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Architecture and Data Management Committee

8th Meeting Record

GEO Architecture and Data Committee


22 – 23 September 2008

University of Colorado, Boulder

DRAFT Meeting Record

The meeting was convened at the CIRES Auditorium on the Campus of the University of Colorado, Boulder Colorado.

ADC 8 Meeting Agenda – Day 1

Monday, 22 September 2008





Introductions of Participants



Adoption of agenda, logistics of ADC meeting



Summary of ExCom Meetings Activities

GEO Secretariat


IOC Status and Task Force activities including Concept of Operations

I. DeLoatch,




2009-11 Work plan – overview, strategy and issues

GEO Secretariat


Metrics and Performance Indicators

Ed Washburn


Lunch (with CEOS WGISS)


Core Task Status: GEOSS Registries and Clearinghouse

D Nebert


Standards and Interoperability Forum and IP3

SJ Khalsa


Best Practices

R Duerr


Architecture Implementation Pilot

G Percivall


Data Sharing Principles

Bob Chen


CEOS WGISS overview

M. Maiden




Review of 2008 Tasks – issue-based reports

Task POCs






ADC 8 Meeting Agenda – Day 2

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Review of Agenda – Update plus introductions



Review of 2008 Tasks I– issue-based reports

Task POCs




2009-11 Work Plan Groupings and overarching tasks





Discussions with Portal/Clearinghouse Providers

Compusult, ESA, ESRI


T3 report and recommendations

G Withee


Recommendations for IOC to Task Force

I DeLoatch




New Initiatives and Sponsored Programs

[Data Integration and Analysis Project,

EuroGEOSS, AEGOS, Ontologies, GIGAS]

A Anonni



Review of 2008 Tasks II – issue-based reports

Task POCs


Wrap up




Minutes for Monday, September 22
1. Welcome

The chairman Jay Pearlman welcomed participants.

2. Introduction of Participants

Brief Tour de Table (see List of Participants below). Not attached yet

3. Adoption of agenda, logistics of ADC meeting

The Agenda was reviewed and adopted. J. Pearlman explained that GEOSS is in transition, to a new work plan and towards an operational system. He reviewed target areas for GEOSS, keys to GEOSS, and a vision forward that includes topics such as ADC goals, targets, work with other committees and the work of the C4 versus other committees.

4. Summary of ExCom Meetings Activities

O. Ochiai explained that at the G8 summit that was held in Japan in July, 2008, a resolution of support to “accelerate efforts for” GEOSS was adopted. Several positions in the GeoSecretariat staff are changing. Staffing information is available online and will be updated as changes take place. The GEO website has been redesigned making it easier for user comments and for component and standards registration (www.earthobservations.org). In the second week of October, the GeoSecretariat will release version 3 of the 2009-2011 Work Plan. Several highlighted activities were introduced such as establishing the GEO BON (Biodiversity Observation Network), Forest monitoring and carbon tracking, HARON and collaboration with the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters. Preparations are under way for a “GEO-IGOS-Theme” symposium in 2009, collocated with GEO-VI. Items from the 13th Executive Committee meeting were also reviewed, including: a request that the next version of the 2009-2011 Work Plan should outline the roles of the Committees in implementing the work plan; the Secretariat’s proposed applications for observer status with the UNFCCC and the IPCC were approved; the Secretariat, with assistance from the EC, will develop a secretariat performance indicators document for the 14th Executive Committee meeting. GEO-V will be held in Bucharest, 19-20 November, 2009. On-line registration will be available 20 October and will close on 7 November. Security will be very tight and attendees must register. A virtual exhibit (on screens) is planned.

It was suggested that an ADC representative should be added to the IGOS-P program committee. The timely update of GEO Web Site for the secretariat staff information was requested. I. Petiteville noted that often components are registered but their related services are not registered and that there should be changes to make it easier for non-technical users to register components and services. D. Nebert commented that there will need to be an effort to develop this, including user input. Requests for exhibitions in addition to the GCI Virtual Exhibit were raised (e.g. GEONETCast, etc.).
5. IOC Status and Task Force activities including Concept of Operations

I. DeLoatch introduced the topic by explaining that the work will not be done in isolation, help from all of the ADC members will be needed. The first meeting was held in July, 2008 where Task Force Members, Terms of Reference and Workplan were approved.

The primary objectives are: to define and recommend a Concept of Operations plan for the GCI; to evaluate the existing GCI components and their sustained operation in light of known and emerging provider and user requirements, reliability, suitability, sustainability, and quality of service and; to provide administrative recommendations regarding models of GCI operational solutions addressing sustainability, maintenance, enhancements, access control and security, and software licensing and ownership (intellectual property rights).
A Terms of Reference document and workplan were drafted in July 2008 for the IOCTF with the following three progressive deliverables: Concept of Operations Plan (a high-level common operational design document to include descriptions of the workflow of the GCI, with a draft due by September 22); Evaluation of Existing GCI Components (registries, clearinghouses, web portals, with a draft due March, 2009), and; Recommendations for long-term GCI operations (potential logistical points for recommendations, with a draft due April, 2009). The main effort over the next six months will be on evaluation of existing GCI components.

D. Nebert gave with a review of the Concept of Operations Document. The Conops is oriented to the enterprise perspective rather than the technical point of view and complements the GEOSS Strategic Guidance document. Its purposes are: to build consensus on the requirements, scope, and functionality of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI); and to communicate the user’s needs for and expectations of the proposed system. The primary intended audiences of this document are the users and solutions developers who use the GCI and are responsible for its design and the owners or managers who will need sufficient knowledge to support sustained operations within GEOSS.

