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GEOSS Platform


What is the GEOSS Platform?

The Global Earth Observation System of Systems’ Platform (former GEOSS Common Infrastructure, or GCI) proactively links existing and planned observing systems around the world and supports the development of new systems where there are gaps. The GEOSS Platform promotes the use of common technical standards so that data from thousands of different instruments can be combined into coherent data sets.

GEOSS Platform Schematic
GEOSS Platform Schematic

The  GEOSS  Portal offers a single Internet access point to Earth observation data,  information  and  knowledge  from  all  over  the world for users with different  backgrounds  and  from  different  disciplines.  The Portal has an  intuitive, easy-to-use interface to discover, access and use the ever-growing quantities of  GEO resources. Through the Portal, the GEOSS Platform connects the  users  to the wealth of heterogeneous collections of databases and other portals and provides  reliable,  up-to-date  and  user  friendly (current and  historical) information  –  vital  for  the  work of decision/policy makers, planners and emergency  managers.  Both the public and private sector but as well citizens are served.

Users  can discover data considering temporal, thematic and geographic search criteria,   and   apply   progressive  filtering  to  retrieve,  quickly and accurately,  the  resources  they need. Information regarding the data can be inspected   either  via  an  information  window  or  visually  on different background maps if enabled before download.

For users with limited or no access to the Internet, there are regions making similar  information available via the satellite service, GEONETCast. The GEOSS Platform  is a brokering infrastructure.

The GEO Discovery and Access Broker (GEO DAB) is the primary mechanism by which all data and information is discovered and accessed. The GEO DAB implements the necessary mediation and harmonization services through Application Program Interfaces (APIs). These APIs allow data providers to share resources without having to make major changes to their technology or standards.

Presently GEOSS Platform brokers more than 150 autonomous data catalogs and information systems, useful for the different GEO Societal Benefit Areas including data from: CAFF,,, EEA, GBIF, Iris, JRC Open Data catalog, NASA, NCAR, NOAA, OCHA HDX, RCMRD, UNEP, UNOSAT, USGS, Web Energy Services, WMO WIS and many more.

Data providers are constantly being added and brokered, according to user needs, thematic and geographic balance of the data and relevance of resources shared.

GEOSS Platform Data Providers as of March 2017

Data Providers logos
Data Providers logos

Work programme:

Foundational Task: GEOSS Development and GCI Operations

GEOSS Platform Architecture

GEOSS Portal (ESA)

The GEOSS Portal provides a map-based graphical user interface for users to discover and access Earth Observation data and resources from different providers from all over the world.

The portal is implemented and operated by the European Space Agency and provides a single Internet access point to the ever-growing quantities of heterogeneous collections of Earth observations from satellites, airplanes, possibly drones and in-situ sensors at global, regional and local scale.

The GEOSS Portal - as part of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) - serves a wide variety of users from data scientists to decision and policy makers, within the public and private sector, and considers as well citizens as part of their target community. The portal provides generic as well as more community-specific search capabilities supporting users from different domains, or thematic areas, interested in particular societal benefits of application of Earth observations.

Base Functionality
Portal Landing Screen
Portal Landing Screen

The GEOSS portal - available at - has undergone relevant updates during 2016 and early 2017.

It was completely restyled with the objective to provide a more intuitive interface and align it with the new GEO brand.

At opening of the portal, you will see: a map of the world with in the middle a simple key-word based search panel; in the upper right corner, a series of icons for basic GIS (Geographical Information System) functionality including zooming, recentering, layers handling, and area of interest and basemap selection; in the lower right corner, links for providing feedback and accessing information regarding terms and conditions and, in the upper left corner, a button for accessing the menu with options to sign-in, obtain information regarding the portal, data providers, how to contact the Help-Desk, go to a personalised workspace and retrieve information regarding popular (most used) searches. Panning can be done by simply moving the map with your mouse (pad).

Multi-Criteria Searches
Portal Multi Criteria Search Screen
Portal Multi Criteria Search Screen

The multi-criteria search panel can be unfolded selecting the most-left icon in the simple key-word based search panel.

As part of a multi-criteria search, a user can:

  • restrict search results to the freely and openly accessible ones only, so-called GEOSS Data CORE resources;
  • restrict the search to a limited set of Earth observation catalogues of interest to the user;
  • define the area of interest, by specifying:
    • the bounding box as lat/lon coordinates;
    • a continent or country from a drop-down menu;
    • coordinates;
  • or a point of interest via API;
  • define a timeframe of interest;
  • direct the search towards a specific Societal Benefit Area applying predefined views on the data - interested users are invited to contact the Geo Secretariat.
Results Inspection
Portal Results Panel
Portal Results Panel

Results of a query are displayed in a results panel.

A default number of ten results is displayed; users can easily access the next (or previous) ten results by clicking the next (or prev) arrow at the bottom of the panel. Each result item shows a title, a brief description, a browse image (if available), the GEOSS Data CORE flag (which means that the data is freely and openly accessible, according to the GEOSS Data CORE principles), and a series of icons corresponding to applicable functions.

