Who are we?
Land Monitoring can refer to the monitoring of urban, built-up and natural environments to identify certain features or changes over areas of interest as well as to the assessment of natural resources. Land Monitoring is a transversal issue common to a number of user communities; the main aim is to provide useful information to those entities that have to make informed decisions to address environmental, scientific, humanitarian, health, political and security issues as well as to adopt sustainable management practices.
In this scenario, Earth Observation (EO) data play an important role and activities related to their exploitation are currently coordinated by European programmes such as Copernicus.
The European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen) represents the Land Monitoring virtual research community (VRC) which is broadly composed of a number of user communities having different goals but using the same space assets and similar services/techniques for monitoring the land. SatCen is collecting user requirements from the Land Monitoring community, implementing an appropriate use case related to Land Monitoring for Secure Societies (based on data from Copernicus), and testing the functionalities and the infrastructure created by EVER-EST.
Why we need EVER-EST
The rapidly increasing amount and variety of data suitable for Land Monitoring coming from satellites and other sources has created new challenges such as the management and exploitation of extremely large and complex datasets, the extraction of knowledge from very large volumes of data in a timely manner, and the development of on-line collaborative environments (based on cloud computing) to support it.
The Land Monitoring community has a requirement to exploit this increasingly large amount of data. A key element is the development of automatic tools for data management and processing which need to be integrated into the entire data chain in order to reduce the amount of human and economic resources required, and to deal efficiently with data analysis procedures.
The EVER-EST tools and services will provide the Land Monitoring VRC with the capacity to access, process, analyze and visualize data available in a dedicated catalogue and to run a chain of image processing operators that are based on open toolboxes and implemented in a distributed system. This will allow the Land Monitoring VRC to fully exploit the computational capabilities of the EVER-EST infrastructure to analyze and visualize the final output that is represented as a map of changes for a specific area of interest, and to store this output in a Research Object where authorized users can potentially access the information derived from the the whole processing chain.
The EVER-EST VRE will also facilitate the exploitation of data from the Sentinel satellites, part of the Copernicus programme, which guarantee open and up-to-date information through a set of services dedicated to environmental and security issues.