The Conops document will include the requirements previously written for the AIP. The document structure, operational scenario narratives, the GCI operational view, and the GCI operational interaction diagram were reviewed in the presentation to the committee. The documents will be written according to IEEE standards. The next steps are: to evaluate narratives, user types and stated expectations as functional requirements, to check alignment with the Strategic and Tactical Guidance documents, and to develop a concluding analysis section to address anticipated organizational and operational impacts of the GCI, anticipated improvements, and limitations or scope of solutions.

6. 2009-11 Work plan – overview, strategy and issues

The GEO Secretariat introduced the overview of developing the 2009-2011 Work Plan. It will build upon the cross-cutting dimensions of GEOSS across societal benefit areas, transverse areas and system types and will enhance data sharing and distribution. It will consolidate 2007-2009 Work Plan strategic tasks into overarching strategic tasks to improve coordination and integration of similar functions, foster linkages between related tasks and ensure continuity of relevant GEO activities. Major changes are adding a Governance Section, moving to a 2 part structure, consolidation of activities and a stronger user-driven approach.

The key messages are that: committees and individual members will need to maintain the momentum of their existing efforts while tackling new challenges and, while working within their existing terms of reference. Committees will need to take additional measures to ensure that GEOSS progresses to the next level and that this progress is recognized by Ministers at the next GEO Summit.
The ADC will oversee construction of the GEOSS architecture and focus on specific tasks. Together with CBC, STC & UIC, ADC will periodically assess how the Work Plan is progressing, possibly defining a set of priority Tasks.
The two cornerstones of the 2009-2011 Work Plan are: The GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) and; the Implementation of GEOSS Data Sharing Principles. The ADC plays a key role in guiding the construction of these two cornerstones, while other Committees provide additional oversight from their particular perspectives.
There were some discussions of the relationships between the committees. J. Pearlman commented that the ADC will be proactive in approaching the other committees as needed.
There was a question on who will be the lead for the overarching tasks. ADC does not yet have a clear plan and it needs to be discussed at the next C4 meeting. The point of view of the GEO Secreatariat is that it does not expect that there will be overarching task leaders.
The committee notes that more discussion of the implications and the methods of implementation is needed before actually moving into the implementation. A. Anoni explained that in the co-chair meeting this was discussed and it is expected that it will be addressed in the C4 meeting.

7. Metrics and Performance Indicators

E. Washburn presented information on GEO Paris Workshop Quick Highlights and Implications via telecon.

This GEO workshop (Paris, Sep. 10-12) was a follow-up to a first workshop. Over 20 people participated from a variety of GEO members and also there was participation by the IEG-World Bank and GEF via teleconferences. The outcome of the workshop is GEO-IV Plenary Document 26 which includes a broad M&E (monitoring and evaluation) framework and context for GEOSS implementation. It accommodates ex ante (to do an evaluation to compare previous tasks to new tasks) impact assessments. This may involve Workplan task revisions and the GEOSS Roadmap.
Acceptance of the monitoring and evaluation framework may have implications for the GEO-V Plenary. These implications include: commitment to conduct initial evaluation of GEOSS implementation by January 2010; recognition of an ad hoc M&E task force; proposing of a GEO M&E working group and terms of reference; an outline of a path forward; it will be guided by IEG-WB Sourcebook (2007); it will be tailored to GEOSS implementation and; there will be a degree of independence of evaluation and credibility.
I. DeLoatch asked: what criteria will be used for the ex ante assessments? E. Washburn this is being worked on but there are no criteria determined yet.

Joint lunch with CEOS WGISS. CEOS WGISS joined the ADC during the afternoon meeting.

8. Core Task Status: GEOSS Registries and Clearinghouse

D. Nebert gave an overview of task AR-07-01, a core task for development of the GEOSS architecture. In an overview he explained that the Initial Operating Capability (IOC) Task Force was created to document the requirements and support the evaluation of GCI offered components; Web Portal providers are ESRI, Compusult and ESA; GEOSS Clearinghouse providers are Compusult, ESRI, GeoNetwork, and USGS. The Portals, Clearinghouses, Standards and Interoperability Registry, Component and Service Registry and Best Practices Wiki are all operational and being maintained.

In the Standards and Interoperability Registery provided and supported by IEEE has over 100 standards identified. The content is nominated by individuals. Special arrangements complement the standards and are reviewed and approved by the SIF.
The Component and Service Registry is provided by the USA, deployed by George Mason University. There are now 105 components and 90 services registered. Most components are associated with SBAs and services are linked with one or more standards registered with GEOSS.
Coordination between the Service Registry and the Standards Registry is still being implemented to allow nomination of a new Interoperability Arrangement (IA, standards or special arrangements) from within the Component and Service Registry. This would include a current view of available IAs from within the Service Registry as a picklist synchronized from a special web service. Itegration should be complete by November 2008.
A Wiki has been deployed by IEEE in support of collecting best practices. Wiki entries may reference standards entries, but a tighter linkage is probably warranted over time to associate the registry items. Best practices could be searched by standard, standards could be searched based on related best practices, service instances could link to best practices, and vice versa. The necessary details are being investigated.
Further, there is a proposed task led by Japan to organize/register EO ontologies. The user requirements registry will require a common set of observables that can be used to link with the Service Registry and potentially the Standards Registry. A common GEOSS ontology, recognizing each concept/term in the context of the source or authority is required to make this connection, to identify coverage, and to identify gaps in EO data collection.

9. Standards and Interoperability Forum and IP3

SJ Khalsa presented the SIF Accomplishments. The SIF workflow process has been developed and refined using requirements for linkage to the workflow system. An open source workflow system has been deployed. In addition, an experts database has been designed. The SIF will be the GEOSS interoperability “help desk”. Also, SIF Regional Teams have been formed. These are all major steps in completing the SIF transition to operations.

