Webinar Recording: Machine Learning and DataCubes

Did you miss livestream of yesterday’s webinar on Machine Learning algorithms and their use for objects in satellite images? We have a recording for you :)

Deep Learning techniques for boundaries detection (Hana Kubíčková, Plan4all)

Supporting food security with satellite image classification (Jan Chytrý, Masaryk University)

DATACUBES: Conquering Space & Time (Peter Baumann, Jacobs University/rasdaman GmbH)

FREE Webinar on Friday 3rd April

Webinar dedicated to Risk mapping and impact analysis of the desert locust invasion in East Africa is coming soon! The webinar is scheduled for Friday 3rd April 2020 and below you can find the overview and more details.


  • Operational challenges in curbing the Locusts
  • Availability of data and technology to perform risk mapping and monitoring
  • Identifying potential areas for innovation
  • Impact assessment
  • Q&A related to the Kampala INSPIRE hackathon Challenge Desert Locust


What: This webinar is part of the series of webinars that will be conducted for the desert locust challenge. During this webinar, we will introduce the challenge, mentors and participants as well as introduce our approach for this challenge. The webinar brings together diverse groups of people including representatives from FAO who are at the heart of updating the world as well as funding different organisations in the struggle through FAO Emergencies, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture Uganda who are at the centre of the fight locally, representatives from the Desert Locust Control Organisation for Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA) and the Regional Centre For Mapping Resource For Development (RCMRD) as well as innovators who will design appropriate solutions for this challenge through the hackathon. We shall explore the various technologies and operation tactics used by different bodies to combat the spread and breeding of locusts as well as enable our innovators to identify different areas of innovation from the lessons shared by speakers. As many countries across East Africa are battling with the challenge of desert locusts at the moment, it is important to support local initiatives through feasible innovations. Therefore, the webinar will be a stepping stone and pointer for how the Desert Locust Challenge Hackathon shall be carried out

Why: Many countries across East Africa are battling the challenge of desert locusts at the moment as they move across the region. It is therefore important to support local initiatives to monitor and control the locusts, with relevant geospatial risk maps of outbreak for the timely location of desert locust development and gregarization risk zones. It is important to come up with innovative ways for early detection of the locusts to avoid greater loss and enable quicker intervention.

Who (is the webinar for): Farmers and farmers’ associations, academia and researchers, and NGO’s, policy makers, governments

If you are interested in this topic, do not hesitate to register HERE!

All-Virtual Kampala INSPIRE Hackathon 2020 – ethics and legal aspects of open data

The Kampala INSPIRE Hackathon has gone virtual and our partners GODAN and UN FAO are, together with all the other 16 partners making it happen! Originally planned as an event to run remotely, culminating in an onsite event at the University of Makerere early May, the hackathon will – as before – consist of a series of educational webinars, online meetings, chat streams, and co-authored online documents, ending with a virtual workshop on May 6th 2020. The final workshop will contain a series of presentations outlining the results of the projects, followed by the evaluation and decision of the judging panel.

Each team, as part of their individual projects, will produce webinars for capacity building.

In order to make open data interoperable non-technical as well as technical challenges have to be addressed.

On the 2nd of April at 14.00 CEST a Webinar on the subject of Mobilizing Capacity Development in Agriculture for Smallholder Farmers: How to bridge the digital divide will take place.

The Webinar, covering the ethical, legal and policy issues around open data in digital agriculture is part of the submissions for Challenge 9 Ethical and legal aspects of open data affecting farmers on the ethical and legal aspects of open data affecting farmers, in which GODAN will be participating alongside helping organise the hackathon.

During this webinar the participants will be able to learn about:

  •       The risks and benefits of open data sharing in agriculture,
  •       Ethical approaches to opening data to benefit smallholder farmers,
  •       The impacts of digital technologies on different segments of agri-food value chains,
  •       The digital divide; and,
  •       Open data capacity building.

GODAN provided a further in-depth analysis on data governance, good practice on data flows and efforts to build capacity development, through a CTA/GODAN Data Rights and Responsible Data Working Group Webinar on the 31st of March at 14h00 CEST. The Webinar entitled Role of Codes of Conduct in Smart Farming and FAIR Data Sharing. If you missed the enrolment to take part, it will shortly be available to view on the GODAN Web site.

To enable all stakeholders in agri-food systems, especially farmers, to benefit from the agricultural digital revolution, sustainable solutions to support and encourage data sharing need to be found. Codes of conduct, voluntary guidelines, and principles on transparent governance of farm data constitute an important first step, putting basic issues such as data ownership, data rights, data privacy and data security into an ethical framework in which all stakeholders, especially farmers, can and should be involved.

