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Global Standards for Big Geospatial Data, the Copernicus challenge

Peter Strobl, Michael Lutz, Jordi Escriu and Matthew Purss

(Submission #319)


The vast increase of Earth Observation data and their derived products, not the least from the Copernicus program, has provoked major challenges in providing access and processing solutions for this kind of ‘big data’. The envisaged integration of existing and future data infrastructures to cope with this challenge puts a strong focus on coordination, harmonisation and interoperability of data and services. For Europe, the INSPIRE initiative provides a comprehensive standardisation framework enabling interoperability between European geospatial data entities. The emphasis of these standards is however on the interface between data providers, allowing the exchange of data, which in their original form are not compatible, accepting the cost of conversion and reconversion as part of the transfer. What renders the interoperability of different raster data sources critical is the fact that their conversion from one reference system to another requires the re-assignment of cell values from the source to the destination grid. This ‘resampling’ is not only a computationally demanding operation, but it inherently entails a loss of information which is not only irreversible, but also accumulates with the number of conversions the data undergo. Although INSPIRE addressed also Geographic Grids, the current standards have shown to be of limited usability and have thus experienced low acceptance. The need for a common geographical grid system for the provision and exchange of (not only) European coverage data in the INSPIRE & Copernicus context has been identified by the respective INSPIRE Thematic Cluster and was confirmed during last year’s INSPIRE conference and MIG-T meetings. In the meantime the rapid ramp-up of Copernicus EO capacities and of its Data Information and Access Systems (DIAS) calls for an intensified effort to explore and valuate different options for global spatial grids systems, such as the ‘Discrete Global Grid Systems’ (DGGS), addressing the specific requirements of processing, archiving and disseminating very large distributed, multi-sensor, multiresolution raster data sets. We will report about the state of play of discussions between Copernicus, INSPIRE and other stakeholders and highlight the most recent developments that promise to provide solutions to this global standardisation challenge.


Topic Area:  [2.6] INSPIRE in the Cloud and On-line platforms for exposing, accessing and using spatial data and services, including the relevancy of INSPIRE for Big Data analytics.
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Comments:   Copernicus, Data Cube, Big Data

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