SIF Goals for 2009 are to automate workflow system interoperability with registries; to refine the process for review of standards and special interoperability arrangements; outreach to make GEOSS users and participants more aware of the SIF role and; to deploy a SIF web presence.
Challenges for SIF are: agreement within GEO on basic terms and scope; gain a broader complement of committed volunteers; implement a rating system for standards and special arrangements usage to indicate successful interoperability endeavors and; make SIF the clearinghouse of interoperability issues for GEOSS.
SJ Khalsa also presented the IP3 status. IP3 accomplishments include: analysis of cross-discipline interoperability requirements based on 5 user scenarios; implementation of a Climate Change Impacts on Biodiversity user scenario offering

An Ecological Niche Modeling server; an Ajax based client to interface the ENM server; access to Local, Regional and Global climate change datasets (e.g. IPCC and TOPS data) and; a CSW-based discovery service to GBIF Species Distribution data

IP3 goals include: to host, register and operate the IP3 Mediator component in coordination with AIP; the IP3 Team will participate in interoperability testing of the IP3 Mediator with other registered components and services to assist in the realization of selected SBA scenarios and; to develop and register model interoperability arrangements along with specific mediation solutions, advancing the concept of a “Model Web.”
Question: What workflow system are you using. SJ Khalsa: The workflow is an email progression where each person in the workflow does their work and enters information to describe their process and results. See qflow.org
Question: Does the registry presently have the capability to prioritize the entries? SJ Khalsa: No, not at the present time.

10. Best Practices

R. Duerr explained that the Best Practices Wiki will be a clear contribution of GEOSS to the global community, it: provides an open forum for converging on best practice recommendations and reviews; reaches out to a broad community and; is a flexible structure that can be easily adapted using lessons learned. The Best Practices Wiki is available on the web and provides a template example.

The concept of operations includes the following steps: an individual or organization proposes a practice for consideration as a “best” practice by submitting an entry in the wiki; submitted practices undergo an open peer review process in the wiki (comments in the wiki are publicly accessible, facilitating a moderated community dialog); editors work with their communities to encourage dialog and submission of comments and; editors also assure that malicious insertions are eliminated (original contributors should also monitor activities).
A prototype Wiki was implemented on the web in February 2008 with a call for comment. The GEO Executive Committee reviewed and approved the Wiki approach for the Best Practices Registry. Suggestions of the Executive Committee were incorporated into an update completed April 2008. The Wiki began initial operations in June, 2008 following ADC and GEO ExCom approval. Additional Associate Editors are being solicited. There will be a one-year period of initial operations and then there will be a review of efficacy of the wiki approach to facilitate propagation of best practices for GEOSS. The CEOS WGISS Interoperability Handbook has been entered as a document and 9 practices have been submitted under data and architecture and 11 submitted under user engagement. Expert volunteers are being submitted to build and maintain the Wiki content.
T. Van Zyl commented that there needed to be a link between the registry and the wiki that showed best practices related to use of standards. R. Duerr agreed that links need to go both ways.
It was asked on how competing best services could be prioritized. R. Duerr answered that it would be OK if different groups had different best practices. It would be a challenge to follow usage (e.g. number of users) as criteria for prioritizing.
There was a comment on the possibility of using Wikipedia in order to have a larger audience. R. Duerr answered that the process was a little different as GEO has its own community of moderators.

11. Architecture Implementation Pilot

G. Percivall presented the status and activities of Task AR-07-02, Architecture and Implementation Pilot (AIP). AIP phase 1 results include providing 10 demonstrations supporting the establishment of an initial operating capability.

AIP phase 2 themes include: augmenting the GEOSS Common Infrastructure with emphasis on SBAs identified by UIC/ADC collaboration; developing operational persistence of SBA demonstrations; refining GEOSS AIP Architecture definition and; maintaining the AIP development process open to all interested parties.
Phase 2 goals include: systematic registration of Components and Services; support of registered standards by offerings; quality and availability of services, particularly core services; integration of data /services for additional SBA application domains; strengthen the use of the Web Portals to access and integrate all GEOSS resources;

improve the interaction of the GEOSS Web Portals, Registries, and Clearinghouse; to focus on limited set of “well-known” combinations and versions of protocols and content standards; develop a basic EO metadata record for GEOSS-wide use; add Sensor Web protocols and data types and; increase support for workflows and event - notification handling. The key mission of the AIP is to prototype and mature GEOSS information system capabilities for transition to AR-07-1 for operational implementation.

The schedule is:

  • Architecture Workshop: February 2008

  • CFP announce: 30 June 2008

  • CFP Clarification Telecon: 18 July 2008

  • CFP Responses for Kickoff due: 1 Sept 2008

  • Kickoff workshop: 25-26 Sept 2008

  • Status & Interim results to GEO Plenary : November 2008

  • AIP-2 results transition to operations: 1st quarter of 2009

It was asked if the portals will be able to talk to the clearinghouses. G. Percivall answered that connections between all portals to all clearinghouses will be tested under the AIP.

M. Maiden asked if groups from all areas would be participating. G. Percivall answered that AIP would not lead for the entirety of GEOSS. AIP is the focal point for developing and prototyping the architecture that can be used by various groups.
N. Kussul was asked if the GRID technology would be as an infrastructure for computation or for workflow management. G. Percivall answered that it would be both. Some of the scripting brings processes for workflow management.
When asked if there was a need to integrate all of the contributions by an organization before participating in AIP, G. Percivall answered that offerors could enter in any fashion and it would still be very useful.

