Open Earth Monitor — Global Workshop 2023

Analysis Ready Data
2023-10-05, 09:30–10:00, EURAC Auditorium

The concept of “Analysis Ready Data” (ARD) was initially developed around 2015 within the Committee on Earth Observation Satellite (CEOS). CEOS defines ARD as “satellite data that have been processed to a minimum set of requirements and organized into a form that allows immediate analysis with a minimum of additional user effort and interoperability both through time and with other datasets”. Over the course of the past few years CEOS has issued a number of so-called ‘Product Family Specifications’ (PFS) which cover a variety of different sensing methods and observed parameters. Institutional and commercial satellite data providers have accepted these specifications and by now a broad variety of satellite image products are available as “CEOS-ARD certified”.
The popularity of the concept and the expectation for the ARD ‘label’ in terms of simplified usability and interoperability of a wealth of EO data has spurred the desire to expand ARD beyond classical EO parameters by including higher level products and to cover geospatial data more generically. This prompted a discussion on which categories, levels, or classes of analysis ready data are needed and how they could be defined and distinguished. These considerations are now taken up by a formal ISO/OGC Standard Working Group (SWG) which was launched recently.
In the meantime, the amount of available geospatial data increases exponentially and many of these are available free&open and calling themselves ‘ARD’. However, users relying on their interoperability are often overwhelmed by their diversity and remaining inconsistencies which often require considerable effort before appropriate data can be selected and joined sensibly. Access to proper reference data and benchmarking methods is therefore an important factor for leveraging ‘ARD’ in the future.

This keynote will give an overview of the development of CEOS-ARD and provide an outlook on the upcoming work in the ISO/OGC SWG. It will highlight the challenges data interoperability poses within and beyond the current ‘ARD’ framework and report from some recent efforts to address these through combining top-down international collaboration and bottom-up community efforts. It will finally showcase, referring to recent initiatives, some limitations and obstacles which remain in the way of enabling widespread readiness and interoperability of geospatial data.

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Peter A. Strobl is a Senior Scientist at European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. He graduated with an MSc in Geophysics (1991) from the University of Munich, and holds a Ph.D. (2000) in Remote Sensing from the University of Potsdam. His main working area concerns the overall data architecture of the Copernicus Earth Observation programme, including the definition of standards, quality metrics and references for geospatial data. He is a member of various international working groups and advisory panels, including the NASA/USGS Landsat Science Team and the EC/ESA Sentinel-2 Quality Working Group, the Copernicus CHIME Mission Advisory Group, co-chair of the OGC Domain Working Group on Digital Global Grid Systems and of the CEOS Land Surface Imaging Virtual Constellation, and chair of the CEOS-WGCV Terrain Mapping Sub-Group.