The demand for aerial and spatial imagery, and derived products, has been increasing over the years, in parallel with technological advances that allow producing a bigger variety of data with an increasing quality and accuracy. As a consequence of these advances, and the multiplication of deployed sensors, the amount of Earth Observation data collected and stored has exploded (Envisat transmitted 250 gigabytes of data every day until the communication was lost in April 2012, while the first three satellites of the Sentinel constellation are expected to beam together around 10,000 gigabytes in the same time range).
This amount of data may of course not be annotated and catalogued manually. Existing catalogues and search engines rely on controlled vocabularies, mapped ontologies and reasoning rules, to allow users searching for EO products in an intuitive manner. The solutions developed until now are based on project specific mechanisms and data structures. The EO products are annotated with keywords that make them searchable using a given system but that are not be compatible with others.
To overcome this problem, it is necessary to propose a standard that brings a compatibility layer across the products and the software systems.
The ProdTrees project will bring this compatibility layer by taking the existing CF-netCDF product format and controlled vocabulary and extending them with additional tags and names. EO Products described with EO-netCDF will be searchable and manageable with any of the compatible software products.