12. Data Sharing Principles

B. Chen reported on task DA-06-01, Data Sharing Principles. In 2006 CODATA agreed to take the lead in developing data principles for GEO. In 2007 CODATA developed an initial White Paper and then participated in the November Plenary and Ministerial Summit. In 2008 the white paper was split into Draft Implementation Guidelines and a supporting white paper proceeded by a series of reviews, comments and updates.

Current comments and issues include:

  • Need to emphasize the voluntary nature of GEO and for non-binding approaches to increase participation and compliance

  • Concerns about consistency between existing practices and the proposed guidelines, e.g., regarding reuse and redissemination

  • Need for evolution of guidelines and approaches based on experience and new developments

  • Clarification of role of national focal points

  • Importance of real-time data access in some situations

  • Suggestions for new guideline text

Tentative milestones include:

  • Distribute updated guidelines to ADC, UIC, CBC & STC, mid September

  • Initiate discussions on data sharing issues with GEO initiatives such as GEONetcast, Global DEM, CBERS data distribution, GEO BON, and GAM and with GCI and IOC

  • Data Sharing presentation & discussion at CODATA conference in Kiev in October

  • Report and side event at GEO-V in Bucharest

  • Possible merging of tasks DA-06-01 and DA-06-02 (data quality) into DA-09-01

  • Possible session at GSDI-11 in Rotterdam, June 2009

  • Further discussion at GEO-VI

  • Possible adoption at GEO Ministerial in 2010

Question: In the case of “research” does this mean academics only? B. Chen: the plan doesn’t define exactly what research is. It should be defined by the activity, not the URL address.

There was a question on the role of World Data Centers. B. Chen answered that world data centers might be reorganizing so their future role would not be clear in the meantime.
There was a comment that, regarding the role of the national coordinator, for example it could not be applied in Europe because there could not be a panEuropean representative. B. Chen commented that in the case of someone using European data, they would worry about whether they would have to go to 20 different countries to get permission to publish from each country. There should be one place to go to find out who to contact. A. Anoni also commented the same problem as applied to Europe.

13. CEOS WGISS overview

M. Maiden provided an introduction to CEOS WGISS activities related to GEO ADC. WGISS’ Mission is to stimulate, coordinate and monitor initiatives to exploit and benefit from data generated by Earth observing satellites and other sources.

The overall objective of WGISS is to facilitate data and information management and services for users and data providers in dealing with global, regional and local issues. WGISS addresses in particular the description, access, retrieval, archiving, long-term preservation, utilization, and maintenance of spaceborne Earth observation data and supporting ancillary and auxiliary data and information, enabling improved operability and interconnectivity of information systems and services.
More specific objectives of WGISS are to:

  • Enable Earth observation data and information best practices and services to be more accessible and usable to data providers and data users world-wide through international coordination;

  • Enhance the complementarity, interoperability and standardization of Earth observation data and information management and services with other types of geospatial data such as in-situ data;

  • Foster easier exchange of Earth observation and related data and information to meet the requirements of users and data providers; and

  • Foster the development of information best practices and services that use spaceborne Earth observation data.

Key features of WGISS are:

  • WGISS agencies have a vast quantity of data, systems, and other resources that can support science or applications

  • WGISS is working to make these resources accessible through a common set of discovery, search, access, and service interfaces.

  • WGISS works closely with standards organizations like OGC and ISO to ensure that the CEOS WGISS data and tools can interoperate with the different national and international spatial data infrastructures and to facilitate the development of commercial products that implement the common interfaces.

WGISS’ current foci are to:

  • Provide a satellite arm of the GEO System of Systems

  • Innovative contributions that will persist, and can be reused

  • Work closely with and support CEOS Virtual Constellations (GEO DA-07-03)

  • Work closely and collaborate with the CEOS Working Group on Calibration and Validation

  • Support the CEOS Plenary Chair’s Data Democracy initiative

Question: is there a CEOS portal to GEOSS? M. Maiden: Yes, we have an LSI (Land Surface Imaging) portal that is going online this year.

14. Review of 2008 Tasks – issue-based reports
14.1 Terence Van Zyl presented the status of DA-07-04, Sensor Web.
Highlights of 2008 include holding a Sensor Web workshop in Geneva and the IRMA FP7 funded project will form a Use Case contribution. Noted problems include: no use cases contributions from the outside; lack of communication and teleconferences; lack of funding for most of the year and; not meshing sufficiently with other GEO tasks.
Plans for 2009 include continuing CEOS use cases, a Sensor Web Workshop in Japan and engaging in the AIP more effectively. Possible Use Cases (from the FP7 project) include Wildfire - Alert and monitoring (Senegal), Floods - Early warning (FEWS), alert & monitoring (Mozambique) and Air quality (Cameroon). Sensor Web is look for external collaborators on use cases for allocation/sharing and finding/accessing data sources.
Question: who are the users for your alert and monitoring system? T. Van Zyl: we’re investigating that now, it includes a political aspect, to find the right group.

14.2 Hans-Peter Plag presented the status of AR-07-03, Global Geodetic Reference Frames
The primary deliverable for 2008 is the GGOS 2020 Reference Document. Task activities in 2008/2009 include: discussion of GGOS 2020 Recommendations with GEO Members and Participating Organizations (mainly in 2009)‏; GGOS Stakeholder Events (preferably co-located with relevant GEO and/or CEOS meetings)‏; development of an intergovernmental framework and; to develop two issues identified by ADC members (a unified global height system and transformation global to regional/national).
Relevant GGOS activities in 2008/2009 include: ITRS/ITRF standardization (should there be an international standard for THE geodetic (coordinate) reference system and should ITRS/ITRF be the basis for that?); a proposal for an IAG Workshop to discuss related questions; a GGOS Call for proposals for new components, deadline October 15, 2008 and; an IGCP 565 Project “Developing the Global Geodetic Observing System into a Monitoring System for the Global Water Cycle”.

