CEOS Working Groups Collaborate in Canberra

Kangaroos in Canberra, Australia

Kangaroos in Canberra, Australia

On March 16th, 2016, members of the CEOS Working Group on Information Systems and Services (WGISS) and the CEOS Working Group on Calibration and Validation (WGCV) from 15 international agencies came together in Canberra, Australia to discuss the ways in which CEOS might help ensure a cohesive life-cycle for satellite Earth observation data, from its proper calibration and validation to its discovery, access, and analysis.

While the WGCV focused on satellite Earth observation data quality issues, such as calibration and validation methods for a variety of data types, WGISS discussed types of information systems capable of handling huge amounts of data with varying standards and transforming them into usable, intelligent formats.

Dedicated sessions in different satellite Earth observation fields facilitated discussions on how to assess satellite Earth observation data quality based on data user needs. Incorporating user needs into the development of data quality indicators, such as validation metrics, is critical to helping users determine the kinds of data they need now and in the future.

Another prominent discussion was centered around the need for consistent terminology and definitions in the data quality arena across organizations. Both WGISS and WGCV strive to promote interoperability in the way they describe data quality in the relevant metadata fields for key sensors and products. These groups come together to determine which quality elements are most relevant for Earth observation products and apply the international quality model (ISO 19157) and guidelines to the quality descriptions in their metadata.

The groups also discussed important global issues such as:

  • the access & analysis of data as future “ big data” architectures evolve, a critical topic in preparation for the deluge of “big data” coming from present and future missions like the Copernicus Sentinel and Himawari satellites,
  • the implementation of the CEOS Carbon Strategy, which will influence how satellite measurements of the carbon cycle are used and interpreted for the future,

Continued collaboration among CEOS Working Groups will further pave the road for improving the quality, accessibility, and usability of satellite Earth observations in the future.