EPOS GNSS Data and Products’ workshop had been productive
The workshop of the EPOS Thematic Core Service (TCS) "GNSS Data and Products" took place on January 16th and 17th in Coimbra, Portugal, and was attended by 37 participants. The event was an opportunity to discuss the status of the project and to propose forthcoming activities.
According to Rui Fernandes, EPOS GNSS Data and Products coordinator, the meetings objective included updating all partners (EPOS-IP and EPOS-ERIC) about the current status of the different tasks. Indeed, "promoting face-to-face discussions on strategic and technical points for present (EPOS-IP) and future (EPOS-ERIC) is crucial".
Fernandes also listed as objectives to discuss: relations with the stakeholders (data providers, data & products end-users), decisions about the operational procedures concerning products and the establishment a definitive roadmap to create the GLASS prototype that can be tested (components, relations between them, deadlines).
After presenting the agenda, Fernandes spoke about governance, the status of the Data, Data Products, Services and Software (DDSS) and TRA (Technical Readiness Assessment), the topics discussed at the last Service Coordination Board (SCB), highlighted the collaboration with other organizations (such as UNAVCO) and had presented the definitions of the TCS User Feedback Group (UFG) and of the Impact Assessment Group (IAG) and its members.
Outreach and dissemination – The presentation about communication listed the periodic updates date at the EPOS website about this TCS session and summarized its promotion work on the social networks.
Also mentioned was the content published at EPOS Newsletter and, moreover, how important it is to count on WP10 member's engagement to accomplish outreach and dissemination goals.
Finally, the EPOS GNSS Data and Products video, an outreach initiative produced by Lílian Féres in cooperation with UBI was presented. "It is a video made with the participation of 11 years-old students from a private school in Covilhã (Portugal), where the idea is to create a EPOS GNSS Data and Products branded content by having the children speaking about their understanding about Solid Earth Research, EPOS and GNSS Data and Products", explained Lílian Féres.
Governance – Regarding the status of legal, governance and financial validation approval of Consortium Agreement, Carine Bruyninx explained, first of all, that the EPOS-ERIC statutes and scientific and technical description have been unanimously approved. Having said that, "we do have green light for submission of step 2 of EPOS-ERIC", stated Bruyninx.
She also had revealed the countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Slovenia and United Kingdom) that already have declared their readiness to sign the EPOS-ERIC by March 2018. Bruyninx explained that Belgium, Ireland and Romania will join the ERIC as founding members, but they might not manage to sign before March 2018. About the observers, the permanent one is Switzerland. Greece and Spain will start as soon as possible the process to become observers.
Another document that has been unanimously approved by the Board Governmental Representatives was the EPOS Data Policy and Access Rules. At this point, Bruyninx presented the legal and governance (LG) and financial (F) criteria to be used at the first validation checkpoint planned for October 2017.
The governance structure was presented. It is composed of the consortium board, executive board and external expert advisory committees (User Feedback Group and Data Provider Committee). Bruyninx spoke about the voting members and non-voting member for the consortium board, clarifying its roles. She also had explained how the executive board works and its members. Bruyninx had also described User Feedback Group and Data Providers Committee.
Carine Bruyninx also spoke about steps towards an EPOS-GNSS Data and Management Plan (DMP), which refers to TCS-ICS validation process, implementation status report and content of the data management plans. Her speech with collaboration of A. Fabian and J. Legrand also included a mentioning of the EPOS-GNSS network management and implementation in M3G.
Massive GNSS processing – Massive GNSS processing in double difference in the framework of the EPOS-IP project was a topic developed by A. Déprez. During the workshop the EPOS-IP timeline, the prototype solution and the ongoing process of a new solution was presented.
The processing of a massive data set (1360 sites over 18 years) using the double difference method via the GAMIT-GLOBK software was presented. This analysis, conducted on a high computing platform hosted at UGA (called CIMENT), included different steps, which are: a splitting of the big data set in sub-networks, the GAMIT processing for each couple day/subnetwork and the daily combination. The available products (position time-series, velocity field and strain rate map) and the way to obtain them were then shown.
Caption: workflow of data analysis in double difference (performed at UGA analysis centre)
INGV CNT activities – INGV CNT reported in their activities in EPOS-IP and also to inform about the INGV PPP solution for EPOS-IP. Describing the EPOS prototype network, Antonio Avallone also spoke about the software processing strategy and the status of this network. Roberto Devoti took the combination at velocity level subject and let everybody well informed that the results of his presentation deal with the solutions discussed during the 2017 Prague EPOS meeting. Devoti showed the summary of combination process by having CNRS solution and INGV solution, approaching the differences between both.
EPOS strain rates – Martin Lidberg and Athanassios Ganas spoke about EPOS strain rates, items to be discussed and resolved. They organized their presentation into basic items, specific items and additional items. At the opportunity, they also quoted feedback from possible users, such as grid preferred instead of station locations, but with info on locations of used stations availability; region selection via shape and entered coordinates (like GEBCO) and automatic figure generation and possible download, just to cite some of those users responses. At the end, they approached the current status of EPOS strain rates, which includes: guidelines for DDSS strain rates derivation maps; three analysis centers interesting in performing strain rates analysis; thoughts from Machiel on what needs to be done and resolved; tests of already available software for strain rates analysis.