14.3 Linda Moodie presented the status on GEONETCast
Global coverage is provided by EUMETCast, FENGYUNCast and GEONETCast Americas. Data exchange using the GEONETCast Network Centre concept is in progress. Inclusion of Russia’s MITRA system is yet to be initiated at the technical level.
The initial Operational Capability is in place. Effort is now focussed on capacity building and user engagement. GEONETCast is registered as a GEOSS Component and as a Data Access GEOSS Service. A GEONETCast catalogue is being developed to comply with metadata and query standards. GEONETCast will participate in the AIP Phase 2 Workshop.
In 2008 there are plans to present GEONETCast at:

  • Meteorological Satellite Users Conference (Germany);

  • GEOSS Americas Symposium (Panama)

  • EUMETSAT User Forum in Africa (Ghana)

  • African Association for Remote Sensing of the Environment (Ghana)

  • GEO Plenary (Romania)

  • NOAA Direct Readout Conference (US)

  • GEOSS Architecture Workshop (Spain)

Question: Could you describe how you communicate with users of this capability? L. Moodie: we have a User Needs form to get feedback and identify products and services that users need. To acquire a receive station, they would contact the regional GEONETCast provider or GEONETCast website to receive information on purchasing the necessary equipment and software. For EUMETCast they would also need to register and get the code for decryption.

Question: How does the user get the information? L. Moodie: data providers send their data or products through the internet to the uplink station in their region. It is then broadcast through the regional GEONETCast system and could be transferred to other regions if there is demand in that region. In the Americas, we have an announcement of opportunity that is being used to provide information about GEONETCast and to solicit data product contributions as well as user needs.
Question: What about potential competition with internet based systems? L. Moodie: we like to look at this as a complimentary system.
Question: If there were a flood, how would people get data on this? L. Moodie: it requires a C-band system, which are usually large, but we’re examining smaller systems that could be moved to a disaster site. Each of the regional GEONETCast providers is also establishing a hazard alert channel on their system, which could be used for forwarding alerts and information on actual disasters.

14.4 Ivan Petiteville presented the status on DA-07-03, Virtual Constellations
The four current virtual constellations are: Precipitation, Land-Surface Imaging, Ocean Surface Topography and Atmospheric Chemistry. All 4 constellations reported significant progress since 2007 CEOS Plenary (Nov. 07). Two new constellations were accepted at SIT-22 (sep. 08): Ocean Color Radiometry (OCR) and Ocean Surface Wind Vectors.
Question: How do you get the cooperation for cross-calibration, etc.? I. Petiteville: that’s what the project is for, to coordinate formats, calibration, etc. This must be done for missions that were designed completely separately.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008
14. Review of 2008 Tasks – issue-based reports (continued)
14.5 Bryan O’Donnell presented the status of the WE-06-01, Surface-based Global Observing System for Weather
Data measurements have shifted from human based to machine based recording of data. Work is ongoing to develop specifications to account for new data recording techniques. The Expert Team updated Automatic Weather Systems (AWS) Functional Specifications, prepared draft requirements for new sensors or integration of sensors to overcome deficiencies of AWS following the migration from manual observations and developed a draft guidelines to assist in the transition from manual to automatic surface observing stations.
The AMDAR (aircraft measurements of the atmosphere) Panel is working in collaboration with manufacturers of water vapour sensors to improve the performance of the water vapour sensor technology for AMDAR. The first Ad-Hoc Steering Group meeting of the WIGOS Pilot Project for AMDAR, Geneva, July 2008 developed a strategy for enhancing the delivery of aeronautical data from AMDAR platforms to users.
Marine Observations members are invited to enhance their participation in the as soon as possible programme for providing in situ aerological profiles from ocean data sparse areas as complementary data to AMDAR.
The WMO Field Intercomparison of Rainfall Intensity Instruments in Vigna di Valle (Italy) continues. The inspection of the WMO Field Intercomparison of Thermometer Screens/Shields and Humidity Measuring Instruments in Ghardaïa (Algeria) was conducted in June. The CIMO ET/IOC UASI at its session in June 2008 considered the results of several recent international and national radiosonde tests and considered the requirements for future tests/intercomparisons of upper-air systems.

14.6 Bryan O’Donnell presented the status of the WE-06-02, Space-based Global observing system for weather
A new Vision for the space-based Global Observing System is being developed on the outcome of the WMO Workshop on Re-design and Optimization of the GOS held in June 2007. The draft Vision will be submitted for endorsement in March 2009. The final draft Vision is expected to be released soon in order to allow satellite coordinating structures such as CGMS and CEOS to give consideration to it and provide feedback on how they would plan to contribute to the actual implementation of this vision, once it is formally adopted.
The Vision foresees, as operational components:

  • geostationary satellites with improved resolution imagers and IR hyperspectral sounders

  • sun-synchronous polar-orbiting satellites in mid-morning, afternoon, and early-morning orbit, with imagery and full IR and MW sounding package

  • a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites of various inclinations, with GPS radio-occultation sounders

Question: If WMO proposes something who implements it? B. O’Donnell: civil space agencies incorporate requests into their plans for satellite development.

