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GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme


GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) Operations

Activity ID: 133


Operate and maintain a user driven GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) to discover and access GEOSS resources (e.g. datasets and services). Ensure routine operations, whilst maintaining the GCI as the architectural framework essential to supporting the GEOSS Data Sharing Principles. Support the integration of new GCI capabilities as developed and tested by others. Continuously engage with data and service providers and user communities to connect new resources.

The task activities address the following:

  • GCI Component operations including maintenance, administration, monitoring and integration – covering both software and hardware;
  • Maintain partnership with Data and Service Providers and ensure resources are discoverable and accessible through the GCI in mutually agreed methods. Connect new providers who are relevant to Flagships and key Members and Participating Organizations;
  • Collect requirements and feedback from User Communities and Stakeholders for improving current GCI capabilities to ensure reliable products and services; and
  • Develop and operate a user Helpdesk for data and technical assistance and support services to Data and Service Providers, User Communities and Stakeholders.

Activities for the period

GEOSS Portal

Recognizing the user centrality as one of the main drivers of the GEO strategy, the GEOSS Portal project in the 2017-2020 time frame, has the ambition to reach users and make steps in meeting their full satisfaction, and will do so by enhancing the Portal, in compliance with functionalities expressed by the GCI User requirements, with the following high-level objectives in mind:

  • Better respond to user needs. The expected outcome is an enhanced user interface exposing new and evolved capabilities that are useful, i.e., that respond to user needs, as opposed to technology mandates. Furthermore, the aim is that the overall GEOSS Portal is complete and innovative, in the sense that the addressed communities can find  whatever they need to accomplish their activities. In addition, the GEOSS Portal will emphasize openness, by promoting the GEOSS Data CORE and encouraging relevant contributions from providers;
  • Improve user experience. The enhanced GEOSS Portal will abide by the usability rules to pursue intuitiveness and ease of use, where “easy” means “obvious” and “self-explanatory”. Particular attention will be paid to data quality and, in particular, to the integrity of the information provided, which, as a result of a fruitful cooperation with the other actors, shall be correct, verifiable and appropriate for the purpose;
  • Serve a Comprehensive Community of Users. Providing usable and useful functionalities may still be not enough to attract certain users, if this means to force them to completely abstract from their specific domain or abandon their working habits. For example, GEO and scientific communities have their specific needs, and therefore require that the GEOSS Portal offer capabilities that are customizable. Similarly, citizens might not be attracted if mobile use is not supported, as this is often the main means by which one interacts with the Internet. Finally, to guarantee a comprehensive audience, accessibility shall be addressed carefully, particularly regarding browser compatibility, response time and compliance with standards;
  • Raise Interest in and Awareness of GEOSS. Evolving it into a trusted place for exchange of ideas, education and outreach, where, users can, establish a dialogue with the providers, will raise even more interest and increase GEOSS awareness. Enhanced social interconnectivity will be achieved through a social platform, offering the social network mechanisms well-known by the users. Moreover, to convey to them a feeling of involvement and control, the GEOSS Portal will put in place mechanisms for user feedback. Awareness will be pursued through dissemination and exploitation activities run during the project.
  • Open Source code. By end of 2017 establishment of repository to host open source code of the Portal – open to GCI contributors for additional, future developments.

GEO Discovery Access Broker (DAB)

  • Broker the additional resource providers (data, information and knowledge, including the databases generated by the SBA user needs process) recognized to:
    • Reach the necessary GEOSS capacity, i.e. geographic and  thematic balance among regions and topics;
    • Address the requirements stemming from the SBA user needs process;
    • Address the needs coming from the GEOSS Portal; and
    • Address the needs of selected GEO Flagships and Initiatives.
  • Refine the operative ranking scheme utilized to prioritize discovery matching results, applying User needs;
  • Approve a formal brokering process for GEOSS resource Providers, based on a brokering agreement approach;
  • In addition to the CNR-IIA, train and establish supporting operational teams that have knowledge to run the brokering process for the new data and services Providers;
  • Online form to advise/communicate new data Providers to be brokered l for given community;
  • Dissemination activities and training workshops on the GEO DAB APIs and how to use them to leverage the entire GCI resources and develop thematic/geographic portals – with objective to increase usage of the GCI functionalities, noticeably for EO application Developers;
  • Implement a service “Status Checker” in the DAB framework –by leveraging the services offered by the component already developed by USGS;
  • Support the functionalities required by the knowledge base to manage non-data resources (e.g. documents, workflows and semantic resources); and
  • Consolidate and improve the online DAB statistics moving towards the development of a dashboard for the GEOSS resource Providers.

GCI Resource Quality

  • Enhance the quality of metadata supplied by the GEOSS resource Providers, presently brokered by the DAB, by establishing a set of minimum essential metadata elements that are compulsory to be filled –see also the GEOSS Data Management Principles;
  • Implement the GEOSS Data Management Principles;
  • Create a Community of the GEOSS resource Providers and organize training and workshops on a regular basis; and
  • Establish a “Yellow Pages” service to maintain a live data base of GEOSS Data Providers along with their description and a reference to the specific brokering agreements.

User Help Desk

  • Implement the “GEOSS User Help Desk” service in 2017.

Community Portals and Applications Guidelines

  • Provide a set of Guidelines to facilitate the development of specific Community-centered applications (e.g. Community Portal), using the GCI resources via the GEO DAB APIs –see also the DAB action on the DAB APIs dissemination; and
  • Develop web templates,  that have the same look and feel as the GEOSS Portal, that have already implemented the GEO DAB APIs, to facilitate non – technical users to establish a Community/SBA portal for a given thematic or spatial area.


  • Create a set of significant User-driven Pilots utilizing the resources available in the GCI to demonstrate its usability, effectiveness and importance for users and decision making.

Annual Events in support of the Operations

  • GCI Annual Workshop;
  • GCI Data Providers workshop;
  • GCI Capacity Building related events (GEO DAB APIs, advocacy) etc.; and
  • Support to showcase end users case studies in large events.

Future Plans

Will be developed in 2017 and beyond along the objectives and activities described in the overview.


GEO Trust Fund (Secretariat Staff)

In kind resources (Leads and Contributors)

Expected cash contribution from EC and ESA for Portal and DAB improvements and operations.


Joost Van Bemmelen, ESA -


Guido Colangeli, ESA - (GEOSS Portal)

Steven Browdy,IEEE - (Best Practices Wiki)

Stefano Nativi, Italy/ CNR - (DAB)

Mattia Santoro, Italy/ CNR - (DAB)

Rich Fraizer, US/ USGS -

Liping Di, US/ USGS -

Ranjay Shrestha, US/ USGS - 

Michelle Anthony, US/USGS -

Nathan Smith, Humanitarian Open street map -

Gregory Giuliani, CH/Un. of Geneva -

Secretariat Support

  • Overarching coordination and GCI configuration management including to maintain the GCI documentation and the list of the GCI Component and related representative persons;
  • Helpdesk;
  • Coordinate to improve capabilities of existing providers and also to connect new data providers; and
  • Integrate GCI performance measurement tracking and reporting capabilities across GCI Components and Services.

Paola De Salvo (GEO Secretariat) -

Osamu Ochiai (GEO Secretariat) -

Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)

No data found...