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Hosted Processing: A Commercial Value-Adder’s Perspective. Nick Veck Infoterra & GSE Respond Project Prime. Hosted processes & service chaining. A personal view, from a leading EO organisation’s (double) perspective… A Commercial Value-adding Company / Reseller (VAC/VAR): Infoterra Ltd.

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Hosted processing a commercial value adder s perspective

Hosted Processing:A Commercial Value-Adder’s Perspective

Nick Veck


& GSE Respond Project Prime

USNG User Workshop

Hosted processes service chaining
Hosted processes & service chaining

A personal view, from a leading EO organisation’s (double) perspective…

  • A Commercial Value-adding Company / Reseller (VAC/VAR):

    • Infoterra Ltd.

  • A GMES project/service in Humanitarian and Emergency mapping:

    • Respond;

    • Emergency Response Core Service (SAFER).

  • I don’t talk about “users”.

  • I am not a “user” of EO, I am a customer.

  • My services do not have “users”,

  • They have customers!

USNG User Workshop

Service chaining benefits
Service Chaining – Benefits?

USNG Approach builds on work of SSE and G-POD:

SSE typically an off-line service, where a request is sent to the VAC “host” and then the result/product is produced in their own time prior to delivery to the client.

“Hosted Processing”

Provides an “on-line” service availability, where products and services can be added/applied and delivered to the client in a “semi-automatic” fashion, through one central portal;

potential to use a variety of processing services and functions, through direct promotion and location in one central archive/portal;

increasing awareness and access to services, such as toolkits, VA products, etc.

Direct access to online derived services;

Direct access to processing services;

VAP/Derived VAP/Information services, etc.

ESA-Esrin 19-06-2008

USNG User Workshop


What s the vac business environment
What’s the VAC business environment?

  • In each market, there are customers (who pay!), a supply chain and what could be referred to as “natural suppliers” for services;

  • The support services need to be aligned with the market sector and with knowledge of the issues, priorities, language and appropriate businessmodel of that sector.

  • These considerations advocate de-centralised support, to address the breadth of market-sector knowledge needed to provide premier customer support, whilst there remains the opportunity to centralise access.

  • The de-centralisation of services (particularly support and technical help) increases in importance when considering the global nature of the client base.

What s the gmes business environment
What’s the GMES business environment?

  • ESA encouragement for VACs to operate in an “Open Service Partnership”;

  • GMES Core services involve vast numbers (30-50) partners in a single project:

    • Need to share data and processing capacity;

    • Service delivery must be validated;

    • All embedded processing must be validated;

    • INSPIRE protocols, formats etc. to be used.

  • GMES Downstream services are proposed, but currently there is no business model;

  • Volumes (of data and derived production) are increasing;

  • Inter-operability and the “fit” to GMES customers’ own systems are vitally important.

What s important for a good service re cap
What’s important for a good service? – re-cap

Critical factors to ensure the service performance (applicable to both environments):

  • Attainment of delivery commitments & SLA response;

  • 24/7 and NRT Services (sometimes);

  • Customer Services ethic;

  • Management of IPR;

  • Breadth of service offering;

  • e-commerce services;

  • Efficient financial, billing and subscription services;

  • Certification/Validation of Products and Services (occasionally);

  • Product guarantees, assurance and insurance.

    Meeting these factors helps lead to a competitive market environment, to improve on geo-information supply from other (non-EO) sources.

So can usng help
So can USNG help?

  • In general, VACs/VARs have a potential interest in hosted processing in the USNG, as it would enable them to promote their services, processing and algorithms through one centralised environment.

    • However, where things are hosted may be a key consideration. The service may be hosted by ESA, third parties or individual VARs (or a mixture),

  • From a general perspective, service chaining may be an advantageous scenario, providing easy access to many processing functions and product opportunities:

    • A centralised system, where hosted services are away from the VARs’ own resources is an interesting idea and for some VARscould potentially be useful;

    • However, in this hypothesis, the critical issues of IPR and data and derived product policies must be addressed properly, in order to overcome the concerns of most VARs;

    • VARs must be able to maintain the property and control of their own application, and to obtain royalties and/or fees through the system.

Ipr issues
IPR issues

  • IPR and Data & Derived-product Policy

    • IPR/data and product policy management must be a priority, to ensure that existing and potential agreements are not breached;

    • Technical solutions that enforce controlled access (with associated billing, when appropriate) to the services have been suggested to provide a guarantee for VARs;

    • However, ESA are sometimes considered to be more “scientific” and are perceived by VARs, up to this point, not to concern themselves with these sensitive issues;

    • It therefore becomes difficult for VARs to assess how much (if at all) of an issue this will be and so its likely to still be a major concern, despite the proposed technical solutions to this problem.

      Whilst the current infrastructures of ESA’s SSE and G-POD provide some examples of how hosted-processing might work, at this stage, IPR and data policy issues are not comprehensively covered by these infrastructures.

How could it be used a possible simple example in gmes emergency core service respond flood maps 1
How could it be used?A possible simple example in GMES Emergency Core Service: Respond – Flood maps (1)

Use of a relatively simple algorithm / process, to extract a land/water boundary, using optical data.

USNG User Workshop

A possible example in gmes flood maps 2
A possible example in GMES:Flood maps (2)

Use of a relatively simple algorithm / process, to extract a land/water boundary:

- Radar data.

ESA-Esrin 19-06-2008

USNG User Workshop


A possible example in gmes flood maps 3
A possible example in GMES:Flood maps (3)

The resultant flood map, derived from ERS SAR data.

Sse example terrafirma psi methodology
SSE Example:TerraFirma PSI Methodology

No e-commerce, off-line process

USNG User Workshop

Service chaining terrafirma example
Service chaining – TerraFirma example





Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI)

Level 0 - Raw

SLC processing


Level 1- ESA SLC

Google Earth (kmz)

ESA-Esrin 19-06-2008

USNG User Workshop


A potential application
A potential application?





Raw Data



USNG User Workshop

Or perhaps, in Oceanography:




Processing to Level 2B for

a-Chlorophyll concentrations


Raw Data



USNG User Workshop

A va perspective
A VA Perspective

  • Current view:

    • T his is a good idea, but it needs to be properly integrated with today’s and tomorrow’s business models;

    • service chaining already exists, but it’s an un-paid service – there is no e-commerce on SSE;

    • May be good for service promotion? eg. in GMES;

    • Provides access to a variety of simple functions (without impinging on the VA work as consultants and contact points for the customers), perhaps as a separate access point to some of the more generic services;

  • Next generation thinking, and innovative ideas:

    • New technologies and services provide an opportunity for change;

    • May potentially widen the scope of products and services that can be directly offered from satellite EO.

USNG User Workshop

Summary thoughts
Summary thoughts

  • There are potential applications for hosted-processing.

  • VACs/VARs would use a hosted-processing infrastructure, (only) if they perceive that it will help their bottom line:

    • There must be a way of making money from this (or saving costs);

    • There must be an e-commerce capability of some kind;

    • The algorithms, etc. must be certified, guaranteed and validated;

    • Recognition of royalties, licencing, and receipt of fees is paramount.

  • Perhaps it mat be more applicable for GMES Core (and Downstream?) services, than for “purely commercial” applications?

  • Technically, it all seems feasible, but there are business issues:

    • Human intervention is often needed for quality products;

    • IPR, data and derived-product policies must be appropriate;

    • Validation of algorithms is necessary;

    • Downstream access to markets must be maintained.

USNG User Workshop

Thank you

Thank you!

Nick Veck


& GSE Respond Project Prime

ESA-Esrin 19-06-2008

USNG User Workshop