In this webinar, conducted in the form of a virtual panel session, an “ideal” code of conduct will be discussed. The presenters will explore what such a code of conduct should look like from a general perspective, attempting to balance the interests of all actors involved, though focusing more specifically on the perspective and needs of the farmers.

Foteini Zampati, GODAN’s  Data Rights Research Specialist, will moderate the panel session, joined by four panellists who are experts in the fields of data rights and agricultural technology: Alice Namuli Blazevica, a tech lawyer and  partner in Tech & Innovation at Katende, Ssempebwa & Co Advocates; Stephen Kalyesubula, a certified computer engineer and  currently a project manager at Youths in Technology and Development Uganda  (YITEDEV-Uganda), Dr R. Andres Ferreyra, Data Asset Manager for Syngenta’s Global Digital Agriculture team; and, Hamulus Owoyesiga, a farmer, Youth ICT Head and Drone Operator at IGTF-Uganda. The panelists will have the opportunity to  share their experience and different perspectives on agricultural codes of conduct.

This Webinar was recorded and will be made available to all the participants of Challenge 9 Ethical and legal aspects of open data affecting farmers of the Kampala INSPIRE Hackathon.

Stay tuned for more information.

Upcoming Webinar on Wednesday 1st April

There is an upcoming webinar dedicated to Machine learning algorithms and their use for detection of objects in satellite images. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday 1st April 2020 and below you can find the overview and more details.


  • Why is field boundaries detection important for agriculture?
  • What are current emphasis on AI in relation to satellite data?
  • What  ML algorithms can be used for land cover classification?
  • Learn more about Using ML for detection of Land Use Objects
  • Introduction to datacubes, OGC coverages, coverage services, rasdaman, python API,
  • Services available for both Dubrovnik INSPIRE hackathon and Kampala INSPIRE hackathon challenges.

What: In this webinar we will explore possible machine learning algorithms and artificial neural networks that can be used for field boundaries detection from Sentinel 2 or Landsat images. Relevance to several of the Dubrovnik INSPIRE hackathon challenges as well as challenges of the Kampala INSPIRE hackathon will be highlighted.

Why: Accurate information on field boundaries is very important input for many reasons: eg. having accurate information on crop types and boundary defining a given soil block, we can for example determine the yield potential or the amount of fertilizer needed for given type of crop very precisely.

One of the possible ways is to exploit the potential of satellite imagery (Sentinel 2 or Landsat images), which provide a wealth of information about Earth’s surface and are available as open data. In conjunction with machine learning algorithms, we can get very interesting inputs for precision agriculture.

Who (is the webinar for): Academia & Research Researchers and Innovators who are engaged with solution of challenges related to AI and satellite images. Farmers’ associations and agricultural companies. Any possible participant of the Kampala Hackathon, who is considering his/her participation in this challenge.

If you are interested in this topic, do not hesitate to register HERE!

Watch: RDA/IGAD Webinar Series: The Update of Agricultural Ontologies in Japan

As part of the Research Data Alliance’s (RDA)/ Agricultural Data Interest Group‘s (IGAD) ongoing webinar series, aimed to keep up with cutting edge developments in agricultural data, and encourage the free flow of ideas, the most recent webinar took place on March 24.

The webinar focused on “The update of agricultural ontologies in Japan – Agricultural Activity Ontology and Crop Vocabulary” and featured Prof. Hideaki Takeda, Dr.,Eng and Sungmin Joo, PhD.

Watch the webinar here:



Challenge #6: Integrating INSPIRE with Citizen Science and Earth observations authentication systems

Mentors: Andreas Matheus, Hector Rodriguez

The scope of the challenge is to enhance your geospatial and/or INSPIRE enabled web-based or mobile application so as to connect  to eitherCitizen Science and/or Earth Observation data. More specifically, the challenge will focus on improving accessibility to protected resources while also enabling their direct consumption and utilisation by third party applications. 

For enhancing your existing web-based or mobile application to contribute to citizen science and crowdsourcing activities within the LandSense Citizen Observatory (https://landsense.eu), you would need to implement OpenID Connect into your application that is able to interact with the LandSense Authorization Server (https://as.landsense.eu/). The LandSense Authorization Server is a core output from the project and more details can be accessed from the public deliverable “LandSense Engagement Platform – Part I”.

