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Semantic services and systems for Earth Observation products: an ESA/ESRIN initiative (public)
Convener: Mattia Santoro  | Co-Convener: Paolo Mazzetti 
Tue, 29 Apr, 13:30–15:00

Access to Earth Observation products remains not at all straightforward for end users in most domains. Semantically-enabled search engines, generally accessible through Web portals, have been developed. They allow searching for products by selecting application-specific terms and specifying basic geographical and temporal filtering criteria. Although this mostly suits the needs of the general public, the scientific communities require more advanced and controlled means to find products. Ranges of validity, traceability (e.g. origin, applied algorithms), accuracy, uncertainty, are concepts that are typically taken into account in research activities. The majority of current systems require the EO products to be annotated with controlled vocabularies that have not been standardized.
These limitations prevent other organizations (scientific communities, commercial companies) from implementing their own compatible solutions, adapted to their own requirements and application domains.
The Prod-Trees project funded by ESA ESRIN, coordinated by Space Applications Services and with the contribution of CNR-IIA and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, aims to provide a standardized solution that permits annotating EO products in such a manner that official and third-party software libraries and tools will be able to search for products using advanced tags and controlled parameter names. Annotated EO products will be automatically supported by all the compatible software. Because the entire product's information will come from the annotations and the standards, there will be no need for integrating extra components and data structures that have not been standardized. In particular a new convention for netCDF the EO-netCDF has been proposed to allow storing metadata that better describe the products, and in particular EO products.
A technology demonstrator, partially re-using components from the ESA RARE platform, is defined and used to demonstrate the new capabilities made possible by the EO-netCDF format.

During the Splinter Meeting the current prototype of enhanced ESA RARE system will be presented with a live demonstration. Then the technological solutions and the EO-netCDF convention will be presented. An open discussion collecting feedbacks and suggestions will conclude the meeting.

Public information: Access to Earth Observation products remains not at all straightforward for end users in most domains. Semantically-enabled search engines may help users enabling the discovery of EO products by selecting application-specific terms. This requires advanced semantic tools for discovery, and standardized solutions for annotating EO products.
The Prod-Trees project, funded by ESA/ESRIN, has developed an EO convention for netCDF (compliant with the CF convention) and an advanced infrastructure enabling semantic discovery through knowledge bases exploration and reasoning. A platform, partially re- using components from the ESA RARE platform, has been developed to demonstrate the project achievements.


Project presentation
Live demo
Enabling technologies
Open discussion