Earth Observation Exploitation Platform DWG


Landgraf, Guenther (European Space Agency (ESA))
Goncalves, Pedro (Terradue Srl)
Ahola, Ryan (GeoConnections - Natural Resources Canada)

Group Description:


Platforms for the Exploitation of Earth Observation (EO) data in the last years have been developed by public and private companies in order to foster the usage of EO data and expand the market of Earth Observation-derived information.  The domain is composed of platform providers, service providers who use the platform to deliver a service to their users, and data providers.

This Domain Working Group charter defines the role for OGC activities within the Earth Observation Data Exploitation platform domain and provide an open forum for the discussion and presentation of interoperability requirements, use cases, pilots, and implementations of OGC standards in this domain. This Charter is to be presented to the OGC’s Technical and Planning committees for consideration.

Working Group

Operation of OGC Domain Working Group follows the policies and procedures of the Technical Committee

Purpose of the EO Exploitation Platform Working Group


This domain working group is proposed in order to foster interoperability (i.e. the pre-requisites for successful interaction between platform components and across platforms) among Exploitation Platforms and their components. To this end, the working group will act as an open form for discussion and documentation of interoperability requirements for the domain in order to drive OGC standards evolution towards better support for the use cases of the EO Exploitation Platforms.

Problem Statement

The increasingly huge amount of EO satellite data daily available and In-Situ data has incentivized the creation of several web accessible platforms which allows scientists and commercial operators to use such data without the need to download content and have in-house Information Technology infrastructure to manage the large volume of data.

EO Exploitation platforms have been independently developed by public organization or commercial companies, but all share a common set of functionalities:

·       Cataloguing and searching;

·       Storage and access;

·       Visualization;

·       Data processing and analysis; and

·       User Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting.

These platforms, however, has many different implementations, with interfaces and data formats which often hampers interoperability among platforms. In fact, the next step in this data exploitation revolution is to link the platforms together creating an ecosystem, potentially across different administrative domains, in which each platform can contribute with the offered services to the implementation of more complex use cases.

This Domain Working Group is meant to bring together services and technology providers for the Earth Observation Data Exploitation Platform in order to define a framework within the OGC’s body of standards for the platforms interfaces.


The EO Exploitation Platform DWG is meant to be a forum for service and technology providers of the EO data Exploitation Platforms in order to foster interoperability between platforms and platforms services by means of the OGC’s body of standards.

Charter Members

The initial membership of the EO Exploitation Platform WG will consist of the following members and individuals with extensive education and experience in EO Exploitation Platform issues, namely:



Nuno Catarino


Nuno Almeida


Stan Tillman


Don Sullivan


Pedro Gonçalves


Lucio Colaiacomo


Erwin Goor


Jeff de La Beaujardiere


Cristiano Lopes


Key Activities

The EO Exploitation Platform WG is intended to perform the following activities:

1.     Identify and promote a standard set of interfaces and specifications for the EO Exploitation Platform core services;

2.     Monitor the evolution of EO Exploitation Platform functional and implementation needs;

3.     Issue Change Requests (CRs) to relevant OGC standards to meet the needs of the domain without sacrificing cross-domain utility; and

4.     Engage with service and technology suppliers of EO Exploitation Platforms internal or external to the OGC by means of conferences and workshops.

Business Case

In the domain of EO Exploitation Platforms is of paramount importance for the evolution of the EO market to allow interoperability between implementation of different vendors and unlock the possibility to create complex services by linking together a set of services residing in different platforms, potentially across different administrative domains.

In particular, this means that starting from the generic needs of an Exploitation Platform, it is necessary to identify a core set of services which the DWG recommends to promote interoperability. Depending on the kind of service interoperability can be reached by defining a standard set of metadata (e.g., for products and value-added services), a common taxonomy (e.g., to allow univocally identification of the same resources on different platforms), a standardized API (e.g., for the invocation of platform services), a common way to describe geographic coordinates (e.g., to allow data fusion), and so on. In practice, almost the whole set of standards and the technical challenges tackled by the OGC are embraced in this DWG and contextualized to the specificities of the EO data Exploitation Platforms.

The Charter Members of this DWG considered whether the effort should be a part of the Earth Systems Science DWG in the March 2018 OGC Technical Committee Meeting, but voted to create a new DWG as the paradigm for this work is aligned more with information technology than science.


Organizational Approach and Scope of Work


EO Exploitation Platform WG Business Goals

The EO Exploitation Platform WG will focus on the interoperability needs to create an ecosystem of EO Exploitation Platforms able to fulfill complex use cases and in such a way further increase the market of geo-information services,

In particular the WG will answer to the following questions.

1.     Which are the interfaces needed for an EO Exploitation Platform?

2.     Which are the interfaces needed to establish an ecosystem of platforms, potentially across different administrative domains and how they are related?

3.     Which interoperability issues are present when connecting EO Exploitation Platforms?

4.     How can the use of EO Exploitation Platforms can be further extended?

EO Exploitation Platform Working Group: Mission and Role

The EO Exploitation Platform Working Group will concern itself with technology and technology policy issues, focusing on geodata information and technology interests as related to that EO Exploitation Platform domain and the means by which those issues are appropriately factored into the OGC standards development process.

1.     The mission of the EO Exploitation Platform Working Group is to identify interoperability issues between EO Exploitation Platforms and platform components and then examine ways in which those challenges can be met through application of existing OGC standards, or through development of new geospatial interoperability standards under the auspices of OGC.

2.     The role of the EO Exploitation Platform Working Group is to serve as a forum within OGC for EO Exploitation Platforms in order to present, refine, and focus interoperability-related issues to the Technical Committee; and to serve where appropriate as a liaison to other industry, government, independent, research, and standards organizations active within the EO Exploitation Platform domain.


Activities planned for EO Exploitation Platform Working Group

Activities to be undertaken by the EO Exploitation Platform DWG include, but are not limited to:

1.     Identify the OGC interface standards and encodings useful for EO Exploitation Platforms;

2.     Liaise with other OGC Working Groups (WGs) to drive standards evolution towards the support of the EO Exploitation platform use cases by developing CRs for existing OGC Standards – specific interactions are expected with the Earth Systems Science DWG, the Metadata and Catalog DWG, the EO Product Metadata and OpenSearch Standards Working Group (SWG), amongst others;

3.     Promote the usage of the aforementioned standards with the EO Exploitation Platform providers;

  1. Liaise with external groups working on technologies relevant to establishing ecosystems of EO Exploitation Platforms;
  2. Liaise with external groups working on relevant technologies;
  3. Publish OGC White Papers, Discussion Papers or Best Practices on interoperable interfaces for EO Exploitation Platforms.