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SOSI Project

Project Title   Spatial Observation Services and Infrastructure
Project Acronym   SOSI
Contractor(s)   Siemens Austria (Austria), EOX IT Serivces GmbH (Austria), Siemens Hungary (Hungary), ANF Data (Czech Republic), Gisat (Czech Republic), MEEO (Italy), Spacebel (Belgium)


SOSI Context
     How it works


The SOSI project demonstrates innovative "Spatial Observation Services and Infrastructure" within the context of land monitoring initiatives at European and Member State levels. The main source of information are these pages together with the SOSI related pages at the SSE Wiki.

During the demonstration period from February 22 to August 21 2010 SOSI maintains a network of demonstration implementations jointly operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Environment Agency (EEA), and the participating organizations from the European Member States Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Luxembourg.

The programmatic objectives of the European Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) and related user requirements have provided much of the conceptual foundation for the SOSI demonstration systems. In particular the SEIS activity to implement the Land Cover Data Service (LCDS), a joint initiative of EEA and twelve Member States to establish an information sharing and reporting environment for land use and land cover change, is addressed by the SOSI project. For example, the SOSI Land Cover Service is a fully functional demonstration of the concept of a "locally administered, globally shared" data repository.

The primary technology and operational procedures of SOSI are implemented by utilizing the Service Support Environment (SSE) of ESA. SOSI offers a distributed node-based infrastructure of Web-services following Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles and standards, thus establishing access to a number of content services and one land cover generation processing service operated by the participating organizations. The SSE infrastructure provides coupling and user access mechanisms (binding, workflows and portal).

Further programmatic facets come into the SOSI project by the fact that the very first operational product of GMES, Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative, is loaded and accessible via the SOSI infrastructure. The product's official name is "High resolution core land cover data for built-up areas, including degree of soil sealing, 2006". This product was generated in the course of the "GMES Fast-Track Service on Land Monitoring" project spearheaded by EEA with coordinated satellite data provisioning by ESA. The SOSI project implements an operational service demonstrating online access to this high resolution built-up areas data entirely covering four pilot states namely Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Luxembourg as well as the whole of Europe with the seamless product. This land cover data (LC data) is provided at connected Service Provisioning Points (SPPs) physically operated in these countries.

The second Land Cover dataset accessible via the SOSI Demonstration System is the Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2000 dataset. This data can be accessed via the SPP operated by the EEA called Land Use Data Centre (LUDC), which is interfaced by the SOSI infrastructure. In adddition to this pan-European dataset, four national subsets of the CLC 2000 dataset at a higher resolution are separately available for viewing and download from the four distributed SPPs operated in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Luxembourg for demonstration purposes.

In the course of analysing the contributions from the mentioned Member States a proposal to also tackle specific national requirements has developed: The Hungarian participation in the information network, in addition to the land cover service setup in Hungary, addresses multi-lingual aspects of a national portal for Hungarian users. This has challenged the SSE configuration flexibility in international scenarios and consequently led to improvements in this area, where the SSE is now much better able to handle localisation. It demonstrates how to bind and combine terrestrial information to Earth observation data using SSE features. In the demonstrator there are two national data sets involved: "Registry of Hungarian Nature Protection Areas" and "Database of the national Water Framework Directive Report". The SOSI implementation in the Czech Republic (CZ) includes a service allowing an existing Earth Observation (EO) satellite data archive, maintained nationally for regionally received Envisat MERIS data, to be connected via SSE. This service demonstrates the benefits gained from the available tools for publishing archive data, discovery, viewing, ordering via a powerful graphical user interface, and secure delivery of data to users.

The SSE capabilities of setting up workflows and value chains of distributed services are a further demonstration objective in SOSI. A custom automated Land Cover (LC) generation engine provided by the company MEEO has been installed as a network service which can be chained into a SOA workflow. The experimental configuration in SOSI orchestrates the retrieval of EO data from the Czech archive service and automatically invokes the LC provided service. A benchmark assessed the performance and behaviour of the MEEO classification engine summarizing the results in a Technical Note.

The SOSI services taken together comprise a demonstration of the potential of the capabilities of the SSE architecture and of the SOA approach as a set of viable and efficient tools which can favourably be used for the implementation of "ubiquitous access to distributed, cooperating data and services", by demonstrating service examples in the EO land monitoring application field.


