Following the first alliance in 2016, the Netherlands eScience Center and the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) continue to collaborate on performance assessment of big data analysis frameworks for large-scale phenological studies.
In 2016, the Netherlands eScience Center set an alliance with the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of University of Twente for "High spatial resolution phenological modelling at continental scales". eScience Engineers and ITC researchers collaborated closely in the development of a cloud-based platform for large-scale phenological analysis. The platform resulted in various scientific publications, such as "Exploring spring onset at continental scales: mapping phenoregions and correlating temperature and satellite-based phenometrics", Zurita-Milla, R., Goncalves, R., Izquierdo-Verdiguier, E., & Ostermann, F. (2019) IEEE Transactions on Big Data.
Following the successful alliance, a new collaboration was established between Prof. Raul Zurita-Milla (ITC-GIP) and Dr. Serkan Girgin (ITC-CRIB) and a dedicated team of eScience research engineers of the Team Atlas, composed of Dr. Meiert Grootes, Dr. Francesitco Nattino, Ou Ku, Dr. Sonja Georgievska, and Dr. Yifat Dzigan to address boarder aspects that resulted from the initial alliance.
One of the goals of this consolidation and generalization project is to explore different tools for big-geodata analysis. The collaboration is looking for an extensive comparison between Apache Spark and Dask, using the prior research as use cases. They will try to explore which of the tools can perform better, hence should be prefered for spatio-temporal analysis and for different machine learning applications for large-scale phenological studies.
Community building is another major goal of this project. In the institutional level we plan to develop tutorials so that other researchers can get involved and educate young researchers. From a domain perspective, the ITC team is well connected with the International Society of Biometeorology, the European Phenology Network, the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN), the Dutch phenological network (Natuurkalender), and the bigger citizen science initiative Nature Today. The Netherlands eScience Center Team Atlas is building expertise in remote sensing and Earth observation research, aiming to position the center as a hub of excellence for remote sensing data handling, computing and analytics. The team collaborates on multiple related projects with UvA, TU-Delft and Utrecht university (eEcoLidar, and three projects that resulted from the joint NWO-NSO GO call). This makes both parties well-positioned in the national landscape to have a significant impact on a broader community.
We accept this collaboration will strengthen the eScience center expertise in remote sensing data handling and ITC expertise on big geodata technology. Moreover, it will set a long-term direction with a sustainability assured by current projects at the eScience center and aligns well with big geodata activities at ITC, especially with the Center of Expertise in Big Geodata Science (CRIB).
Stay tuned for updates in the next couple of months!