sobloo, the Earth data marketplace

With Copernicus, the European Commission has an ambitious Earth observation program. The objective is to exploit and manage the complex data collected and enable the creation of new economic models from satellite images and information from atmospheric, terrestrial and maritime sensors.

Agriculture 4.0: How to exploit earth observation images?

Six years of Earth data for €4.3 billion

The European Commission's Copernicus initiative is a program designed to observe the planet's environment. With a budget of 4.3 billion euros for the period 2014 to 2020, it observes the Earth and collects reliable information for the study of environmental challenges.

Copernicus relies on the network of 30 Sentinel satellites dedicated to Earth observation and on a network of multiple sources in situ, ground stations, airborne and onboard sensors and maritime beacons. These feed an information and intelligence database coordinated by ESA (European Space Agency). This database provides indicators in six areas: atmosphere, marine, agriculture, climate, emergencies and security.

Access to these 40 Péta Octets (PO) of raw data, intended to feed projects on the environment or security for example, is free for the citizens, scientists, companies, start-ups and organizations (governmental, private and civic) of the world.

The dissemination of earth data involves the transfer, storage and permanent updating of this data.

It is, as you can imagine, a real headache to deal with such volumes of data – more than 10 PO of data are added each year – and the many types of data and their formats make it particularly complex.

sobloo: a DIAS platform to facilitate access to data

To improve access to data, facilitate sharing, and to offer Copernicus related services, the European Commission and ESA wished to accompany their project with a Data and Information Access Service (DIAS) platform, called sobloo.

This one-stop shop for geospatial data was entrusted to a consortium led by Airbus, Capgemini and Orange Business. A DIAS provides, within a single environment, business tools, integration through the generation of APIs and connectors, and cross-references of data sources or the AI associated with these tools to enrich the raw data.

A new era of exploitation of Earth data with sobloo

The aim of sobloo is to pave the way for a new era of exploitation of Earth observation data by simplifying access to Copernicus data and other data collections. The concept is simple: to exploit Copernicus' data, without managing transfer and storage, and to have the resources to develop and host services and applications.

sobloo comes in the form of a cloud portal giving real-time, centralized access to the Copernicus world database. It enables the development of applications and services based on Earth observation data.

Aimed at scientists, companies and start-ups, it offers the opportunity to consult and exploit this data and to create or reinforce new business models.

For this, sobloo offers a development environment with its APIs and connectors, large storage capacity and impressive computing power. It also offers managed cloud-based generic services, dedicated thematic and analytics tools, and a configuration toolbox.

sobloo, a collaborative platform

sobloo works on the model of an open community that is intended primarily for research and the exploitation of data or spatial images and services. It is also a platform for application and service developers, an innovation driver at the service of the data economy. The sobloo collaborative model promotes sharing and co-creation within a community. The platform is also open to aid the expansion of the information base using a cloud model, giving the ability to integrate external sources into the Copernicus project – for example data from drones or IoT (Internet of Things) sensors and an extensive catalog of services that continues to build.

Thought has been given to the development of economic models based on the data, such as using Copernicus data for agriculture: tracking the weather, calculation of a zone's humidity index, vegetation analysis, measurement of soil temperature, and size and quality of cultivated plots.

The potential of application development within sobloo is an essential gateway to creating a Copernicus data mining economy in industry, commerce, logistics or even tourism.

sobloo, the marketplace for Earth applications and services

sobloo looks like a real marketplace for applications and services of the Earth, where sectored markets are developing, which exploit and optimize collected data, such as agriculture, insurance, transport, energy, smart cities and disaster management. More will come, including ecology, management and anticipation of natural disasters and the study of marine pollution.

The immediate or potential uses of sobloo are multiple. It could transform into a platform for optimizing the future of the Earth and its inhabitants.

Alain Berry
Alain Berry

As Director of Commercial Development sobloo, the solution Copernicus Data Access Information Services developed by Airbus, Orange and Cap Gemini, I am involved with a large ecosystem: scientists, start-ups, public institutions and companies covering all sectors of activity: agriculture, health, insurance, transport, industry, energy, etc. Interested in innovation and what it can best bring to all as a human being and to the future of the world, sobloo gives me the opportunity to participate in the construction of this new era of data mining and Earth observation to optimize the future of the Earth and its inhabitants.