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Smart Platform for Earth Observation Data Search & Use

Requester: University of Zurich (incl. extended consortium of industry and research)

The availability and quality of satellite data have strongly increased in recent years. However, this diversity of data also makes it difficult to maintain an overview of current developments. This applies to finding the most suitable data for specific questions, data handling (from data access, management and processing to evaluation and visualization towards interpretation), and the critical reflection on the validity and quality of the available derived information. Especially outside of research, extensive expertise is required for this, which is only available to a limited extent depending on the organization.

The idea presented here is to implement a platform that combines the following modules:

(i) an extensive database of (freely) available Earth observation data and products (e.g., from satellites, via
Copernicus or Open Data sources).

(ii) a comprehensive characterization of the data in terms of data specifications (format, etc.) and potential
data applications (i.e., labelling application areas/product properties, etc.)

iii) a harmonization of the data with respect to data format/type, geometry, metadata

iv) a flexible, self-optimizing search engine based on current developments in NLP (i.e., considering
context/semantics understanding etc)

v) intuitive and standardized interfaces for data access and sharing.

The goal is to allow people without prior knowledge or expertise in satellite missions and sensors to access and use this data. Examples would include information on pollution or natural hazard, long-term statistics based on satellite data on the effects of climate change and biodiversity decline, or visualization of land cover and land use in near real time.


  • Development of a database management system for linking a wide variety of data formats including metadata.
  • Semi-automatic processes for thematic labelling of EO data.
  • Development of business model ideas and their implementation.

Whom are we looking for?

  • Organizations/users interested in using/implementing the platform.
  • Organizations contributing to the data base.
  • Organizations/users using the data outcome.
We are no longer accepting applications for this call. Contact us for more details.