NextGEOSS, the next generation Global Earth Observation System of Systems, is a European research project in the EU Horizon 2020 programme where open data from earth observation (EO) are made available by a CKAN-based data hub to pilot applications for cloud-based numerically intensive calculations. Twenty-seven partners from research and business are collaborating on the project from 2016 to 2020. A detailed project description can be found on nextgeoss.eu. along with an overview of the partners.

Viderum is leading WP2 (the second of the project’s eight work packages), where it is responsible for the development of the Data Catalogue that will integrate references to all earth observation data provided by GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems) including consortium partners’ data. Leveraging the successful exploitation of publicdata.eu and CKAN’s harvesting capabilities, Viderum is building a catalogue that supports faceted as well as keyword searchs, making it easy for anyone to find relevant data sets. In addition to browser-based web access, there are several APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) available to let pilot programs in the cloud access the metadata, using for example the OpenSearch standard. An integrated external User Feedback Mechanism is also provided.

Additionally, Viderum ensures wider dissemination and uptake of the data by serving diverse data communities that previously have not been working with EO data. Through its training activities, Viderum has broad experience in teaching people how to work with data and also has extensive knowledge of what needs to be done to make data accessible and easier to work with. Applying this expertise at NextGEOSS, Viderum is enabling more groups of users to become familiar with EO data and its potential, providing more visibility to the GEOSS services offered by partners, and improving the exposure of Europe’s EO data to citizens and companies in Europe and beyond.

This figure illustrates the data flow. From the sources (e.g. satellite images), the metadata that describe the datasets are harvested into the CKAN database. Different metadata standards like DCAT, GeoDCAT etc. can be used. The metadata can be searched and accessed via the web with a GUI or through an API by the pilot applications for purposes of innovative research or business. The system is designed for end users in civil society, government and industry.