In order to initiate registration, you can choose to use a static registration page or leverage the RFC 7591 compliant dynamic client registration endpoint. A registered application can then use the LandSense federation including login options from Google, Facebook or eduGain (approx. 2800 University and Research organizational logins). The collection and processing of any personal data is compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, when registering the application, you can control the degree of personal information you need: A user can be simply authenticated, labelled with a cryptoname or identified with personal information. 

In order to contribute to Citizen Science with your application, you will need to interact with the LandSense platform. Additionally, you may use an OGC SensorThings API for accessing existing data or inserting new observations from the  SCENT Harmonisation Platform (http://scent-harm.iccs.gr/). The latter includes an OAuth2 Resource provider that is also integrated within the LandSense federation. 

Last but not least, you will have the opportunity to connect also to NextGEOSS Single Sign On (https://nextgeoss.eu/platform-services/user-management/) and integrate within your application protected EO resources or utilise existing applications. Additionally, details on how to interact specifically with NextGEOSS User Management system are available from here: https://github.com/ec-nextgeoss/nextgeoss-integration-guide-um

As a participant in this challenge, you should be familiar with OpenID Connect / OAuth2 principals and the developer of the application that you bring to enhance. You will learn during the hack-a-thon how to integrate a OpenID Connect library like HelloJS into your web-based application and how to setup the library to connect to a 3rd party OpenID Connect Authorization Server.

Yes, I want to register for Challenge #6!

RDA Virtual Plenary 15 (VP 15) – 18 March – 10 April 2020

Over the past week, the RDA Technical Advisory Board and RDA Secretariat have been hard at work to create a virtual RDA plenary experience, (VP 15) that aims to bring exciting, educational and informational sessions to RDA members worldwide.

The programme for VP 15 is available at https://www.rd-alliance.org/rda-virtual-plenary-programme, and we anticipate many more sessions to be added in the coming days. If you are a member of an RDA group who had a session planned for Plenary 15 in Melbourne and would like to participate in VP 15, please submit your request by Friday, 3 April at https://www.rd-alliance.org/virtual-plenary-15-session-request-form. The RDA Secretariat will in-turn send confirmations to the applicant chair with the time and session for the virtual meeting.

Do consider registering for a session and/or hosting your own! Thank you in advance for your involvement, support, and especially your effort to make our VP 15 event a robust and productive experience. A special thanks to AARNet for supporting VP 15 by providing Zoom links for our meetings.

Challenge #8: Improve interoperability between methods for sharing in-situ and citizen-sourced data

The goal of the challenge is to make available datasets provided by H2020 Citizen Observatories as well as other citizen-science projects and initiatives, through the use of SensorThings API standard and develop and test tools to provide combined visualization of data coming from different sources. This involves also sharing of environmental measurements coming from different IoT devices and in-situ monitoring sensor networks, aiming to establish combined use of data and services among different platforms towards improved environmental monitoring. 

More specifically, most of the latest projects and initiatives rely their implementation on the use of different standards like OGC Sensor Observation Service (SOS), that defines a web service interface which allows querying observations, sensor metadata, as well as representations of observed features, or more frequently used standards such as the OGC Web Feature Service. On the other options, a lot of initiatives is defining own specifications respecting needs of current projects. Integration of such data is connected with additional effort spent on development of specific translators.

Such standards (i.e. OGC SOS)  are more applicable to in-situ sensors that have a fixed location, and thus not fitting the citizen science paradigm that involves monitoring of an environmental phenomenon with different portable sensors at different locations (lack of flexibility between the location and the sensor as well as between the user and the sensor). Moreover, the implementation of requests such as the extraction of latest observations from sensors cannot be executed in an efficient or scalable way. 

Thus, the key use cases under this challenge are described as follows: 

  1. Implementation of “data translators” that will facilitate the conversion of resources exposed from OGC SOS and WFS to SensorThings API compatible schemas. In particular, the SensorThings API implementation provided by the SCENT Citizen Observatory shall be used as a reference application where the resources from other projects will be ingested. 
  2. Visualisation of resources exposed by SensorThings API through dedicated interfaces 
  3. Integration of different datasets of environmental monitoring by utilization of special “data translators”.
Yes, I want to register for Challenge #8!

Challenge #7: Establish the connection of Citizen Observatories resources with central catalogue

The goal of the challenge is to enable the integration of datasets provided from Citizen Observatories as well as from other citizen-science related projects and initiatives, with the NextGEOSS catalogue as an approach to connect citizen science into GEOSS. 

