Center of Expertise in Big Geodata Science (CRIB) is a horizontal facility that supports all ITC departments for the better use of big geodata technology in education, research, and institutional strengthening activities.

Our mission is to collect, develop, and share operational know-how to solve large-scale geospatial problems involving big data.

Our vision is to position University of Twente and ITC as a globally renowned center of excellence in big geodata science.

The center has strong collaborations with other related ITC and UT facilities, such as Research Data Management.


The structure of CRIB


Knowledge Development

Better and wide-spread use of big geodata technology at ITC requires improving the existing expert knowledge, providing theoretical and hands-on training for the interested staff and students, and raising the overall familiarity with the technology. CRIB organizes short courses and hands-on training on big geodata tools and technologies to improve knowledge, Big Geodata Talks to share domain-specific experience of the expert organisations, and Big Geodata Meetings to facilitate discussion and problem solving. The center also publishes a monthly Big Geodata Newsletter.

 Infrastructure Development

Better use of big data technology at ITC requires an infrastructure that is not limited to research and education needs, but is also available for personal capacity development activities. The infrastructure should fit the purpose, be efficient, easily accessible, user-friendly, and cost-effective. It should also utilize already existing assets and employ a hybrid approach that benefits from both local and remote (e.g. cloud) resources. CRIB is responsible for the development of this big data infrastructure.

Project Services

Research projects should include the big data technology as needed, from the proposal stage onwards, budget appropriately, and ensure that the infrastructure available will be optimally utilized. Provision of consultancy and advisory services for the integration and improved use of the technology is therefore crucial and they are amongst the main tasks of CRIB.

Monitoring and Networking

The big geodata domain is evolving rapidly. To keep up with its progress, it is important to closely monitor the developments, especially related to data resources, analysis methods, tools, and platforms. CRIB closely follows the activities of the data providers, service providers, research institutions, donor organisations, and international bodies.


It is important to ensure high visibility of the big data-related activities to establish ITC as a well-known player in the big geodata domain. CRIB supports services provided by the UT and ITC communication teams by ensuring effective communication and collaboration between the related parties. CRIB activities also provide further visibility through additional channels linked to big (geo)data communities.

Special Tasks

In 2019, ITC was asked by GEO to develop a reference curriculum on big geodata technology. The primary motivation of the request was the Digital Earth Africa, which is a community activity under GEO that aims to provide an operational big earth observation data service to address challenges of Africa. One of the special tasks of CRIB will be the development of this curriculum for graduate and professional education, which may also serve a broader audience, including but not limited to partner academic institutes world-wide.