Big and Open Data Challenges in Earth Sciences

This Session is taking place on Day 1, 09 April 2013, 14:45-15:45pm

Session Schedule

14:45 - 15:05pm
Image Information Mining for Exploration of Earth Observation Data: the Sentinel Challenges
Mihai Datcu (German Aerospace Center – DLR)

Collected Earth Observation data volumes are increasing immensely with a rate of several terabytes of data per day. With the current Earth Observation technologies, this figure will be soon amplified; the horizon is beyond zettabytes of data, as for instance with data from the Sentinel satellites that will soon be launched by the European Space Agency. The challenge is the exploration of this data and the timely delivery of focused information and knowledge in a simple understandable format. Therefore, search engines and data mining for Earth Observation are new fields of study that have arisen to seek solutions to automating the extraction of information from Earth Observation repositories and other related sources that can lead to knowledge discovery and the creation of an actionable intelligence.

15:05 - 15:25pm
Opening up Earth Observation Data using Scientific Database, Semantic Web and Linked Data Technologies
Manolis Koubarakis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)

We show how technologies from scientific databases, semantic web and linked geospatial data can unlock the potential of Earth Observation data by presenting a fire monitoring application that we developed in project TELEIOS. This application is currently operational in the National Observatory of Athens, and it has been used by civil protection agencies in Greece during the fires of the Summer 2013. TELEIOS is a recent European project that studies techniques and tools for scalable access to Big Earth Observation data and the development of related systems and applications.

15:25 - 15:45pm
Towards Ad-Hoc Analytics on Big Earth Data: the EarthServer Initiative
Peter Baumann (Jacobs University Bremen)


Speaker Bios

Mihai Datcu  received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electronics and telecommunications from the University Politehnica of Bucharest (UPB), Romania, in 1978 and 1986, respectively. In 1999, he received the title "Habilitation à diriger des recherches" in computer science from University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France. Since 1981, he has been a Professor with the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology, UPB, working in signal/image processing and Electronic Speckle Interferometry. Since 1993, he has been a scientist with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. He is developing algorithms for analyzing Very High Resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (VHR SAR) and Interferometric SAR (InSAR) data. He is engaged in research related to information theoretical aspects and semantic representations in advanced communication systems. Currently, he is Senior Scientist and Image Analysis research group leader with the Remote Sensing Technology Institute of DLR, Oberpfaffenhofen. Since 2011, he is also leading the Immersive Visual Information Mining research laboratory at the Munich Aerospace Faculty and is director of the Research Center for Spatial Information at UPB. He has held Visiting Professor appointments with the University of Oviedo, Spain, University Louis Pasteur and the International Space University, in Strasbourg, France, University of Siegen, Germany, University of Camerino, Italy, and the Swiss Center for Scientific Computing, Manno, Switzerland. From 1992 to 2002 he had a longer Invited Professor assignment with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich. Since 2001, he has initiated and leaded the Competence Centre on Information Extraction and Image Understanding for Earth Observation, at ParisTech, Telecom Paris, a collaboration of DLR with the French Space Agency (CNES). He has been Professor holder of the DLR-CNES Chair at ParisTech, Telecom Paris. His interests are in information and complexity theory, stochastic processes, Bayesian inference, and Image Information Mining (IIM). He and his team have developed and are currently developing the operational IIM processor in the Payload Ground Segment systems for the German missions TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X, and the ESA Sentinel 1 and 2. He is the author of more than 200 scientific publications, among them about 50 journal papers, and a book on number theory. He is a member of the European Image Information Mining Coordination Group (IIMCG) and of the Data Archiving and Distribution Technical Committee (DAD TC) of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society, and IEEE Fellow.

Manolis Koubarakis is a Professor in the Dept. of Informatics and Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He has published more than 120 papers that have been widely cited in the areas of Artificial Intelligence (especially Knowledge Representation), Databases, Semantic Web and Linked Data. His research has been financially supported by the European Commission, the Greek General Secretariat for Research and Technology and industry sources (Microsoft Research and British Telecommunications). He is currently co-ordinating project TELEIOS ( which is building a Virtual Earth Observatory using a combination of technologies based on Linked Data, Semantic Web (geospatial extensions of RDF and SPARQL) and Databases (array extensions of SQL). He also participates in Optique (, a recent European effort in the area of Big Data with application scenarios from the energy sector (Statoil and Siemens).

Peter Baumann (Jacobs University Bremen) - tba