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EarthServer2: Web Services for Big Earth Data - a practical session on new ways of geospatial data access and processing
Convener: Oliver Clements  | Co-Conveners: Julia Wagemann , Simone Mantovani , Ramiro Marco Figuera 
Tue, 25 Apr, 08:30–10:00 / Room -2.16
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Web Coverage Service (WCS) and Web Coverage Processing Service (WCPS) are two standard data-access and processing protocols defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) that provide efficient on-demand access to and server-based processing of multi-dimensional / spatiotemporal geospatial datasets. WCS, which has officially been adopted as INSPIRE Coverage Download Service, provides access to the full range of geospatial data served from a web server and allows for requesting only a subset of the data. A WCS supports slice and trim operations, where either the data dimension (slice) or the data extent (trim) is reduced. WCPS is an extension of the WCS 2.0 core specification and allows the user to craft queries to be run on the data using a text based query language, similar to SQL. This allows the user to not only limit the data transfer to the area they are interested in, but also web-based, on-demand data processing such as generating a timeseries.

Unlike Web Mapping Service (WMS), another widely used OGC standard for geospatial datasets, which returns spatial data as an image or ‘static map’, WC(P)S returns data in its raw form, with its original semantics. This allows for further data processing or the building of web applications, while at the same time the data volume transferred is minimised.

The H2020-funded EarthServer2 project brings together multiple organisations in Europe, Australia and United States to create a federated data holding that allows web-based access to petabytes of multidimensional geospatial datasets. The partners cover different scientific domains including: ocean science, atmospheric science, climate science and planetary science. The aim is to create a spatial data infrastructure based on WCS providing efficient and timely retrieval of large volumes of geospatial data.

The short course will give an overview of the two standard data-access protocols and showcase how coverages and WCS services could be of benefit for Europe’s geospatial data landscape. It is aimed at providing hands-on training, showing how data can be accessed, processed and retrieved via a WC(P)S. Examples will show how geospatial data can be visualized on a virtual globe (ESA/NASA WebWorldWind) based on a WC(P)S query via any standard internet browser. After the short course, attendants will have a better understanding:

- about the web coverage service standard in general,

- about the different request types of a WCS and WCPS,

- how data can be accessed, processed and retrieved with the help of a WC(P)S, and

- how WC(P)S requests can easily be integrated into processing routines or used to build custom web-applications for visualisation

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