CCS Pilot

For more information please contact innovation [at] (subject: CCS%20Pilot%20Information)


 Climate Change Services Pilot

1. Join us to Accelerate Climate Change Data Interoperability

The Open Geospatial Consortium is offering sponsorship opportunities to support the OGC Climate Change Service Pilot 2022. The objective of this pilot is to accelerate our collective readiness for accessing, fusing and analyzing climate and non-climate data to contribute to the global push for achieving climate resilience. Our goal is to develop a reliable foundation for decision ready data services for climate change adaptation actions. For this purpose, OGC members engaged in this pilot will develop a series of demonstrators that show the exploitation of climate data as part of a multi-step process as depicted in the figure below.


As illustrated, big raw data in the form of climate data together with climate monitoring and other earth observation data from satellites and ground stations requires further processing in order to be ready for analysis and climate change assessments. Applying data enhancement steps such as bias adjustments, re-gridding, or calculation of climate indicators and essential variables leads to Decision Ready Climate Data. In the next step, the enhanced data is fused with additional non-climate data such as hydrography, land cover and land use, biodiversity, topography, and other data to produce Decision Ready Data. This Decision Ready Data can then be explored and visualized by OGC Climate Change Pilot demonstrators, eventually leading to providing decision makers everywhere with the information, the tools and the visualizations they need to address adaptation and mitigation actions moving towards climate resilience.

By sponsoring the OGC Climate Change Service Pilot, organizations can collaborate on building the foundation for climate and non-climate data integration processes based on standardized APIs and resource models. The pilot demonstrators will unveil interoperability and integration issues, help to define the essential data processing functions, and establish a practical, repeatable, documented, community-driven and vetted step from existing, disconnected platforms, to integration-ready services. To get in contact, please use the OGC Innovation Program contact form. Response period ends *December 31st, 2021.

2. Background

OGC technologies already play an essential role in the context of climate data discovery, exchange, and analysis. As an example, the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) implements steps necessary to generate a consistent set of Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). With OGC Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Coverage Services (WCS) for data access and visualisation, instances of the OGC Catalogue Service for the Web (CSW) to express metadata for all CCI data stored in the CCI data archive, the CCI builds on OGC technologies to satisfy Global Climate Observing System’s (GCOS) monitoring principles on data systems. CCI’s products are then further developed into operational systems by non-ESA entities including the Climate Data Store (CDS) of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), EUMETSAT and its Satellite Applications Facilities, and other climate service initiatives with their data integration and analyses systems (e.g., the Data Integration and Analysis Systems, DIAS, and the emerging Earth Environmental Information Platforms).

Members of the climate change and impact community have prompted OGC to support the community with its standards, services and best practices. They identified the opportunity for doing this effectively by targeting the interface between climate and other domains rather than seeking to model the full complexity within the climate domain itself. OGC standards provide a lift up with the development of APIs for services reducing the effort needed to establish community consensus and accelerating the impact.

3. Technical Challenges

Realizing the delivery of Decision Ready Data on demand to achieve Climate Resilience involves a number of technical challenges that have already been identified by the community. A subset will be selected and embedded in use cases that will be defined jointly by sponsors and the OGC team. Goal is to ensure a clear value enhancement pipeline as illustrated in figure 1 above. This includes, among other elements, a baseline of standardised operators for data reduction and analytics. These need to fit into an overall workflow providing translation services between upstream model data and downstream output, basically from raw data to analysis ready data to decision ready data. The following technical challenges have been identified:

  • Data Discovery: With the emergence of new data platforms, new processing functionalities and thus new products, data discovery remains a challenge. In addition to existing solutions based on established metadata profiles and catalog services, new technologies such as OGC’s Spatio-Temporal Asset Catalog (STAC) and open Web APIs such as OGC API-Records will be explored.

