Landscape designers, nature conservation officials, city planners, farmers and foresters, meteorologists—they can all benefit from earth observation, if they have reliable and easy access to the requisite data. Today the “Copernicus Data and Exploitation Platform – Germany”, CODE-DE, was activated for this purpose. The platform was developed together with industrial partners under EOC leadership.
CODE-DE makes possible free-of-charge, simple access to data from the Sentinel satellites and to information products from the European Copernicus programme–including an up-to-date cloud-free mosaic of Germany, produced at EOC. The platform will also provide access to national geodata infrastructure (GDI-DE). This portal provides harmonised and standardised German geodata from a wide variety of sources. By agreement with industrial partners it is also planned to offer data from the German radar satellites TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X as well as high-resolution optical images from RapidEye satellites.
CODE-DE offers a one-stop shop. The data is collected in a single portal so that users no longer have to search through various databases, as formerly. This gives them direct access to an enormous amount of data—the Sentinel satellites alone will produce a data volume of some 50 petabytes by the end of 2020.
New approaches are required to efficiently use this mass of data. “Earth observation is Big Data per se” explains Stefan Dech, director of the German Remote Sensing Data Center. “But today we are addressing many more users looking for up-to-the-minute information to meet their own requirements. It therefore makes sense to process large data volumes where they accumulate and are archived, such as at our Earth Observation Center, where the German Satellite Data Archive is also operated. CODE-DE offers the possibility to process data directly on the platform employing one’s own methodology, and then download only the desired end product instead of the raw data. This makes possible completely new near-real-time applications, since it is no longer necessary to first download sometimes enormous masses of data.”
The German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) implemented the platform together with partners, ensures access to the data, and contributes many of its own data products. The subcontractors are T-Systems (IT infrastructure), Werum Software & Systems AG (data management) and EOX IT Services GmbH (data visualisation on the online portal). The Brockmann Consult company will configure the processing environment. The EOMAP company is the beta tester and GAF-AG will supply the training and customer services.