The project is conducted under contract of the European Space Agency ESA and the strong in-kind steering support by the European Environment Agency EEA. The authors wish to thank Mr. S. D'Elia and Mr. P.G. Marchetti from ESA as well as Mr. C. Steenmans and his LUDC team from EEA for essentially having formed the project idea and for accompanying its execution. The preparedness by the company Geoville to host the Luxembourg SOSI instantiation is very much appreciated. The contributions of the company Spacebel regarding SOA and SSE knowhow and of the company MEEO regarding automated LC generation are very valuable to the SOSI project. We wish to thank the Hungarian Ministry of Environment and Water for the provision of national data sets.



The project's objective is to demonstrate, in real operations, a decentralised information system allowing integration of distributed data and processing services as well as access and distribution at multiple levels, languages, and content granularities.

SOSI aims at the verification of SEIS concepts for infrastructure and services in the context of Land Cover Monitoring & Earth Observation via the demonstration of distributed data and processing services. Data and services shall be shared at European and Member States levels.

SOSI utilizes for the demonstration the concept, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) implementations, and technology opportunities (e.g. available technology for re-use) of ESA's SSE platform.



See the wiki page SOSI Architecture for more details.

Enterprise Viewpoint

Figure 1 shows the geographically distributed nodes, or Service Provisioning Points (SPPs), of the SOSI Demonstration System implemented in the framework of the SOSI project. Furthermore, the functionality assigned to each of these nodes is indicated.


Figure 1 Geographical Distribution and Providers of SOSI Demonstration System Servers

The services of the SOSI Demonstration System are available to be "consumed" by various kinds of users on the Internet as also shown in the Figure above.

Information Viewpoint

The following spatial data-sets are accessible via the SOSI demonstrator:

  • GMES FT Soil Sealing 2006 (European Seamless and Member State level) with complete name "High resolution core land cover data for built-up areas, including degree of soil sealing, 2006" – importance as the first operational GMES product
  • Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2000
  • MERIS-Derived LC - based on a MEEO benchmark
  • Additional Hungarian data-sets ("Registry of Hungarian Nature Protection Area" and "Database of the National Water Framework Directive Report")


Service Viewpoint

We have to distinguish between services which are available at the service bus (SOSI Services) and those which are available at the SSE portal (SOSI SSE Services).

SOSI Services

At each Service Provisioning Point (SPP) SOSI provides several services of different types. The services are named according to the INSPIRE Network Services Architecture and are grouped into two components 1) Land Cover Services (Soil Sealing and Corine data) and 2) Earth Observation Services (MERIS data) (see figure 2). The implementation of the services complies with various standards such as those of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). An exhaustive list of services would be far too long but here is a list of service types:

  • Discovery Service / Catalogue Service for the Web (CSW) - to search for services and datasets
  • View Service / Web Map Service (WMS) - to display datasets
  • Download Service / Web Coverage Services (WCS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Ordering Service - to obtain copies of datasets
  • Invoke Spatial Data Service - used in SOSI for orchestrated access to the download service and for service chains



Figure 2 SOSI Service Metamodel Matched to INSPIRE Network Service Architecture and Showing SSE Service Support / Technology Re-use

SOSI SSE Services

Please refer to section Output below for a complete list of all services of the SOSI Demonstration System registered at the SSE portal.

Figure 3 shows a screenshot of the "SOSI Land Cover Service - SLCS A" directly after start-up. The WebMapViewer displays the available datasets utilizing several view services (WMS). The download services (WCS) for the Soil Sealing dataset are already configured and the user can download the available data from a Web Coverage Services (WCS) using the tab labeled "Coverage". On the right side the screenshot shows the selectable input parameters for the orchestrated on-line access to the data. These parameters include the selection of the dataset to obtain namely "Soil Sealing" or "CLC 2000", the resolution, the packaging (separate or combined), and an option to zip the result. For a detailed explanation please refer to the SLCS Hints page at the SSE Wiki.


Figure 3 Screenshot of SSE Service "SOSI Land Cover Service - SLCS Austria"


How it works

Engineering Viewpoint

SOSI is designed as loosely-coupled system (SOA) based on networked services enabling distribution through functional decomposition into objects which interact at standard interfaces. Conceptually, SOSI aims to be an open system into which additional services can be added, without need for additional software development, assuming interfaces are precisely followed.

Technology Viewpoint

Figure 4 sketches the possible installation set-up for a Service Provisioning Point (SPP) as used by the Austrian SPP. Only Open Source software components are used at the SPP which was one of the main objectives of SOSI.


Figure 4 SOSI Architecture Technology choices



The following is a list of all services of the SOSI Demonstration System registered at the SSE portal:


Contributors to this page: andreadv .

Page last modified on Thursday 16 of December 2010 08:57:19 CET by andreadv.