I’M thor fechner, i was already introduced. I have been a part of the european open data portal or open data port data portal since 2015. Since the beginning, the inception – i’m part of conterror of the consortium – and i have a fairly provocative title – i would say, which is – is copernicus data, open data and um i’m. Very aware of the fact that this might doesn’t sit right with copernicus um persons and that open data persons might have another view, and that is the whole point of the entire talk to explore the space of what’s, open and what’s, not open, what’s, okay and where’s. The spectrum, where does it start, whether that the agenda for this talk is fairly um yeah quickly told i want to make a point that open something open source open data open government is a fairly cyclical topic that it always resurfaces. Then i want to give you a quick introduction to copernicus um. Some of you already may know what copernicus is about, but for those of you who don’t um, i want to level the playing field, a bit then i’m, going into details of the dissemination strategy or the distribution strategy of the european commission or the european space agency. For copernicus data um, because that is the most interesting fact and where perhaps certain differences are and then i’ll follow up with the main question or the the title of the talk, which is copernicus data, open data and i’ll give some definitions where we can discuss this Later on and then i’ll draw a fairly personal conclusion, but then we’ll open up the floor to discuss that um yeah with all of you in this call.

So without further ado. This is my very incomplete and i have to stress this it’s an incomplete timeline of open something. It starts back in 1957 with an article which was published by wallace parks. It was called the open government principle and it surfaced in the united states of america, and that is, as far as i know and literature tends to agree the first written occurrence of open government so it’s already quite a while back um. Then we have the entire freedom of information act also from the united states um and then there’s a large gap um, which i have not looked at, but then a fairly prominent example, at least in the european open data community is um that in pop culture in 1980, there was already um something which was called open government in a tv show or in a comedy for that matter. So the bbc, the british broadcasting company, aired um the first episode of a new show which was called yes, minister, um, and it was entitled open government. And that is fairly interesting to me, because in order to have a comedy, show take up the topic of open government and start their pilot season or episode with that. Um in 1980 means that there was somehow a need or a debate and an awareness in the general population, and i can’t show the clip or the episode here, but if you manage to find it it’s it’s a good laugh.

Try to find it. I highly recommend it um in 1985 um. Switching now to software. There was a gnu manifesto by stallman, basically establishing what free software is or the notion of free software and then the whole debate of what’s free software, what’s, open software and all that which is a can of worms in itself, but it’s. Also, quite a while back and then again a large time jump. Then we have uh, and you know all you. You know that all um the entire directives from from the psi directive, we have the treaty of lisbon. Where openness is mentioned, we have then the open government directive and all the other stuff which happened more or less in recent years. But my point with this slide is while openness opens something at least or the notion of openness is a cyclical topic. It doesn’t start 10 years ago or 20 years ago. It started way back when and now. If we connect that to copernicus well copernicus or gms as it was called previously started around 1998. There was a previous program which even started earlier, but this is the point in time where basically copernicus started and in there somewhere inspire also more or less started. So point is it’s a cyclical topic and, as john franco already told you in the beginning, different communities started toying around with different ideas regarding openness and what’s, acceptable and what’s, not at different points in time. So yeah.

The quick introduction to copernicus copernicus is the european union’s earth observation program. Quite simply, it looks at the earth and tries to figure out what’s going on on our earth in order to monitor the environment and benefit the european citizens. Program was roughly 20 years old, previously known as the global monitoring for environment and security program gms, and the the program before that, i think, was called ges global environment system but i’m, not quite sure, i’m, not an expert on that and then the copernicus right now Has six operational services several satellites in earth orbit which monitors yeah the environment and one of the most impressive numbers to me, because that needs to sink in basically, is that it generates 12 terabytes of data every day, so 12 terabytes not gigabytes terabytes every day, and If you simply multiply that by the amount of days we have in the year, and then you think that this program will run for decades, you get a very, very large number um or in volume of data which needs to be stored, accessed and made available to The public and the european commission expects that it will generate somewhere between 68 and 131 billion euros of benefits for european society during its runtime um. So just this, the very quick introduction copernicus is the european union’s earth observation program. In a sense, this is a very complicated and dense picture. I took that from an official report from the commission, but i just wanted to take home or show you or make that point that the program itself is planned for the next couple of decades, so it started around 2014 and it’s all planned out in 2040.

. There’S. All the different satellites – and we are just at the beginning, more or less in the first third of the entire program, there’s a whole plan for that and it’s – probably a topic which will stay at least with me until i retire so it’s quite a long program And it has been approved by the commission for the next um years as well, so up until 2027, it’s funded and the entire space program is funded. Basically so that’s. The main point here, so it’s not going away anytime soon, that’s the main point from this slide. So now the interesting portion, where is the difference between open data and how is it disseminated and where is the the the point the up european union or ec or asa for that matter, makes in distributing copernicus data? So if you want to access copernicus data, there’s, basically two main ways, you can directly go to the european space agency and access the data from the copernicus open access hub. So you just type in the url above and then you’ll end up on a home page or a portal where it says: welcome to the cover. Nico’S, open access hub and here and here are the satellites and you can access the data that way. But the first interesting tidbit here is that the page says it’s the copernicus open access app, but the url – and this is the first pointer that there has been a shift.

