Connecting TWIGA to the GEOSS initiative

Climate and weather, with a high degree of spatial and temporal variability, can adversely affect crop yields, cattle production, and the availability of freshwater. The production of food is at the forefront of climate change and population growth impacts as the ecosystems on which it relies are increasingly degraded and the availability of suitable land and sufficient freshwater is declining. To help combat the threatening pressures of climate change (i.e. the degradation of agricultural lands and resources) there is an urgent need for accurate and consistent multisource information for well-informed risk assessment and decision making and governance at multiple levels.

The generation of EO-derived data, and consequently, EO-data-derived services, require the exploitation of non-EO georeferenced data sources for product accuracy assessment, training of predictive models, or validation of the TWIGA services. For this reason, in-situ sensors have been installed in multiple countries on the African continent such as GNSS stations and the distrometer network in Kenya. Apart from sensor networks crowdsourcing through a mobile application is another source of data within TWIGA.

In the TWIGA project, multiple innovative services are being developed. These services intelligently combine relevant data such as earth observation data, in-situ measurements, and numerical models in order to provide valuable services for sub-Saharan Africa. These data and services are flowing through the central IT platform. In order to improve the findability of the TWIGA data and services, a connection is made between the central IT platform and the GEOSS initiative.

Figure 1 GEOSS portal where locations of TAHMO stations can be viewed.

In 2016, the ‘FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship’ were published. These guidelines are aimed at improving the findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reuse of digital assets. To further improve the findability of the end-products of TWIGA, relevant meta-data (including keywords) of the different data products/services will be made available on the GEOSS platform. The GEOSS Portal is the front-end component of the GEOSS Platform providing access, through the GEOSS Platform Middleware, i.e. the GEO Discovery and Access Broker, to hundreds of millions of data records from more than 150 GEO Resource Providers.

The central IT platform used in TWIGA can disseminate (meta-) data of services to GEOSS using open standards such as the OGC Sensor Observation Service (SOS) or OGC Web Coverage Service (WCS). By connecting the (Meta) data to GEOSS, we’re ensuring that the TWIGA data and services can easily be found through GEOSS. For example, the locations of the TAHMO stations can be viewed on the GEOSS portal here.

Written by: Marcel Alderlieste