The transatlantic EarthServer initiative is establishing Agile Earth Analytics based on open standards. The core paradigm is: use high-level query languages as client/server interfaces. Well-defined syntax and semantics allows clients to build such query strings and servers to unambiguously decode and evaluate them. Power users may utilize such ad-hoc query facilities directly. Most users, however, will enjoy visual query interfaces hiding queries behind point-and-click interfaces. On server side, such queries are amenable to optimization and parallelization in clouds, clusters, or between data centers.
In EarthServer, six Lighthouse Applications covering the Earth Sciences implement such query-based services with 100+ TB volumes. Platform technology is the rasdaman ("raster data manager") Array DBMS platform, which is being extended so as to address all coverage types defined in OGC GMLCOV and ISO 19123.