  • Data Access and Processing: The new OGC API suite of Web APIs for data access, subsetting, and processing is currently utilized very successfully in several domains. Several code sprints have shown that server-side solutions can be realized within days and clients can interact very quickly with these server endpoints, thus development time is radically reduced. A promising specialized candidate for climate data and non-climate data integration has been recently published in the form of the Environmental Data Retrieval (EDR) API. Which additional APIs are needed for climate data? Is the current set of OGC APIs sufficiently qualified to support the data enhancement pipeline illustrated in figure 1? If not, what modifications and extensions need to be made available? How do OGC APIs cooperate with existing technologies such as THREDDS and OPEnDAP?

  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence plays an important role in the context of data science and data integration. The pilot needs to evaluate the applicability of machine learning models in the context of the value enhancing processing pipeline. What information needs to be provided to describe machine learning models and corresponding training data sufficiently to ensure proper usage at various steps of the pipeline? Upcoming options to deploy ML/AI within processing APIs to enhance climate services are rising challenges e.g. on how to initiate or ingest training models and the appropriate learning extensions for the production phase of ML/AI.

  • Data Cubes have been recently explored in the OGC data cube workshop. Ad-hoc creation and embedded processing functions have been identified as essential ingredients for efficient data exploration and exchange. Is it possible to transfer these concepts to all stages of the processing pipeline? How to scale both ways from local ad hoc cubes to pan continental cubes and vice versa. How to extend cubes as part of fusioning and data integration processes?

  • Data Exchange Formats: What data formats need to be supported at the various interfaces of the processing pipeline? What is the minimum constellation of required formats to cover the majority of use cases? What role do container formats play?

  • Data Governance: Many archives include data from several production cycles, such as IPCC AR 5 and AR 6 models. In this context, long term support needs to be realized and full traceability from high level data products back to the original raw data needs to be ensured.

  • Linked Data and Data Semantics: Proper and common use of shared semantics is essential to guarantee solid value-enhancement processes. At the same time, resolvable links to procedures, sampling and data process protocols, and used applications ensure transparency and traceability of decisions and actions based on data products. What level is currently supported? What infrastructure is required to support shared semantics? What governance mechanisms need to be put in place?

4. OGC Innovation Program

The OGC Innovation Program (OGC IP) is an innovative, collaborative, and hands-on engineering and rapid prototyping program. In the IP, OGC members bring forward technology and technology integration challenges. These challenges are refined and mapped to a set of requirements, use cases, and implementation scenarios and eventually addressed in different types of initiatives. These initiatives bring OGC vendors and research institutions together with sponsoring organizations. Coordinated and managed by the OGC IP Team, each initiative has the goal to stepwise increase Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) for domain-driven solutions, including software architecture, interface design, information and data models, as well as related standards, specifications and best practices. Run globally, the Innovation Program further validates and tests geospatial technology and innovations based on OGC standards and influences future OGC strategic work items.

This OGC Climate Change Pilot initiative will be conducted according to the OGC Innovation Program policies and procedures. A pilot unites technology users with technology solution providers in a fast-paced collaborative prototyping environment to test and evaluate implementation of existing or emerging standards and best practices. Pilots serve as an incubator to prioritize, encourage, and accelerate the pace at which standards-based capabilities are deployed to improve interoperability within a specific domain or user community.

5. Timeline

TThe following figure illustrates the tentative timeline. The OGC Team will work with sponsoring organizations to adjust the timeline based on funding and timing constraints.


The Call for Sponsors remains open until December 31st, 2021. Afterwards, OGC will, together with the sponsoring organizations, develop the Call for Participation. This Call for Participation describes the exact requirements that shall be addressed in the pilot and will be launched publicly. OGC member organizations are eligible for responding to the call and will be invited to submit their proposals by mid February. OGC and the sponsoring organizations select the organizations best fit based on their experience and products to meet the objectives. We expect to organize a kick-off meeting in May 2022. The pilot will tentatively end September 2022 with results being presented at the OGC Member Meeting. As said, this is a tentative timeline and can be adopted to sponsors' needs.

6. Get in Contact

If you are interested in joining this exciting opportunity to ​​contribute to our collective efforts to address climate resilience by enhancing the integration potential amongst our current climate services information systems, please contact the OGC Innovation Program via the OGC Innovation Program contact form. *Response period ends December 31st, 2021.

To download a PDF copy of this Call for Sponsors, please click here.