Open Earth Monitor — Global Workshop 2023

Patrick Griffiths

I am an Earth Observation Scientist at the European Space Agency (ESA), based in ESRIN, Italy. My main expertise is in developing analytical methods applied to large EO data volumes and time series in the context of land application domains. At ESA, a good part my work focusses on cloud-based enabling technologies that help abstracting underlying complexities when working with large EO data archives. Some of my activities also involve machine learning and dedicated tools that make working with these methods more efficient. I also continue working on vegetation phenology and biomass in rangeland/grassland ecosystems utilizing the synergies offered by the Sentinel missions.

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The ESA Green Transition Information Factories – using Earth Observation and cloud-based analytics to address the Green Transition information needs.
Patrick Griffiths

In response to the global climate and sustainability crisis, many countries have expressed ambitions goals in terms of carbon neutrality and a green economy. In this context, the European Green Deal comprises several policy elements aimed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

ESA is initiating various efforts to leverage on space technologies and data and support various Green Deal ambitions. The ESA Space for Green Future (S4GF) Accelerator will explore new mechanisms to promote the use of space technologies and advanced modelling approaches for scenario investigations on the Green Transition of economy and society.

A central element of the S4GF accelerator are the Green Transition Information Factories (GTIF). GTIF takes advantage of Earth Observation (EO) capabilities, geospatial and digital platform technologies, as well as cutting edge analytics to generate actionable knowledge and decision support in the context of the Green Transition.

A first national scale GTIF demonstrator has now been developed for Austria.
It addressed the information needs and national priorities for the Green Deal in Austria. This is facilitated through a bottom-up consultation and co-creation process with various national stakeholders and expert entities. These requirements are matched with various EO industry teams that

The current GTIF demonstrator for Austria (GTIF-AT) builds on top of federated European cloud services, providing efficient access to key EO data repositories and rich interdisciplinary datasets. GTIF-AT initially addresses five Green Transition domains: (1) Energy Transition, (2) Mobility Transition, (3) Sustainable Cities, (4) Carbon Accounting and (5) EO Adaptation Services.

For each of these domains, scientific narratives are provided and elaborated using scrollytelling technologies. The GTIF interactive explore tools allow various users to explore the domains and subdomains in more detail to investigate better understand the challenges, complexities, and underlying socio-economic and environmental conflicts. The GTIF interactive explore tools combine domain specific scientific results with intuitive Graphical User Interfaces and modern frontend technologies. In the GTIF Energy Transition domain, users can interactively investigate the suitability of locations at 10m resolution for the expansion of renewable (wind or solar) energy production. The tools also allow investigating the underlying conflicts e.g., with existing land uses or biodiversity constraints. Satellite based altimetry is used to dynamically monitor the water levels in hydro energy reservoirs to infer the related energy storage potentials. In the sustainable cities’ domain, users can investigate the photovoltaic installments on rooftops and assess the suitability in terms of roof geometry and expected energy yields.

GTIF enables users to inform themselves and interactively investigate the challenges and opportunities related to the Green Transition ambitions. This enables e.g. citizens to engage in the discussion process for the renewable energy expansion or support energy start-ups to develop new services. The GTIF development follows an open science and open-source approach and several new GTIF instances are planned for the next years, addressing the Green Deal information needs and accelerating the Green Transition. This presentation will showcase some of the GTIF interactive explore tools and provide an outlook on future efforts.

EURAC Auditorium