Combined products – Ambrus Kenyeres presented Sinex level combination of EPOS pan-european solutions and EPN densification. His explanation went from EPOS pan-european prototype solutions into standalone versus combined products point of view.
About the GLASS-GNSS linkage advanced software system and GNSS data and product dissemination, Jan Dousa and Paul Crocker defined as goals "building a service for GNSS data and product dissemination for Solid Earth Science (SES) community having the software for a seamless access to GNSS data and products over Europe. With this approach they introduced the concept of virtualization based on metadata dissemination.
The overall architecture for GNSS was also shown, the key elements of GLASS and the metadata classification pointed out, explaining the standard tools. After presenting the GNSS data and products dissemination scheme, was given a detailed explanation about GNSS data dissemination, from its layers (virtual and physical) to its principles and key features yet considering its current constraints. At last, was talked about GNSS product dissemination schema and key features.
Caption: EPOS flowchart from submission of RINEX data to dedicated EPOS GNSS analysis centers
Data Quality – Jan Dousa spoke about the GNSS data quality process, stating that the motivation for GNSS data quality control is: "scientific data collection is an irreversible process that needs to be controlled so that the observed data is properly qualified and quantified". The presentation also showed as an example the key indicator for long-term monitoring.
Product portal – About the product portal (front-end), Rafael Couto spoke about ICS interaction for T4T5 (API's), presented a live demo and gave examples of output formats, yet talking about Google analytics and future work (license, DOI's).
On the other side, from the back-end perspective, Rui Cardoso gave an explanation about some changes in upload procedure, some problems related to the T1 meta data structure and T4T5 and questioned how to deal with non-EPOS stations. He also pointed out that currently very few of the database tables have a large amount of data and many are still empty. On the side of products quality control Machiel Bos gave a grounded argument about using Hector software, which estimates quality control parameters that are also stored in database.
Caption: Data Portal brainstorming
Validation – João Fonseca, a member of the Board of National Scientific Representatives (BNRS), which will coordinate part of the EPOS validation process, gave a warning about the EPOS-IP project timeline concerning the starting point for the validation process.
Fonseca explained, having PMBOK (6th edition, Project Management Institute) as source, that validation is the assurance that a product, service, or system meets the needs of the customer and other identified stakeholders. "It often involves acceptance and suitability with external customers." As quoted, validation contrasts with verification. According to PMBOK, verification is the evaluation of whether or not a product, service, or system complies with regulation, requirement, specification, or imposed condition. "Verification is often an internal process and contrast with validation", said Fonseca.
Fonseca also presented an ITIL framework (IT Service Management) and explained that validation checks for utility. According to him, verification is already done under Technical Readiness Assessment and the validation is starting now. He also let everybody know about the scope statement of the EPOS TCS's, an important key take into consideration by evaluators in this process. Furthermore, Fonseca listed the key goal indicators for WP10 GNSS.
Questionnaire– From the 37 participants, there was a response rate of 46% for the WP10 meeting's questionnaire. On a scale from 1 (very bad) to 5 (excellent) 52,9% considered the workshop organization very good (4, on the scale), 11,8%, excellent (5, in the scale), 17,6% said it was good (3 in the scale) and 17,6% replied as bad (2 in the scale).
When asked about the productiveness of the meeting, 64,7% said it was productive and 35,3% very productive. About the question "have the presentations been clear in respect of the WP10 accomplishments?", 100% have had no doubt on it. Most of the respondents also pointed out that the organization of the agenda had been good enough (88,2%).
Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) seeks a collaborator for its GNSS activities, which will involve support to ROB’s GNSS-related EPOS services at IT as well as scientific level. The ROB is currently involved in the development of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) component of EPOS. This component will consist of a European network of more than 3000 GNSS stations to monitor ground movements in Europe.
The GNSS Product portal has gained a fresh and modern design improving the user experience (UX). “The initial design and usability were deprecated, therefore we decided to reformulate it”, says André Rodrigues, from UBI and the developer in charge of portal redesign. According to Rodrigues, besides having minor details such as a “welcome screen”, the reformulation implied a new design taking into consideration user interface and usability.
The reviewed professional and scientific magazine GaKo published an article coauthored by Petr Bezděka and Jan Douša entitled "European Plate Observation System and Connection of Geodetic Data and Services from the National Infrastructure CzechGeo" (translation adapted from the original, in czech, "Evropský Observační Systém a zapojení geodetických dat a služeb z národní infrastruktury CzechGeo, Geodetický a kartografický obzor"). Monthly released, Geodetic and Cartographic Review (GaKO) is a national geodetic journal of the Czech Office for Surveying, Mapping and Cadastre (CÚZK) and Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre Authority of the Slovak Republic (ÚGKK SA). Besides, it is recognized in the Research Information Registry (RIV).