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New way to process big data receives boost from Copernicus Masters

A new service allowing scientists to query and analyse multiple petabyte scale datasets, spread over multiple data providers, using a single query has been recognised by Copernicus Masters.


The vast amounts of data produced by Europe's Copernicus environmental monitoring programme and its Sentinel satellites is leading to an ever-increasing number of products and applications for a widening array of businesses. While the amount of information can help develop accurate forecasting and provide a real insight into domains as disparate as agriculture and telecoms, a sea of data is no use if it can’t be interpreted. Now Copernicus Masters has recognised what an EU supported project is developing to address this problem. EARTHSERVER-2 delivers what creators describe as ‘game-changing new services’ by enhancing existing data archives with flexible, scalable query functionality, whose results will form a substantial contribution to GEOSS and Copernicus. As part of these services, the team has developed the Earth Observation Data Service, an extraordinary Big Data platform to enable fast and easy access to geospatial data to support time-series analysis. EO Data Service offers interoperable discovery, access, sub-setting, visualisation, processing and download services. There is a vast amount of geospatial data stored on distributed data centers and the application permits the analysis and use of this data with no need to transfer large volumes across infrastructures. The platform is a breakthrough which gives users the chance to manage the data lifecycle from collection to delivery of products. Stored data within the distributed infrastructures is made available through FAIR services (meaning the data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and can be Reproduced). The interface is a web application that allows the user to manipulate different environmental data at the same time, such as high resolution imaging, precipitation, temperature, vegetation status, without needing to download anything. The tool has been embraced by those dealing with geospatial big data. For example, the CNR-ISMAR research community in Bologna, Italy, has recently adopted the technology. It is saving them around 70 % of their time in data preparation for use in applications in the marine domain. Now Copernicus Masters, Europe’s leading innovation platform for commercial Earth observation applications, has recognised the project’s achievements. The service was a finalist of the Big Data Challenge 2017, and has been selected to take part in the Copernicus Accelerator project. The Accelerator is a project running under the auspices of the European Commission’s DG Growth, and is part of the Copernicus Start-up Programme, which is designed to accompany startups from the generation of a business idea to its full commercialisation. Service leader Simone Mantovani is very excited, ‘We are bringing to the market an incredible service to improve access to Copernicus data and with the support of the Copernicus mentor we are working on establishing and implementing an effective promotion plan.’ EARTHSERVER-2, built on the successes of the project’s previous iteration, will maintain and extend the lead in Big Earth Data services established in the highly successful EARTHSERVER-1 project. For more information please see: video on Project website


Germany, Italy

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