Big Data from Space… directly to the Users

Frascati, 12 June 2013. How can we make the large amounts of Earth observation data accessible to a wider user community? To explore this idea, some 250 science, industry and policy-making representatives and national delegates from Europe, the US, Australia, China, and Africa met at ESA’s ESRIN space centre in Frascati, Italy for ESA’s first ‘Big Data from Space’ event.

Data from Earth observing satellites and other remote sensing technologies are growing in volume and diversity at an exceptionally fast rate. This poses challenges and opportunities for their quick access, stewardship and applications.

Peter Baumann was invited to present Jacobs University’s research on flexible, scalable search and processing on huge data archives, Overall, more than 50 presentations during the three-day conference stimulated discussion between the different communities involved in the business of providing and manipulating very large-scale data and complex analyses of satellite and in situ Earth observations.

Diversity of space data, the combined use of data from different space missions and the fusion of satellite data with non-space data lead to new types of user applications. This affects the way such data are collected, processed, delivered and preserved. There is an increasing need to serve a wider user community looking to retrieve simple, understandable and immediate information from remotely sensed data that have undergone complex processes and analyses.

Given the overwhelming success of the event, ESA is now considering whether this can become a recurring event.