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Access to EO Data

Ensuring access to EO data is maintained, improved and sustained. 
The following are the activities under this output as outlined in the budget:

i) Installation and maintenance of new and existing E-stations
AUC coordinates and oversees the installation and maintenance of approximately 20 new full stations for the 2 services and maintenance of 174 existing PUMA2015 and MESA stations. AUC, with support from the Technical Assistance Team (TAT) , undertakes the identification of needs (either installation or maintenance) of the RICs through.an assessment including an audit of the existing PUMA2015 and MESA stations (including geographic distribution and level of usage). The purpose is to ensure sustainability of data access from the Copernicus data and products and from other EO resources, which are pertinent for the two services (e.g .from EUMETSAT, EU member states, etc).
The AUC will regularly monitor the degree of use of the data received through the EUMETCast receiving stations in the implementation of the related Marine & Coastal and Water and Natural resources services.
The installation and the maintenance of receiving stations will be done through the procurement by AUC of one supply contract. Coastal equipment will be installed and/or maintained as part of the grants to be awarded to RICs (see procedure under 4.1. below).  

ii) Strengthening data access and intra-African collaborative actions 
This activity promotes intra-Africa collaboration and open -data (including in situ) in the overall framework of the African Space policy and strategy as well as the EU-Africa cooperation on Copernicus: 

AU technical working group on data access
The AUC creates an AU technical working group on data access. The objective of the group is to access and share data, including in-situ data. The working group looks into different data specifications that serve beyond this Action. The working group will also deliberate on extension and continentalisation of applications under this Action.
The AU technical working group also identifies the needs for operational Earth observation data provided by European institutions or programmes (such as Copernicus, ESA, EUMETSAT). On the basis of the recommendations of the AU technical working group, a joint EU-AU technical working group negotiates the technical process and facilities to be set up to allow the provision of the relevant data in the context of the EU-AU data access cooperation agreement.
The main targets here are the RICs, national networks and the private sector. Members of AfriGEOSS may be invited to contribute to it. The technical working group meets preferably back to back with other meetings on earth observation. AUC organizes at least three continental meetings of the AU technical working group: 2 service workshops (1 for each service) and 1 joint workshop covering the 2 services. Five regional stakeholders’ workshops (Academia, private sector, RICs and their partners, RECs) will also be organized.

Geoportals
GMES & Africa also contributes to African spatial data infrastructure by developing continental and regional geo-portals improving on what has been initiated in MESA. These portals are pools of datasets harvested from all the other regional portals. The continental geo-portal will provide information to all countries and regions in the continent. 
AUC liaises with AfriGEOSS in the development of the geo-portal to ensure no duplication of efforts. The continental geo-portal is hosted and managed by AUC. The expected impact is to strengthen dialogue between AUC, RICs and users including other EO data providers. The second expected impact is to promote synergies with other international and continental initiatives such as GFCS, ClimDev Africa and ARMC etc. Another impact is to support a dialogue with African stakeholders to contribute to developing an African space data policy and to foster exchanges of spatial data between institutions involved in GMES & Africa and outside. 
AUC procures IT equipment and services to host the website, create databases, provide interface tools and equipment like computers as well as servers and internet connection.

Support to in-situ data collection
The AUC will encourage synergies with other initiatives targeting the rehabilitation of in situ data collection networks in Africa . It will support the RICs in identifying, as part of their grants (see outputs 2 and 3 below), the specific initiatives and stakeholders with whom collaborative actions may be undertaken in targeted areas.

3 comments:

  1. The information is very informative, though it is not explicit on how governments of Africa could access EO datastes that are within the boundaries of their territories and themes of their interest. We are the National Statistical Organization(NSO) of Uganda -UBOS, who have been keen on the integration of geographies and statistics for years.

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    1. Thank you for your question:
      1- GMES & Africa is promoting the use of EO datasets that are derived from European satellites’ missions. These EO datasets are already available through internet, for free, on many European data hubs like https://scihub.copernicus.eu/ , https://coda.eumetsat.int/, http://gisgeography.com/how-to-download-sentinel-satellite-data/,
      http://www.digital-geography.com/downloading-sentinel-satellite-imagery/… For the African institutions who have been part of MESA, AMESD and PUMA projects the EO datasets are also available through EUMETCAST using the stations they have.
      2- GMES & Africa will provide access through its geoportal to download (1)raw EO datasets for specific areas and (2)EO products and applications which will be defined with the Regional Implementation Centers and which will address regional issues of high priority for them like monitoring floods, wildfire, vessels, sea temperature, water quality, water resources… This is part of the implementation of two services, namely water and natural resources service and ocean and coastal areas service. The implementing of these two services will start soon, so please continue to follow us on our blog, social media and the foreseen geoportal.
      Best regards.

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  2. I also would like to add that he we are talking of Earth Observation datasets. Additional work is required to interpret and analyse images and make statistic data (% of surface covered by forest, covered by waters, urban areas, etc.). However, in software actually on the market, this can be done automatically and routinely with little human intervention.

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