From Europe to the World, OGC’s Collaborative Solutions and Innovation (COSI) Program is proud of its ongoing contributions to European research topics related to geospatial data. The research topics are driven by projects co-funded by the European Commission (EC) and cover many different domains and fields of application, including data spaces, climate, digital building permits, agriculture, digital twins for the oceans, knowledge generation, and beyond. While these topics are high on the European research agenda, the challenges – as well as their solutions – have global application.
These EC-funded projects are organised as small or large consortiums where different organisations cover different aspects of the projects’ objectives. As one such organisation, OGC is proud to play its part in the European Digital Strategy that is helping to ensure a secure and sustainable life for citizens of Europe and beyond.
OGC’s COSI Program conducts and organises its research around a central theme of “Full Spectrum Interoperability and Agile Reference Architecture.” Full Spectrum Interoperability refers to capturing the many different facets of interoperability that exist between systems. Agile Reference Architecture explores how software architectures can be developed and operated in a cost-efficient, agile, and sustainable manner that also maximises interoperability between systems. This research theme is therefore complementary to the European Digital Strategy.
Much of OGC’s current European work was showcased at the OGC European Innovation Days at Data Week Leipzig 2023. This blog post serves to provide an overview of that work and more for those who couldn’t attend – and who don’t want to have to wait for the next OGC European Innovation Days showcase, to be held July 2024 at FOSS4G Europe in Tartu, Estonia.
Strong progress is being made towards Common European Data Spaces with the projects All Data for Green Deal (AD4GD) and Urban Data Space for Green Deal (USAGE). In both of these projects, OGC is contributing to the development of interoperable, federated systems that support information dissemination and knowledge generation. Such systems will use OGC Standards to enable interoperability at several technical and administrative levels and optimise the value chain that transforms raw data into decision-ready information.
AD4GD’s mission is to co-create and shape the European Green Deal Data Space as an open hub for FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) data and standards-based services that support the key priorities of pollution, biodiversity, and climate change. The focus is on interoperability concepts that will bridge the semantic and technology gaps that are currently preventing stakeholders and application domains from accessing multi-disciplinary and multi-scale data. These gaps are also impeding the full exploitation of processing services and processing platforms at different levels, including Cloud, HPC and edge computing. AD4GD recently published this blog post summarising its second plenary meeting, which was co-located with Data Week Leipzig 2023.
The Horizon Europe USAGE project aims to provide solutions and mechanisms for making city-level environmental and climate data FAIR – and thus available to everyone. Leveraging standards for data and service interoperability, such solutions combine innovative governance mechanisms, consolidated arrangements, AI-based tools, and data analytics to streamline the sharing, access, and use of authoritative and crowdsourced city-level Earth Observation (EO) and Internet of Things (IoT) data.
In both of these projects, OGC Standards will play a fundamental part in enabling the resulting FAIR solutions. The main research challenge is developing Building Blocks for common data problems. These Building Blocks bring together data models, examples, code snippets, and schemas, and undergo continuous testing to make them easily accessible and usable by developers, modellers, and users. The goal is to identify and describe common patterns that exist across communities. This will lead to enhanced interoperability within and between data spaces.
Interested in learning more about Data Spaces? OGC will host a session on European common data spaces at the 2023 INSPIRE Conference this November.
OGC’s current crop of climate-related projects seek to support FAIR climate services and streamline the value chain that transforms raw data into decision-ready information.
Specifically, as part of the Climate Intelligence (CLINT) project, OGC is developing blueprints for transforming scientific algorithms into climate application packages that can be deployed, regardless of their backend, in the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) Climate Data Store (CDS). More widely, the CLINT project seeks to develop Machine Learning (ML) techniques and algorithms that climate scientists can use to process the large climate datasets required for predicting and identifying the causes of extreme events such as heatwaves, warm nights, droughts, and tropical cyclones.
Focusing on the health impacts of climate change, the CLIMOS (Climate Monitoring and Decision Support Framework for Sand Fly-borne Diseases Detection and Mitigation with COst-benefit and Climate-policy MeasureS) project aims to mitigate the emergence, transmission, and spread of pathogens by sand flies. The project is establishing an Early Warning System and decision support tools for more accurate climate and health models. It will also provide predictions of infection risk and spread, as well as adaptation options. OGC is addressing the interoperability challenges faced when combining health, environmental, Earth observation, and climate model data.
Digital Building Permits
OGC is bringing its geospatial expertise to the digitalisation of building permits across two projects: ACCORD and CHEK. Albeit with a different focus, both projects aim to transform what is currently a largely manual process into a semi-automated one that allows building applications to be submitted in digital form.
