The recent trend toward open Earth observation (EO) data has revived a general interest in satellite-based monitoring and mapping of the Earth surface. The open policy now applied to LANDSAT data, and the starting of Sentinel operations, whose data are freely distributed even for commercial purposes, tore down a financial barrier to wider use of EO data in business activities, especially those with a narrow financial margin. Notwithstanding the flood of open data, some aspects of the Earth surface still escape satisfactory monitoring from space, especially in complex, anthropic areas. Due to insufficient spatial resolution, lack of visibility, or unsuitable revisit times, important pieces of information may not emerge from spaceborne data. In situ sensing can represent a vital source of integrative information to fill the aforementioned gaps and build a more complete and accurate picture of the situation and trends in the observed area. The contribution of in situ sensing was envisaged quite early in the Earth observation history, but for a long time it remained limited to tailored sensors displaced in strategic locations. With the increasing circulation of smartphones, a new opportunity has recently opened for a different paradigm of in situ sensing, offering a huge mass of additional data by tapping on data generated by mobile devices. Even if such data may be less specialized and less usable for various reasons, the sheer size of the data flow ensures that statistical analysis will pick possible useful clues. The increasing availability of mobile connections has indeed revived the concept of "crowdsourcing," i.e., entrusting a pool of actors with problem solution or information collection tasks. In our scenario, individuals carrying mobile devices can become "citizen sensors" on a voluntary basis by contributing data through their connected terminals. Even considering the typical issues of crowdsourced data, like quality and reliability, the balance remains definitely positive. This paper provides an overview of the theme and discusses how it relates to an important, coordinated EO initiative like Copernicus. It finally presents a specific example realized in the framework of a recent research project under the Copernicus aegis.

Potentials of active and passive geospatial crowdsourcing in complementing sentinel data and supporting copernicus service portfolio

DELL'ACQUA, FABIO;DE VECCHI, DANIELE
2017

Abstract

The recent trend toward open Earth observation (EO) data has revived a general interest in satellite-based monitoring and mapping of the Earth surface. The open policy now applied to LANDSAT data, and the starting of Sentinel operations, whose data are freely distributed even for commercial purposes, tore down a financial barrier to wider use of EO data in business activities, especially those with a narrow financial margin. Notwithstanding the flood of open data, some aspects of the Earth surface still escape satisfactory monitoring from space, especially in complex, anthropic areas. Due to insufficient spatial resolution, lack of visibility, or unsuitable revisit times, important pieces of information may not emerge from spaceborne data. In situ sensing can represent a vital source of integrative information to fill the aforementioned gaps and build a more complete and accurate picture of the situation and trends in the observed area. The contribution of in situ sensing was envisaged quite early in the Earth observation history, but for a long time it remained limited to tailored sensors displaced in strategic locations. With the increasing circulation of smartphones, a new opportunity has recently opened for a different paradigm of in situ sensing, offering a huge mass of additional data by tapping on data generated by mobile devices. Even if such data may be less specialized and less usable for various reasons, the sheer size of the data flow ensures that statistical analysis will pick possible useful clues. The increasing availability of mobile connections has indeed revived the concept of "crowdsourcing," i.e., entrusting a pool of actors with problem solution or information collection tasks. In our scenario, individuals carrying mobile devices can become "citizen sensors" on a voluntary basis by contributing data through their connected terminals. Even considering the typical issues of crowdsourced data, like quality and reliability, the balance remains definitely positive. This paper provides an overview of the theme and discusses how it relates to an important, coordinated EO initiative like Copernicus. It finally presents a specific example realized in the framework of a recent research project under the Copernicus aegis.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1198848
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