14.7 Bryan O’Donnell presented the status of the AR-06-11, Protection of radio-frequencies
The first achievement under AR-06-11 relates to the adoption within the European Commission Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) of the Report and Opinion on “A coordinated EU spectrum approach for scientific use of radio spectrum". This Opinion represents an important and satisfactory outcome as a general recognition of all scientific usage of the spectrum, including Earth observation, stressing their considerable societal value and recognising in particular the passive bands as essential natural resources.
Completion of the GEO reference document “Importance of radio spectrum for GEOSS and related frequency protection requirements” to include a detailed list of frequencies that will be used in GEOSS, including for telecommunications means (GEOnetcast). Also, work toward WRC-11 preparation would have to be done to feed ITU-R studies and related national and regional preparatory processes in particular on relevant passive frequency bands above 275 GHz and Resolution 673 on “Earth Observation”. A specific discussion at ADC will have to be made on the future use of the Satellite C-Band (3400-4200 MHz) for EO broadcasting applications
Any issues related to radio-frequency use should be raised to AR-06-11. Participation to the work on completing the GEO reference document is requested. GEOSS is faced with a number of economical lobbies, supported by National radio administrations (NRA). All GEO members should advocate and relay GEO requirements to their NRA, in particular in view of the forthcoming WRC-07
It was recommended that the Task should put something tangible together to explain the impact of radio frequency problems, in terms that the public and others would understand.

14.8 J. Pearlman presented the status of DA-06-02, Data Quality Assurance Strategy
Phase 1 is to develop strategies: to determine key elements, required activities and tasks.

  • Major concepts and key elements of the data quality assurance strategy were developed and approved at WGCV29 Plenary.

  • Data Quality Assurance Strategy Draft generated by group of experts as agreed at the WGCV29 Plenary.

  • Quality Assurance Framework for Earth Observation (QA4EO) - draft document outlining the strategy reviewed and revisions suggested at the GEO/CEOS CalVal Workshop May 6-8, 2008.

  • The next version of the QA4EO Draft will be discussed/approved by the CEOS/WGCV community at the WGCV29 Plenary, 30 September 2008.

  • The accomplishments up-to-date would allow Phase 1 to be completed at the end of September, 2008

Phase 2 is implementation – initiated in 2007, to test and further develop the QA4EO, WGCV has initiated a number of test projects

  • Project 1, Fundamental Climate Data Records (FCDR)

  • Project 2, Benchmark Mission Planning

  • Project 3, CEOS/WGCV Joint Experiment

The technical working subgroups of CEOS/WGCV are developing field specific quality assurance guidelines. Accomplishments to date are on track for an early Phase 2 completion (late 2010 or early 2011)

The CEOS Cal/Val Portal has completed one year of operations and it now contains: Terms and Definitions, Sites, WTF products available, In situ Database, Tools, QA4EO and Documentation.
It was recommended that the Guideline document should be submitted to the GEO community for information guidance document.
14.9 D. Middleton presented the status of AR-07-04, WMO Information System (WIS)
To consolidate WIS plans, up to 2008, the project and implementation plan was refined and the WIS Project Office was approved for 4 years. To develop regulatory documents, up to 2008, WIS technical compliance standards were finished (with interfaces compliant with GEOSS 10 year plan), user requirements are being documented (draft available) and the functional architecture is being documented (draft available ). Regarding WIS guidelines and manuals, 2007-2011 and beyond, WIS guidelines due in 2009 and other manuals are to follow by 2015. Regarding improvement of GTS capability, MPLS (multi protocol label switching) is expected soon over the networks and data representation and codes are under review.
Metadata standards are being developed. The first GISC (Global Information System Centre) will be operational in 2009 with others operational in 2009-2011. DCPCs (Data Collection or Product Centres) will be implemented in 2008-2011.
Regarding the GEO 2009-2011 Work Plan:

  • WMO-WIS should remain a principal “task” in the Work Plan – one with major infrastructure, deliverables, and substantial contribution to the GEOSS vision

  • WMO-WIS is more strongly infrastructure, although it does enable “observing systems”

  • The Work Plan should (at least) reflect principal tasks on the critical path to the success of GEOSS

  • Does the Work Plan reflect a viable management and oversight structure?

  • We should consider AR-{07,09}-04, consistent with prior designation. AR-07-04 is preferred, for consistency with existing body of documentation

Comment/discussion: WIS is a large task. It is hard to imagine how GEO could organize or manage this task. This can be handled by having WIS organized along the lines of GEO so that there is easy communication.

14.10 Ivan DeLoatch presented the status of DA-06-05, Guidelines for Basic Geographic Data
Status of progress is:

  • 31 July 08: Comments were received. Recommendation to propose new task on Global Map, large scale map (1:1 mil).

  • 20 August 08: Informal meeting of ISCGM was held in Kuala Lumpur. Current DA-06-05 task and proposed task for GEO Work Plan were reported.

  • 27 August 08: Final draft guideline of version 3_beta was prepared.

  • 29 August 08: Final draft guideline was delivered for final review of contributors.

Issues include:

  • New task proposal on 9 May 2008 for GEO Work Plan 2009-2011 is replaced by the task of Global Map for GEO Societal Benefit Area on 31 July 2008.

  • 31 July 08: Comments were received. One of the facts found in this task is that most of tasks of GEO societal benefit area use small scale maps, therefore, a new task on Global Map is more suitable than follow up task of DA-06-05.

  • Completion in September 2008: Final guidance document will be prepared and will be up on the ISCGM (International Steering Committee for Global Mapping) web.

14.11 Ivan DeLoatch presented the status of DI-06-02, Seismographic Networks Improvement and Coordination
Status of Progress:

  • September 08: The Global Seismographic Network reported the establishment of a real-time link to its station MSVF Fiji.

  • Two quarterly reports were distributed by the US Geological Survey. Software developments continue on improving the functionality of PAGER (Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response; http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/pager. The system can rapidly estimate societal impact for major earthquakes worldwide, based on estimates of people and property exposed to potentially damaging levels of ground motion.

  • The Executive Council of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission reported that significant improvements have been made to the seismic monitoring and warning communication systems in all major tsunami prone regions (Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Caribbean and N. Atlantic/Mediterranean), as well as in the coordination and exchange of seismic waveform and event parameter data.

