/Q4


Big Earth Data has experienced a considerable increase in volume and variety in recent years, due to improved sensing techniques, temporal acquisition rates and continuous improvements of numerical-weather prediction models. The European Space Agency for example projects the growth of its Earth Observation Archive to a volume of more than 50 Petabytes in 2022. Alone two-thirds of it will have originated from the newly developed fleet of satellites, called the Sentinels, who acquire data since April 2014.

The growing volume of Earth data brings unprecedented opportunities and insights to the current state of our Earth, but at the same time poses new challenges regarding data management, accessibility, processing and dissemination. A gap evolves between the capacity to acquire geospatial data and the current capacity to manage, process and analyse it. New technology solutions are needed for efficient data storage, transfer, access, processing and sharing. Geospatial web service technologies, and in particular the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard interfaces Web Coverage Service (WCS) and Web Coverage Processing Service (WCPS), provide efficient on-demand access to and server-based processing of large geospatial data. Thus, data transport and duplication is minimized and data users are no longer restricted by available storage space and computing resources of their local machines or organisations.

The standard WC(P)S interface reveals new opportunities to redefine the traditional geospatial data analysis workflow. By the direct integration of WC(P)S requests into processing routines, users benefit in multiple ways. Be it building web applications with open-source web libraries such as NASA/ESA Web World Wind or OpenLayers or be it integrating it into custom processing routines in Python or R.

Aims and Scope

The workshop will present current web service technologies and gives practical examples how users can benefit from the standard WC(P)S interface.

During the 2-day workshop the attendants will be introduced to geospatial web service technologies in general and the standard interface Web Coverage Service in particular. Attendants will further get an overview of the EarthServer-2 consortium and available repositories of Big Earth data from different Earth Science communities.

The majority of the workshop will focus on practical examples and hands-on exercises how the traditional geospatial workflow can be redefined with the help of Web Coverage (Processing) Services. The examples and exercises cover different Earth Science communities, from Climate sciences and Marine sciences up to Planetary sciences and the Earth Observation community.

The workshop material will include Jupyter Notebooks for facilitated reproducibility of the examples presented and will be publicly available after the workshop.

More information to workshop agenda and registration will follow soon!