ESA Leads the Way to Further Democratize GeoData and GeoServices Use for R&D
Today the European Space Agency (ESA) announces opening of a new Earth Observation (EO) data hosted-processing facility ran by ESA and hosted by CloudEO, a Munich-based start-up company, which will be managing this service for ESA on the EOhopS portal. This free offer is limited to R&D users from academia and industries.
ESA is an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states, dedicated to the exploration of space. It has long been supporting scientific users and developers of EO applications by providing access to its own mission data and so-called Third Party Mission data. Through this partnership, ESA, upon evaluating a project proposal, will make satellite acquisitions from ESA’s partner agencies and from commercial data providers available for free to the broad R&D community allowing scientists and R&D users from businesses to analyze commercial and Sentinel data in a powerful hosted-processing environment for their projects. “This is amazing! It opens so many opportunities for research and development both by scientists and businesses ultimately benefiting the society”, says Prof. Dr. Patrick Ole Noack, who is teaching Agricultural Technology at Hochschule Weihenstephan-Triesdorf.
The EOhopS portal is indeed a very creative way to use GeoData utilizing diverse IT infrastructure, including ready-to-use GeoAnalytics in a complete package and on one platform - CloudEO’s workbench.
The company is a pioneer of bringing the “shared economy” concept to GeoServices industry. With this project, it has opened processing tools hosted on CloudEO platform for R&D. This includes ENVI (geospatial software solution to process and analyze all types of imagery and data such as multispectral, hyperspectral, LiDAR), IDL (trusted scientific programming language used across disciplines to extract meaningful visualizations out of complex numerical data) and the ESA Sentinel Application Platform (SNAP) toolbox. On the EOhopS platform a user can upload own content, like in-situ measurement data or scientific algorithms to the virtual workbench. “This is where the space data and GeoServices industry are heading – democratizing GeoData making it broadly available, accessible and usable, and with this project ESA is leading the way opening GeoData for R&D”, says Dr. Manfred Krischke, CloudEO’s founder and CEO, who himself holds a PhD in aerospace engineering.
The payment on EOhopS Store will be processed by CloudEO through digital credits provided by ESA to users free of charge allowing them to flexibly spend them during the approved research project.
All EO data and software can be booked for the whole project as well as on a short-term basis. "Staying within the same budget, users can develop and test their new algorithms on a larger variety of data sets and tools. This is a big advantage for creating reliable and competitive GeoServices", says Dr. Ursula Benz, CloudEO's COO and EOhopS project manager. To simplify the selection of various data sets for the user, the EOhopS has a unified data search tool for accessing data from multiple vendors, and a smooth interface for ordering selected EO data sets and “Software as a Service”.
CloudEO hosts the EOhopS portal on CloudEO platform. Its most renowned providers include SI Imaging Services, DigitalGlobe, German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Harris Geospatial Solutions.
Access to the service is granted upon project submission to ESA. Free trials not requiring applications are also available!
“ESA is Europe's gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe's space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. This project is a step towards making GeoData to serve broader needs of the society and it is an example of opening opportunities for researchers and developers”, says Dr. Lena Stern, Mission Management Officer at ESA. “We envision a great number of GeoServices and innovations being developed in the nearest future using GeoData to serve agriculture, construction, logistics, insurance, maritime and other important industries”.