In the context of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, four sister projects on Citizen Observatories (COs) for Environmental Monitoring (GROW, GroundTruth 2.0, LandSense and SCENT) have been launched and realised. During these projects, a variety of smart and innovative applications have been implemented, enabling citizens to be engaged with environmental monitoring during their everyday activities. The use of mobile devices and low-cost portable sensors coupled with data analytics, quality assurance and modelling approaches pave the way for citizens to have an active role and voice in environmental decision-making.  The capabilities of the abovementioned tools and approaches have been demonstrated in a variety of citizen-science campaigns, being conducted across different European regions and beyond, leading to the collection of valuable environmental information. The datasets involve the following themes: 

  • Land cover/land use (point observations, maps, change detection validation, land use classification, in-situ validation, cropland field size and interpretations) 
  • Soil parameters (soil moisture, air temperature, levels of light); Planting and harvesting dates
  • Water parameters (water level, water velocity) 
  • Air quality parameters (black carbon concentration) 
  • Phenological observations (species and pheno-phase identification)
  • Disaster resilience (maps and time series data related to flood monitoring)
  • Urban green space quality (users’ perception through the provision of responses to questionnaires and images) 

The datasets are being managed by different infrastructures involving various access endpoints as well as the utilisation of OGC standards (i.e. WMS, WGS, SOS, etc), while at the same being accompanied by dedicated metadata. 

Thus in order to facilitate the metadata ingestion in the NextGEOSS catalogue, continuously running harvesters (for the Data Sources which have new Data available daily) and on-demand harvesters (for static collections of Data) shall be implemented. 

Yes, I want to register for Challenge #7!


Data Cataloguing in NextGEOSS

One of the offers available in NextGEOSS is the Data Cataloguing. Catalogue data in NextGEOSS can bring some benefits such as:

  • Your Data will be EASILY DISCOVERABLE and REACHABLE to a wider audience like the entire GEO Community through the NextGEOSS catalogue;
  • Original Data Sources and Data Providers will be more visible. On the NextGEOSS catalogue there is a page listing all the Data Providers;
  • Easy access to input Data to be automatically ingested by applications due to the OpenSearch interface which allows to find the datasets catalogued and the enclosure links to where the real Data is;
  • Data catalogued in the NextGEOSS Catalogue can be used by the scientific communities in their applications;

NextGEOSS Catalogue does not store data. Only metadata and download links to where the real data is stored (enclosure links) are catalogued. The metadata ingestion in the NextGEOSS catalogue is quite flexible since it is possible to harvest metadata from different interfaces such as OpenSearch, CSW, WFS, CKAN API, REST API, OAI-PMH and others. Also different types of Data Connectors, depending on the frequency of the Data publication on the original Data Sources, can be built:

  • Continuously running harvesters (for the Data Sources which have new Data available daily)
  • On Demand Harvesters (for static collections of Data)

NextGEOSS Harvesters have also recovering mechanisms to deal with possible failures that may happen on the data catalogue or on the original data source. For example, if the original data source is down for some time, as soon as it is available again, the harvester will restart the harvesting process from the last dataset harvested and will ensure that no data is missing.

To be possible to catalogue metadata in the NextGEOSS Catalogue, there are some requirements that must be fulfilled by the data Provider:

  • A queryable API or interface to access the metadata in the original data source is required (OpenSearch, CSW, REST API, etc.);
  • The access to the original metadata records following a methodically approach is required (for example temporal queries);
  • The metadata fields in the original data source must be clear and, ideally, follow a metadata standard;
  • To have a clear understanding about how often the data is published in the original Data Source (frequency), different product types and if the data belongs to any area of study (such as Agriculture, Marine, Food Security or others);
  • Data Provider must keep the real data available for a considerable time period to ensure that the links to the original data on NextGEOSS Catalogue are not broken links;
  • To have a good availability and short response times when querying the original data source;

All of these requirements are considered during the feasibility analysis performed by the development team. If the requirements are fulfilled, it will be possible to build the data connector (harvester) which, after a set of tests in a staging instance of the catalogue, will be deployed in production.

Main obstacles to build data connectors:

  • Complex metadata and/or not following any specific standard. Difficult to map the metadata fields;
  • Metadata with many repeated fields and repeated information. Additional metadata filters. needed;
  • Limited APIs and interfaces which do not allow to perform methodical queries and organize the metadata records;
  • Metadata or interfaces that are not mature enough since they are still being updated;
  • Unstable data sources and long response time to queries;
  • Short retention period of the real data on the data provider;Data sources that do not provide links to the real Data within the metadata making it impossible to have enclosure links to the real data on NextGEOSS catalogue;