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Next Generation GEOSS for Innovation Business

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NextGEOSS (Next Generation GEOSS for Innovation Business)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2018-05-31

NextGEOSS, an European contribution to GEOSS, is developing the next generation centralised hub for European Earth Observation data to support informed decision making. The concept revolves around providing the data and resources to the users communities supporting applications. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) encapsulate the main challenges of our society, and Earth observations can play a central role in supporting them. NextGEOSS is making its mission to act as an incubator to pilot applications contributing to the SDGs, supporting their evolution into operational, sistematic services.

NextGEOSS is expected to cover the fragmentation of access to data and resources supporting service developers in Europe. The NextGEOSS solution is to create a collaborative and standardised ecosystem where developers can find their way to build EO-based applications and services. NextGEOSS' data hub and platform are meant to serve as a unique access point for a wide range of European Earth observation data seamlessly connected to a distributed processing platform that provides analytic and technical resources. NextGEOSS will have several releases which will enable the respective improvement in-between releases.

The objectives of NextGEOSS are:
- to deliver the next generation European data hub and Earth Observation exploitation for innovation and business;
- to engage communities promoting innovative GEOS powered applications from Europe;
- to advocate GEOSS as a sustainable European approach for EO data distribution and exploitation.
During the first reporting period, two versions of NextGEOSS datahub were released:

1) Alpha Release
The Alpha Release was attained in June 2017, and consisted in the deployment of the catalogue and the beginning of the activities of the pilots. The catalogue was deployed including the harvest extension that allowed to add new harvesters (data connectors) for the identified data providers. The Sentinel data connector was the first harvester developed. Nevertheless, this harvest will be continuously updated to achieve a robust data connector that will respond effectively even with faults on the data providers side. Regarding Data Mining, a special attention is given to improve the cataloguing datasets and enriching the respective metadata. Some metadata enrichment is done during the harvesting process. The OpenSearch mechanism was improved to allow a wider range of possible queries to the catalogue.
The following was accomplished during this release:
- Deployment of NextGEOSS' services in cloud infrastructure;
- User support via on-boarding of pilot service partner users (including training sessions for Service Integration);
- Initial setup of the Analytics Engine, which will allows the team to uncover patterns and correlations;
- Implementation of User Management System (based on the SSO and Authentication via OpenID) .

2) Beta Release Overview
The Beta Release was achieved in April 2018. This release had as a requirement the full integration of the VITO's pilot - Crop Monitoring supporting Food Security - in the cloud platform, with the catalogue accessible via API.
The technical goals for the beta version and for the consolidation phase (EP-2) and the respective status are:
- To have three new pilots integrated and discovering data in the NextGEOSS catalogue through OpenSearch interface;
- To integrate one additional external pilot in the NextGEOSS Platform;
- Further Integration of NextGEOSS Components.

The Agricultural Monitoring supporting Food Security was the first pilot to be fully integrated and to benefit from the added value of using NextGEOSS platform and datahub. Since the pilot provides to its users a high level detailed information about crops (on a field level) a high spatial and temporal resolution dataset is required. Thanks to the NextGEOSS platform, the pilot has a direct access to both the required datasets as well as the computational resources to process the data. By providing a toolset of continuous integration and development components, the platform allows the pilot's developers to quickly integrate new workflows and features. This resulted in a processing workflow to create biophysical products based on the Sentinel 2 data, available within the NextGEOSS datahub. The cloud processing enabled the execution of the workflow without the need for any dedicated resources by the service provider. The resulting biophysical products were further integrated into other services which convert the data into visual imagery or allow the user to retrieve time series related data. The outputs of these channels are being used in the pilot dashboard allowing end-users to go and explore the data that was generated through NextGEOSS.
NextGEOSS is a European data hub and cloud processing platform. NextGEOSS' beta release was issued in April 2018, in which selected stakeholders (internal pilots and one external pilot) were invited to test the data hub. In the end of the year, NextGEOSS will have its first public release. Moreover, during the rest of the project, further releases are expected, with relevant updates.

NextGEOSS supports pilot applications that address key GEOSS societal challenges, and directly engage with the researchers and developers, providing them with specific tools and scalable Cloud appliances, covering their requirements. During the project, all NextGEOSS pilots will be integrated in the platform and they will contribute to the updates of the upcoming releases.
Focusing on sustainable development and climate change mitigation, NextGEOSS is targeting new pilots that contribute to the SDGs, and follows an engagement and prioritization activities in that sense.

NextGEOSS is aiming at being recognized as an incubator for pilot applications, who are still in development stage (not yet in full operations).
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