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SOSI - Spatial Observation Services and Infrastructure


SOSI is a project funded by ESA and jointly conducted by Siemens Austria (Austria), EOX IT Services GmbH (Austria), Siemens Hungary (Hungary), ANF Data (Czech Republic), Gisat (Czech Republic), MEEO (Italy), and Spacebel (Belgium).

Project Description

SOSI demonstrates innovative "Spatial Observation Services and Infrastructure" within the context of land monitoring initiatives at European and Member State levels.

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 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 also 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 this 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.

Further Reading

SOSI Videos

SOSI Architecture

SOSI How it works

SOSI Namespace

SOSI EEA License and Questionnaire


SOSI SLCS CZ and SMLCUS Availability

Contributors to this page:
Milan Novacek
Laszlo Zsidai
Gerhard Triebnig .

Page last modified on Friday 16 of April 2010 19:59:51 CEST by .