Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kick-Off Meeting of GEO Task ST-09-02

Hypox Scientist Christoph Waldmann from the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences at Bremen University (MARUM) participated in the Kick Off Meeting of the Group on Earth Observation's (GEO) task ST-09-02. The task was initiated as part of the 2009-2011 workplan of GEO to promote the development of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The main goal of this task is to promote awareness and benefits of GEOSS in the scientific and technological communities in order to engage the research community in GEO and GEOSS. Activities include the forming of links with major scientific research enterprises and to actively encourage relevant scientists and technical experts to contribute to GEOSS.

Fig. 1: The nine societal benefit areas of GEO (taken from the slide library The Group on Earth Observation: An Introduction;

The Kick-Off Meeting took place on 27.-28.7.2009 at the ESA/ESRIN centre in Frascati, Italy and was attended by 19 participants from Europe and the US. As representative of the European Comission (EC), Vojko Bratina reported on the efforts of the EC to foster some of the Task activities as well as other GEO-related projects. Within the Framework Program 7 (FP7), the EC funds GEO-relevant projects. A central requirement of the EC is compliance with the GEOSS standards, including registration of data sets and services in GEOSS registries. HYPOX is one of four projects that got funded in 2008. In 2009 and 2010, another twelve GEO-related projects are expected to be funded by the EC.

Fig. 2: The European Space Agency- European Space Research Institute ESA/ESRIN ground facilities in Frascati (Rome), Italy (

At the meeting, lively discussions took place. Part of them centered on establishing a "GEO label" to denote that data sets and products with the label had been validated/quality controlled according to a set of well-defined rules. This activity was strongly challenged as a GEO quality control (QC) may interfere with already established quality assurance procedures of space agencies and other organizations. One result of task ST-09-02 is the organization of a Union Session at the AGU Fall Meeting 2009. During this session, "compelling examples" will be shown to demonstrate how GEOSS works for science.

Further information about the Kick-Off meeting and meeting minutes are found here:

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