Um says scihub.com. Why doesn’t it say openaccess.copernicos.eu, because in its conception and still later on, there was debates if the data should be made publicly available, or only for research purposes and whatnot, and this this notion that the scihab name, the scientific hub, still carries um in in the url, Is quite interesting to me because there you see the major change other way of just distributing the data or accessing the data. The commission funded um, four or six, depending on how you count or what you deem uh, um and and data information access up funded those data information access, apps, they are um, were contracted to different uh, consortiums, um and there’s. Four main ones wonders to blue creodios and mundi um, and there you can go and access the data um from yeah. Basically, companies it’s, distributed to the companies. The companies were paid up, uh paid to build up those portals and they were expected to do a better job than, for example, either because they would focus on user friendly access to the data and they were expected to build revenue models around hosting the data. In order to to generate market specific access points to the data, so the commission took away and saying well we’re putting the data on is us open access hub, but also um? We are trying to generate a healthy ecosystem um with specific markets in mind where companies can add value added services, so the main difference is to open data.

If you go to the ether open access hub, you need to register in order to access the data. So if you go now to the upn data portal, you don’t need to register to access any data. You need to attribute the data if you use it that’s also true for copernicus data, but if you want to access conference data copernicus data at all, you need to register and if you go to the other services from the companies, you also need to register. You also need to attribute the data because it originated by asia and if you use any of the value added services, those platforms which are built by the companies um. If you use those, you need to pay right, and that is one also one of the main differences and those value added services could be, for example, that the image quality is better or that you have nice algorithms, which help you to process the data or that You can buy compute time so computers, basically or servers in the cloud which are very close by in terms of speed access, speed to the data so that you don’t have to download the data to your infrastructure or your laptop and and process it in the cloud Near the data and that’s then paid, and that is part of the revenue model the companies have built around the copernicus data, so main difference, registration is needed and attribution is needed, but that is also true for open data and then value added services.

You need to pay for those if you use those of the commercial offerings, so this is a very dense slide, but don’t worry. We are just focusing on on a piece of it, so the first one is open is the the definition i want to give for what is an open data definition, so francoli wrote, open government includes a culture of governance that transcends information and communication technologies where the Goals of sharing collaboration on openness in general are reflected in the operations and priorities so it’s not about just putting data somewhere but it’s a cultural shift. Basically – and this is one of the definitions i quite like of what is open government or what is open – data that it’s a cultural shift basically and the lower one, which i will now condense a bit – is the um open definition which originated back from definitions from The sunlight foundation and the open knowledge foundation and it’s. Now this this commonly agreed upon thing, you look at one on to to judge whether something is open or not. Um. They categorize um openness in if it’s open work if it has an open license and if it has acceptable conditions which are imposed upon um the use of the data, and for this talk only three aspects i would say we can discuss that. Um are relevant in terms of copernicus it’s application to any purpose so that they can use the data for anything which is published so even commercial offerings to generate value added services, but that the original thing is not charged for and that it stays that way and That i can impose technical restrictions on the data so that it’s not restricted in use.

If i generate, for example, a new revenue model from that. So these are the three main points i would say are relevant in the discussion with copernicus, and now you might see where my hawk is heading to the question is copernicus data. Open data boils down to two points. Basically, accessing open data usually does not need a registration. I’Ve already said that, but and that’s the main point i want to drive home apis, so programming interfaces a programmer can use or you can use to automate stuff that are used to disseminate distribute the data. Sometimes do due to technical limitations or protecting yourself from abuse. So if somebody downloads your data every second of every day with a large cluster of machines, they might drive you into roon um, because the the traffic they generate. Um is so insane that you can’t handle that any longer. So if you offer programmatic access to your data, it might be wise, depending on the data, if you restrict the access in order to protect yourself and then there’s. Another definition, which i think quite nicely complements that jansen at all state that it’s not enough to establish yet another portal to make open data accessible, but rather the quality of information and the provision of tools and instruments to use the data is equally important, meaning that, If you want to really make use of open data, if you want to drive adoption, if you want to drive uptake and and for example, generate revenue, if you’re looking at companies or something like that, the tooling needs to be present and the company usually would not Download open data manually, but rather they would go and say well, i need an api to access the data regularly in order to put this into some kind of processing pipeline, and then we have this point where registration sometimes might be needed in order to know who’s Accessing my data to prevent fraud and all that so um conclusions, the commission’s view on copernicus is quite positive.

I would say they evaluated it back in 2014 to 2016 and they said it’s on track. It had has already met the major expectations and that they had um and that the number of users has increased dramatically and it still increased dramatically each day. And you can see that in the reports from ether, um and that’s quite useful data, and so from the commission’s point of view. Copernicus is a success at least up until now and in the evaluated period from 2014 to 2016. The next variation is um due to uh surface um and from my point of view, if i would go back to my initial yeah question now, i would like to open up to the discussion is um. Would it be better for the copernicus program to allow manual download without registration? So if i go to ether’s open access up, why do i need to register if i want to just download one scene of copernicus data? I watched just want to toy with it basically, but for me it’s, fine uh, i would say if it would be required to have a registration for accessing the api that’s reasonable from a technical point of view, at least for me so yeah, if copernicus would adopt. Like a more low entry barrier for accessing the data manually, that would help um, consistent tracking and all this would still be possible because the main volume is driven automatically via apis. The existing tooling for copernicus is quite well advanced, but a bit clunky for the average user, because it’s still earth observation data and uptake and reviews are fairly impressive.

So to say so i would say: yeah copernicus data is open data, but they could make it more accessible if they would reduce the barrier of access for manual downloads. So this concludes my talk. If you want to read a bit more on that, there is an analytical report due to surface in the next couple of days, months weeks, um, probably faster, which just aims at this entire topic and it’s basically entitled copernicus data for the open data community.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe1ekfaohzM