  • A new Lead Organization and contacts was added to the Task.

14.12 Fan Jinlong presented the status of AG-07-03, Global Agricultural Monitoring
Task status:

  • Established coordinating Task secretariat at ISRO

  • Established Community of Practice website on GEO pages

  • Held workshop and published report on Best Practices Guidelines for Crop area Estimation with Remote Sensing at EC JRC, June 2008

  • Introductory Task presentations given at various conferences

  • 2009-2011 Work Plan, include Tasks AG-07-02 (Agricultural Risk Management) and AG-06-07 (Expanding Earth Observation Applications in Agriculture and Promoting Capacity Building in Developing Countries) under the AG-07-03 Task

Following are the selected recommendations from previous AG-07-03 workshops:

  • Establish free and open access to satellite data and products used for agricultural monitoring

  • Ensure continuity of earth observations used for agricultural monitoring

  • Coordinate a moderate (30m) resolution data initiative providing annual global coverage, from the available international assets (referring to the DA-07-02 )

  • Increase number of meteorological stations in data sparse regions e.g. Africa

  • Rigorously define a standard set of products for agriculture monitoring

  • Capacity development for integration of satellite data into operational monitoring systems in developing countries

The scope and interest of the ADC which would make a significant difference to the AG-07-03 Community of Practice are following;

  • Establish a single web enabled global database with near real time information on satellite data acquisitions and availability for the moderate resolution sensors over global agricultural regions so the COP can see which data are available.

  • Information to include: Sensor, Geographic coverage, Date, Cloud cover, Vendor/data holder.

  • Current Sensors to include: AWiFS, CBERS, SPOT, ENVISAT, ALOS PALSAR, Landsat 5 / 7, DMC Constellation and RADARSAT.

  • Next Workshop where this can be discussed the way to proceed to move ahead the requests is Feb 25-27 2009 in Beijing

14.13 A. Anoni presented the status of DI-06-13, A Global Early Warning System for Wildland Fires
Expected impacts of this task are: daily fire danger rating information to countries without operational fire danger rating systems and; a common system with which to implement international resource-sharing agreements during times of wildfire disaster.
Planned activities for 2008-2011 are:

  • Develop an Implementation Plan including a summary of three potential prototype regional systems.

  • Initiate an outreach program.

  • Secure funding to support full development of at least one prototype regional system (3-year period minimum)

  • Assess and acquire regional infrastructure and human resource needs

  • Detailed design of regional prototype model.

  • First-year trial run of system operation by Wildland Fire EWS consortium

  • Conduct information sessions and training workshops.

  • Conduct capacity building workshops.

  • Initiate transfer of operational system tasks from the Wildland Fire EWS consortium to regional agencies

  • Presentation of results at GEO Plenary and Ministerial Meeting (2010)

Main outstanding issue is to secure funding:

  • Most cost is related to in-kind funding for human resources; minor other costs

  • Once funding is in place, will initiate a 3-yr timeframe to implement system

  • If only minimal funding is available, will initially develop the system for a specific global region (several potential areas)

14.14 I. Petiteville presented the status of AG-06-04, Forest mapping and change monitoring
Progress to date:

  • First meeting Washington Oct 2006 – agreed that FRA 2010 RSS (FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 Remote Sensing Survey) forms the overall framework for GEO task, FAO will lead with wide range of partners.

  • FRA 2010 launched Rome 4-6 March 2008

  • FRA 2010 Remote Sensing Survey Task Force of 22 key countries (80% worlds forest) set up with partners at first meeting March 2008

  • GEO meeting Japan 14-16 April incl. forest monitoring

  • GEO meeting in Geneva 16 June on proposed new Forest Monitoring Task

  • FRA2010 RSS funding from EU in Aug 2008 (E3.6m)

  • Remote Sensing Scientist position was advertised Sept 08

  • Release of Landsat global datasets (by Nov?) will allow pilot testing of analysis of change detection in 22 Task force countries

  • GOFC-GOLD Forest Monitoring workshop Germany 13-17 Oct

  • GEO forest monitoring meeting, Brazil from 4 to 7 Nov

  • Feb 2009 FAO meeting on forest degradation FRA special study

  • 2009: Capacity building workshops and survey implementation.

  • 2010: Data analysis

  • Final report expected in 2011 – for Year of the Forests

Concerns/issues which will determine our ability to deliver the end product on time:

  • A large number of the existing Landsat Geocover images (~1975, 1990 and 2000 datasets) need to be re-rectified. NASA/USGS has indicated that this work will be completed by Oct/Nov 2008.

  • Need a reconfirmation that this timeline is still valid.

  • Intending to use the mid-decadal data set, but face a time constraint if this is not ready until end of 2008 (current schedule) or later.

  • Strong support from countries and goodwill from partners but now waiting for re-rectified LANDSAT from USGS

14.15 I. Petiteville presented the status of CL-06-02, Key Climate Data from Satellite Systems
CEOS Response to GCOS Implementation Plan Satellite Supplement was prepared and presented to UNFCCC COP-12 in November 2006 in Nairobi. The CEOS Response to GCOS-IP is exact same as the GEO Task CL-06-02. The CEOS’ Response includes 59 actions covering the Atmosphere, Ocean and Terrestrial domains, and a number of Cross-cutting issues. CEOS and GCOS have jointly defined lists of 1st, 2nd and 3rd priority actions, based on an evaluation of their ability to deliver significant results in the short (1-2yr), medium (4-6yr) and long term (~10yr). Most Cross-cutting actions are “permanent”, long-standing efforts (e.g, adherence to GCOS Monitoring Principles).

