openEO - a common, open source interface between Earth Observation data infrastructures and front-end applications (openEO)


2017-10-01 – 2020-09-30

The capabilities of the latest generation of Earth observation satellites to collect large volumes of diverse and thematically
rich data are unprecedented. For exploiting these valuable data sets, many research and industry groups have started to
shift their processing into the cloud. Although the functionalities of existing cloud computing solutions largely overlap, there
are all custom-made and tailored to the specific data infrastructures. This lack of standards not only makes it hard for end
users and application developers to develop generic front-ends, but also to compare the cloud offerings by running the same
analysis against different cloud back-ends. To solve this, a common interface that allows end- and intermediate users to
query cloud-based back offices and carry out computations on them in a simple way is needed. The openEO project will
design such an interface, implement it as an open source community project, bind it to generic analytics front-ends and
evaluate it against a set of relevant Earth observation cloud back offices. The openEO interface will consist of three layers of
Application Programming Interfaces, namely a core API for finding, accessing, and processing large datasets, a driver APIs
to connect to back offices operated by European and worldwide industry, and client APIs for analysing these datasets using
R, Python and JavaScript. To demonstrate the capability of the openEO interface, four use cases based chiefly on Sentinel-1
and Sentinel-2 time series will be implemented. openEO will simplify the use of cloud-based processing engines, allow
switching between cloud-based back office providers and comparing them, and enable reproducible, open Earth observation
science. Thereby, openEO reduces the entry barriers for the adaptation of cloud computing technologies by a broad user
community and paves the way for the federation of infrastructure capabilities.


Project manager

Project members

Partners

  • Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
  • Wageningen University
  • Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek
  • EODC Earth Observation Data Centre for Water Resources Monitoring GmbH
  • mundialis GmbH and Co. KG
  • Sinergise Laboratorij Za Geografske Informacijske Sisteme Doo
  • EURAC research (European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano)
  • Solenix Schweiz GmbH
  • Joint Research Centre - European Commission