In support of sustainability and resource conservation, the ACCORD (Automated Compliance Checks for Construction, Renovation, or Demolition works) has a strong focus on regulations analysis and the use of ontologies and linked data to automate the compliance checks. ACCORD will develop a semantic framework for European digital building permit processes, regulations, data, and tools. This framework will drive the formalisation of rules and the integration of existing compliance tools as Standards-based microservices, for example using OGC APIs. The solutions and tools being developed by ACCORD will provide consistency, interoperability, and reliability with national regulatory frameworks, processes, and standards.
The CHEK (Change toolkit for digital building permit) project is looking at the entire workflow for the digitalisation of building permits and is facilitating the introduction of digital building permit procedures for municipalities by developing flexible, adaptable solutions that take into account all the rules and conditions of the procedure. As with ACCORD, CHEK is using a Standards-based microservices approach to its architecture. CHEK will also develop training for municipalities, which will be made available through the Location Innovation Academy (see below).
As part of CHEK, OGC is investigating how needs-based data models can be derived dynamically as profiles of common conceptual models. The goal is to leave behind the basic problems of standardised data models. Due to their ambition to comprehensively represent a domain, they tend to be over-specified. On the other hand, to adapt to the needs of different use cases, they allow too much flexibility in implementation and modelling details. OGC is currently focused mostly on the transformation of administrative data using ontologies generated from CityGML and CityJSON.
The DEMETER project, which is now coming to an end, has helped to digitally transform Europe’s agri-food sector. DEMTER adopted advanced IoT technologies, data science, and smart farming to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the agriculture sector. One of the key results is the production of an Agriculture Information Model (AIM). The AIM is a data model and ontology for agriculture applications that ensures semantic interoperability between data and components involved in agri-food applications. To further enhance the AIM, OGC has now formed the Agriculture Information Model Standards Working Group (AIM SWG). The OGC AIM will provide a common language for agriculture applications to harmonise and improve data and metadata exchange by defining the required data elements, including concepts, properties, and relationships relevant to agriculture applications, as well as their associated semantics/meaning for information exchange.
Oceans and the Blue Economy
The Iliad Digital Twins of the Ocean project is developing a federated, multidimensional representation of the maritime and oceanic ecosystem. As with many of these projects, OGC Standards will be used to enhance the value chain as data sourced from smart IoT, satellite Earth Observations, and Citizen Science is transformed into decision-ready information and knowledge. As such, it fits perfectly into the OGC focus theme of “marine spaces.”
Iliad is developing several Digital Twin pilots in a number of key areas, including: wind energy; renewable energy from the ocean (currents, waves & floating solar); fisheries & aquaculture; marine traffic & harbour safety; pollution; met ocean data (hind, now & forecasts); biodiversity assessments & monitoring; and insurance for marine & maritime activities.
OGC is involved in defining the standards-based Data Transfer Object (DTO) data management APIs built on the OGC APIs framework, as well as ensuring semantic interoperability between the APIs, Citizen Science, and thematic domains. Finally, we are leading standardisation and best practice tasks to enable the solution to fit within the ecosystem of the Digital Twin of the Earth.
Location Innovation Academy
The recently launched Location Innovation Academy is a free online training program based on the knowledge and ideas generated by the GeoE3 project. The free online academy empowers users to improve the accessibility, interoperability, and integration of their geospatial data and services. The academy is currently targeted towards national mapping agencies, meteorological institutions, and other organisations producing or using geospatial data from different countries. The Academy aims to help overcome the interoperability gaps that still exist between European countries.
The Location Innovation Academy also serves as the experimentation platform for a future OGC Academy that will help learners access and exploit the enormous amounts of knowledge generated by OGC. The Location Innovation Academy is hosted by OGC at academy.ogc.org. In support of the academy, OGC is also a Pact For Skills Member.
The Academy continues to be the main component of the DIS4SME project. DIS4SME aims to provide SMEs with high quality specialised training courses on data interoperability across different areas, including location data.
By Europe, for the World
As a participant in projects funded by the European Commission, OGC’s COSI Program – with its complementary research theme of “Full Spectrum Interoperability and Agile Reference Architecture” – is proud to develop valuable solutions that support the European Digital Strategy and help ensure a secure and sustainable life for not only the citizens of Europe, but the entire world.
The next OGC European Innovation Days showcase will be held July 2024 at FOSS4G Europe in Tartu, Estonia.
OGC is also hosting a session on European common data spaces at the 2023 INSPIRE Conference this November.
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