ESIP/OGC Coverage Processing Sprint Results

Contributed by: 
George Percivall, Annie Burgess, Ingo Simonis

Opening session of the ESIP/OGC Coverage and Processing Analytics API Sprint
Opening session of the ESIP/OGC Coverage and Processing Analytics API Sprint from a Tweet by Matt Hanson, Element 84 

A joint OGC / ESIP Coverage and Processing Analytics API development sprint was held on January 6-7, 2020. The Sprint was held in conjunction with the ESIP Winter Meeting. This sprint builds on the OGC API Hackathon in June 2019, and the OGC API Features and Catalogues Sprint in November 2019. The ESIP/OGC sprint focused on OGC API-Coverages, API-Processes, and API-Common as part of the overall development of OGC APIs.

This series of hackathons and sprints came about because OGC is dedicated to making these APIs as developer friendly as possible. As such, OGC won’t upgrade them from ‘specifications’ to official OGC standards until:

  • Developers have had a chance to work with them and let us know what needs correction or improvement;
  • This input has been captured as GitHub issues; and
  • There is consensus that the issues have been addressed by updating the specification or another acceptable resolution.

So what are some of the ‘developer friendly’ features of the new suite of OGC APIs?

  • Modernized service/resource/REST architecture.
  • OpenAPI specification and toolkits.
  • Follow the OGC/W3C “Spatial Data on the Web” best practice.
  • Modularizes into OWS “building blocks” for reuse in any microservices APIs.

Further, the development of OGC APIs is an open process: happening in public GitHub repos, creating early implementations, in-depth validation, and a slow release after extensive implementation and testing.

So, with this in mind, the ESIP/OGC Coverage Processing Analytics Sprint objectives were to clarify requirements and methods for analytics on geospatial data, including rasters, non-uniformly distributed points, and other geospatial coverage data structures. By developing prototype functionality through running code, the sprint advanced draft versions of OGC API-Coverages, API-Process, and API-Common standards. OGC API-Coverages places the semantics of the Geospatial Coverages into an OpenAPI resource-oriented approach. To date, a basic access method for a coverage resource has been defined. OGC API-Coverages needs to be extended to include methods for analytics. Consistent with the OGC API approach, these coverage analytics methods are being made available as building blocks for reuse in APIs by any community.

A report of the Sprint results was made to the ESIP community at the end of the Sprint:

  • An Overview of the sprint was provided by Ingo Simonis.
  • Coverage API Development results were presented by multiple groups
    • pygeoapi - Tom Kralidis, Gregory Petrochenkov, James Gallagher
    • R Markdown - David Blodgett
    • OAPI-Coverages Demo: rasdaman Array DBMS - Peter Baumann
    • MAAP API_Coverages accessing CMR - Amiee Barciauskas
    • Coverages and Features including STAC - Matt Hanson
    • Scaling to large data holdings for NASA EOSDIS - Chris Lynnes, 
  • Feature/Coverage/Processing API Convergence was presented by Chuck Heazel, Richard Conway, Jérôme St-Louis. 
  • Specification updates plans was the final topic presented by Chuck Heazel, Stephan Meissel.

The Sprint was well received, receiving the following comments from participants and observers:

  • Great turnout of participants for the Sprint
  • Several developers in the sprint said that it was more hands on than they expected and that they were pleased with the outcomes
  • As with previous Sprints, this was very valuable to advancing implementations
  • Several comments focused on the value of the coordination of ESIP and OGC Communities.

The Next Steps in developing these APIs include:

  • Each of the API Specifications have a Branch based on the Sprint that will now be merged into main by the respective OGC Standards Working Groups.
  • Future Sprints were discussed including one at the ESIP Summer Meeting and as part of the OSGeo Code Sprint in Athens, Greece in May.
  • The results will be presented to the OGC TC as well as working with the OGC API-Common, API-Coverage, and API-Processing Standards Working Groups to ensure the specifications make this possible.

Results from the sprint can be found on the ESIP & OGC API -Coverage and -Processing Analytics Sprint Github page. More information on this and other OGC Sprints is available on the OGC Sprints page at