Interoperability for Spatio-Temporal Big Data: the OGC Coverage Standards Suite


Sensor, image, model, and statistics data -- in short OGC and ISO modelled as coverages -- typically are prime contributors to the Big Data problem in the Earth sciences. Serving them efficiently requires interfaces smart enough to offer flexibility to users while minimizing data traffic over the wire.

WCS comprises a modular suite for simple and efficient access to large coverage assets. The specification set consists of optional functionality facets - so-called extensions - grouped around a core that is mandatory for every implementation. Extensions are arranged in categories which eases overview. On top of that, Application Profiles provide guidance by grouping WCS Core and extensions for particular purposes, such as Remote Sensing and Meteorology / Oceanography. The Web Coverage Processing Service (WCPS) adds in a high-level language for on-demand processing and fitering of coverages. Generally, WCS 2 is appreciated by implementers due to its clear structuring and concise conformance testing.

The OGC unified coverage model establishes a concise, interoperable definition of coverage structures based on GML; format encoding extensions describe alternative, often more efficient binary encodings commonly used for coverages, such as GeoTIFF, JPEG2000 / GMLJP2, and NetCDF. By separating this coverage concept from the coverage service, any service - such as SWE and WPS - can provide and consume coverages in addition to WCS.
Progress also has been made in conformance testing which checks server responses down to pixel level; this greatly enhances interoperability.

Recently, handling of temporal dimensions has received particular attention, and WCS has taken a lead in OGC-wide harmonization of spatial and temporal coordinate handling.

We introduce to the data and service concepts by using real-life examples drawn from various domains; Internet connected participants can execute and modify many of these simultaneously. Room will be reserved for discussion and inspection of use cases participants may bring along.

PDF icon wcs-overview.pdf2.49 MB
Interoperability for Spatio-Temporal Big Data: the OGC Coverage Standards Suite; Summer Meeting 2013. ESIP Commons , April 2013