More precisely, the following functions may be available (depending on the provider):

  • information (complementing the brief summary) in an information window that can be opened clicking the icon;
  • localization of the data on the map either as bounding box or as a placeholder via the icon;
  • in case the user has signed in, the possibility to bookmark the result via the icon;
  • in case the result is a collection, the possibility to open the collection via the icon;
  • in case the user has signed in, the possibility to Like the result via the icon;
  • in case links are identified, the possibility to follow links via the icon
  • the possibility to add a layer to the map via the icon;
  • the possibility to download the data in formats made available by the  provider via the icon

For collections, the collection start date is also displayed.


The GEOSS portal provides the possibility to narrow down the search results to a smaller set by applying filters. The type of filters depends on the actual search and results.

Default Filtering
Portal Basic Filterl
Portal Basic Filterl

Default filters are available for most search results and include filtering on keywords, format, source, protocol and organisation. Filtering is progressive, implementing an 'AND' operation and not an 'OR'. For each filter only one value can be selected.

Smart Filters
Portal Basic Filterl
Portal Basic Filterl

Smart filters are implemented for some of the result types. For example, a smart filter considering a combination of cloud coverage, product type, sensor mode and relative orbit has been implemented for data from the Sentinel 2 and the Landsat imagery, and a smart filter considering product type, sensor polarisation, sensor mode, sensor swath and relative orbit has been implemented for Sentinel 1 data.

Other smart filters are available for earthquake events.

Some numbers and technicalities

The GEOSS Portal is the front-end component of the GEOSS Platform (former GCI) providing access, through the GEOSS Platform Middleware, i.e. the GEO Discovery and Access Broker, to hundreds of millions of data records from more than 150 GEO Resource Providers. Numbers are growing every day.

The Portal Development framework is based on LifeRay 6.2, Openlayer 3.

The application programming interface used to interface with the GEO DAB is based on OpenSearch; CSW is used for metadata.


The GEOSS Portal is continuously subject to evolutions in response to the evolving user requirements.

Upcoming evolutions consider layer handling, processing services, new smart filters, feedback data model, views.

One of the evolutions currently under implementation regards the reuse GEOSS Portal Look & Feel and functionalities. Mirrored and customisable GEOSS Portal sites will be available for SBAs, Flagships, Initiatives, and GEO Communities at large, to better serve the specific community interests. In addition to this, a freely available instantiation of selected GEOSS Portal widgets will be made available for possible customization. This will be accomplished by publishing portal code parts (widgets) wrapped up in API.

Obtaining credentials to log-in

Follow this link:




GEO Discovery and Access Broker

GEO DAB is one of the two main European Contributions to GEOSS Platform (former GCI), transparently connecting GEOSS Portal to the resources shared by the GEOSS Providers.

GEO DAB scope is to simplify cross and multi-disciplinary discovery and access of disparate data and information.

GEO DAB is a brokering framework that interconnects hundreds of heterogeneous and autonomous supply systems (the enterprise systems constituting the GEO System of Systems) by providing mediation, harmonization, and transformation capabilities.


The GEO DAB APIs can be used to discover and access GEOSS resources via the GEOSS Platform. GEO DAB publishes three types of APIs:

  1. Standard Web Services: standard interfaces which comply with de-iure and de-facto geospatial standards such as OGC CSW, WCS, WMS, WFS, OAI-PMH, etc.
  2. Client-side APIs: high level client-side library, designed and developed to facilitate the development of web and mobile applications, presently available as a Javascript library.
  3. Server-side APIs: a set of server-side APIs, including OpenSearch and RESTful APIs.

These APIs are used by the GEOSS Portal to discover, visualize and access GEOSS resources. Besides, the APIs are used to define and utilize SBA-specific views of the GEOSS resources, i.e. a customized subset of GEOSS resources targeting the needs of the SBA communities.


GEOSS Resources Providers Yellow Pages

Contribute data

For new data providers, see below the GCI Registration and Brokering Process


GEO Secretariat

Paola De Salvo -

The GCI News Blast
Newsletter of the GEOSS Common Infrastructure Operations
Issue 1 / July 2017
Welcome to the first issue of the GCI News Blast! In this edition you will find information on new GCI resources, enhanced functionalities, user stories and other news.
What's New?
New Contributors

With several new data providers on board in the last few months, the GCI has now reached 161 Brokered Data Catalogues and more than 400 million resources. Keep reading to learn about our newest data providers:


New & Improved Functions

New simplified Yellow Pages registration process

The GCI yellow pages provide a space for data providers to register their organization and resources in GEOSS. Thanks to the in-kind support of the University of Geneva and George Mason University, a new and simplified Yellow Pages registration process was launched at the 2nd GEOSS Data Providers workshop. New Data Providers can register their administrative information on the Yellow Pages form and start the brokering process.


Have a suggestion to make the GCI even better?
Let us know!


GCI User Success Stories

Transforming Essential Climate & Biodiversity Variables data into information

The general idea of this UN Environment-led project is to offer better discoverability and access to data using the GEO DAB APIs, and to transform this data into information products.


Want to share how your organization
uses GCI resources to make an impact?
Submit your story for a chance
to be featured!


Upcoming Events
Past Events
2nd GEOSS Data Providers Workshop


GCI for SDGs Virtual Workshop

27 September 2017, 14:00-16:00