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Earth Sensor Portal - Publishing Your Image Archive Online

Author: Martin Flood, April 7, 2020

We’ve been approached recently about using our Earth Sensor Portal (ESP) as an efficient, cost-effective way to publish a back catalog of aerial imagery.  Typically, we have dealt with ESP customers looking to publish LIDAR data archives, but Earth Sensor Portal is not just for LIDAR data.  Making an historical image archive available for browsing and download is an effective way to keep this type of valuable historical data alive.  This can either be for free distribution to the public, where the image archive holder absorbs the hosting and distribution costs, or as an e-commerce solution where the imagery is available for sale.  We are exploring both models and their unique requirements within the ESP architecture. 

What is the Earth Sensor Portal?

If you are not familiar with our enterprise products, Earth Sensor Portal is our Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosted (“cloud”) system designed to provide secure access to a catalog of raster and point cloud data products (i.e. LIDAR, NAIP, Landsat, orthophotos) for both viewing and download/ordering for authorized users.  Earth Sensor Portal began life as the processing, cataloging and delivery solution for the Multi-User System for Earth Sensing (MUSES), a Teledyne Brown sponsored project for the processing of hyperspectral data collected by the DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS-30) operating on the International Space Station (ISS).  DESIS-30 was installed on the ISS on June 29th, 2018.  ESP has been hosting and serving DESIS data from the ISS since January 2019 with a current catalog of > 14,000 hyperspectral images and over 2,000 user orders processed as of February 2020.

Earth Sensor Portal Display Screen
Figure 1 - Earth Senor Portal (3D Globe View)

What does Earth Sensor Portal Offer?

Earth Sensor Portal provides an online catalog for an organization’s image/raster data with an intuitive query interface that supports searching for data by any combination of product type, product metadata and data location.  2D, 3D, and perspective views, a broad choice of base maps and a Named Places gazetteer makes the map view a powerful aid in locating data geographically.  For historical archives, searching by date of collection obviously is a key feature.  Additionally, ESP users can create and set alerts for areas of interest to be automatically notified when new data sets of interest to them are published, simplifying and automating any publication notification process. 

Earth Sensor Portal Ordering System

The Earth Sensor Portal’s ordering system allows users to select and order any number of published products from the Earth Sensor Portal Catalog.  The ordering system tracks the processing status of the order and notifies the user when the order is ready for downloading.  An order history is kept for all orders and users can view their own orders or if permitted any orders in their organization.  Administrative reporting and logging of user activity are automatically generated each month.  We are also adding e-commerce tools to allow for ESP to be the storefront for your back catalog and take order entry but allowing order fulfillment to be done offline to save costs for the hosting organization or the customer.

Figure 2 – Archived Image Retrieval from User Search

Since Earth Sensor Portal is built on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, it inherits one of the most secure data storage systems available.  In addition, control of data access is completely definable by the data owners.  Administrators can restrict data access by user and/or organization.   Data access can be further controlled by defined polygonal boundaries or attribute values.  For example, you can restrict access by region, such that one organization can access data in one region, but not in another.

Finally, ESP supports a variety of business models from a full “user-pays” model to a firm, fixed-fee monthly subscription model or even a hybrid of the two.  If you are struggling with how to cost-effectively publish your geospatial data catalog, for public or private stakeholders, Earth Sensor Portal offers you an immediate solution to get you data catalog online quickly, easily and in a cost-effective way.  Please give us a call or email us at [email protected] if you’d like to arrange a demonstration to learn more about ESP.

ESP Order Fulfillment Dialogue
Figure 3 - Order Fulfillment via Storefront

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