Development of the common earth observation data Baltic platform for national governmental organizations (EO-BALP)
"Baltic Satellite Service" Ltd. together with other partners from Latvia (Rural Support Service and Institute of Electronics and Computer Sciences), Lithuania (University of Klaipėda) and Estonia (SC "Datel") on October 27, 2023 have signed an agreement with the European Space Agency nr. 4000142702/23/I-NB on the development of the common earth observation data Baltic platform for government organizations (EO Baltic Platform for Governmental Services (EO-BALP)). The project activities and detailed planning of the tasks have already started and the kick-off meeting will be held on November 20, 2023. The duration of the project is 18 months and the total budget is EUR 897 740,00.
The goal of the EO-BALP project is to develop a cloud service platform for earth observation data access and processing and provide six different applications that will demonstrate the practical use of satellite data in different domains:
1) Monitoring application of infrastructure and settlements with more than 60,000 inhabitants, which will help to detect and characterize ground movements from satellite data, and to identify dangerous places in infrastructure protection zones;
2) A water quality monitoring application that will help determine water quality and pollution, as well as pollution sources in the Baltic Sea, coastal waters and inland waters;
3) A forest change monitoring application, which will help to regularly detect clear-cuts and wind falls, as well as forest damage caused by diseases, pests, fires, water, etc.) and will provide the latest satellite data mosaic service in all Baltic countries;
4) An agricultural land monitoring application that will help identify wildfires and flooded agriculture field areas;
5) Natural resource extraction monitoring application that will help identify illegal resource extraction sites (wood, sand, gravel, etc. mineral resources);
6) A marine monitoring application that will help identify ships, their type, location and movement.
An example of a water quality monitoring application developed by Klaipeda University.
To achieve the technical goals, the initial phase of the project will gather business and functionality requirements from the end users of the platform, who will also be involved in testing and validating the applications. Currently, various organizations from all Baltic countries have shown their interest in the project and the possibilities of using satellite data, such as the cities of Tallinn and Riga, Klaipėda Maritime Administration, the Lithuanian Nature Protection Board, the Latvian State Forest Service, the Latvian Peat Association, the Latvian Institute of Hydroecology and many others.
The new EO-BALP platform is planned to be designed in such a way that it can be easily used by users without specific knowledge and also by professionals in the field. In addition, its interoperability with existing e-government platforms will be ensured, by
● importing existing geospatial data from governmental and other public/private entities to the platform to be used for provision of specialised services;
● developing functionality allowing to integrate XYZ/TMS, WMS web services and JSON/GeoJSON data from governmental and other public/private entities directly into specialised service web applications;
● publishing all geographic data produced by specialised applications using standard and widely used web service formats (XYZ/TMS, WMS, GeoJSON) which allows using them by governmental and other public/private entities in their own web applications and in desktop GIS software (QGIS, ArcGIS, etc).