15. 2009-2011 Work Plan Groupings and Overarching Tasks

J. Pearlman
ADC held a forum at ADC-8 on the structure and evolution of the 2009-11 Work Plan. Initially a series of questions were compiled and are listed immediately below. Then observations were offered on the processes in place for preparation of the plan. An alternative option for the current process was raised.

Questions (as recorded during the discussion by the Chair – J. Pearlman):

  1. How are groupings (“overarching tasks”) managed – what are the implications for governance (including reporting) and accountability?

  2. Are tasks combined in an effective way for synergies – are the grouping logical at the lower levels?

  3. Do the groupings identify priorities and tasks to be emphasized?

  4. Are the groupings really reducing tasks?

  5. Are high priority tasks given sufficient visibility?

  6. What level should the task sheets be addressing? What reporting should be defined?

  7. Are the 10 year targets driving the groupings? What is the schedule of the T3 team?

  8. Do the gourpings improve understanding of the added value of GEOSS??

  9. Are the groupings balanced in terms of size and impact (size, need for political visibility, etc)?

  10. What are the roles and the responsibilities of the C4?

  11. Should the governance issue be decoupled from the work plan definition??

Comments (as recorded by the Chair – J. Pearlman):

  • Gap analyses have not been applied to the plan with respect to targets.

  • It is not clear how the targets are driving the groupings prioritization of the tasks. If there is no relation between a task and targets, then these tasks should be called out.

  • The tasks in the grouping do not have sufficient synergy in many groupings.

  • ExCom wants committees involved for guidance and reporting, management of tasks, etc. GEO Secretariat says there will not be task leaders for overarching tasks.

  • It is important if the committees will be responsible for management that they engage in providing advice on groupings. Improving the distribution of information will further facilitate the progress of GEOSS.

  • The directives of the ExCom are not being communicated to the committees in a timely manner. Should all committees be represented at the ExCom?

  • New plan for work plan development and redefinition of the Targets are occurring at the same time. Issue is that the work plan is being done before the target revision.

  • WP 1 – Alexia introduced guidelines for work plan definition: IGOS-P engaged, smaller number of cross-cutting tasks, allocation of tasks to committees.

  • Another Option: Postpone 2009-11 plan and retain the current 2007-9 plan with adaptations to reflect the requests of the ExCom.

      1. Await target revisions and expanded governance discussions.

      2. Request committee recommendations for governance discussions.

Following are additional questions and comments expressed during the discussion:

  • If those are tasks, then someone needs to be accountable for them, so what is the governance? Its not just a case of reporting, coordination between tasks is important and the coordination needs supervision.

  • We need to be sure that at the end of the 3 year period we are closer to the goals than we are now.

  • Using a new naming scheme may be a problem. If the names change then the task becomes disconnected from the previously produced documents.

16. Discussions with Portal/Clearinghouse Providers
Compusult’s Participation in GEOSS – Contributions and Operations

Robert Thomas

Compusult has participated in GEOSS by providing the following: GEO Portal Candidate, GEO Clearinghouse Candidate, Hosting Services. Scenario Participation includes: Polar Ecosystems and Biodiversity, Sub-Saharan African Wildfire, Africa Ecosystems and Biodiversity, Oil Spill Response.
Total of 20 Registered Users (must be registered to be able to easily track metrics); 45 Unique logins since Jan 1, 2008; 145 Searches of the GEOSS Clearinghouse; Help was accessed 19 times. Compusult has committed to host the portal and clearinghouse service until 2010 at a minimum through our hosting facilities.
Why are we participating: Fits with our Corporate Mission; A Contribution to a Global Effort; Fosters Collaboration; Testing and Verification of our Tools; End User Feedback; Getting the Word Out
GEO Portal Future Capabilities:

  • Greater Integration with Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Text Search and NASA’s World Wind

  • Catalog upgraded to support CSW 2.0.2

  • Better presentation of Results especially for Distributed / Federated Search.

  • Usability enhancements from Canadian GeoConnections Discovery Portal implementation

  • Easier Style Management for a faster Customized Look and Feel

  • More flexible Security

  • Metric Tracking - users, searches, etc.

  • Additional Online Computer Based Training

  • Greater Collaboration Capabilities through: Message Boards, Document Library, Active calendar, Map Annotation, Image Library, Language Translator.

  • Improved User Management: Communities of Interest, Dedicated Collaboration Tools.

  • A More advanced Content Management System: WIKI Interfaces, Journal Interfaces.

GEO SensorWeb Integration:

  • Recently introduced a Sensor Web module

  • Based on the recently adopted OGC Sensor Web specifications; SOS, SPS, SAS, etc.

  • Provides the capability to catalog and bind to Sensor Observation Services.

  • SOSs registered in the GEOSS Registry, will then be harvested and the portal will have the ability to bind directly to the sensor providing live data retrieval.

Other Comments:

  • Better Training / Usability: Built in walk-through videos; Create lines of Communications to GEO ADC/UIC.

  • Improved Interoperability: Work with multiple CSW clients; Harvest / Search more community portals.

  • Promote Greater Portal Usage through upcoming AIP: Ensure each Use Case/Scenario locate services through portals.

  • Need More Registered Services: Promotion through our clients.

  • Services need Testing: Test services when published at Registry.

The Compusult GEO Portal was developed from an off the shelf product. The system has the capability to restrict access if needed. It also has the ability to handle and fill orders. Now adopting a sensor web module that will bind to sensors.

Question: What is the schedule of your upgrades? R. Thomas: In the next week to 2 weeks we will upgrade to a major new version of our software, including implementing sensor web.
Action Item: A request was made for Compusult to provide tracking information (user statistics) on their portal.


Mirko Albani

The ESA-FAO GEO Portal is/was:
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