FOSS4G EO Data Challenge


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General information

For more than 40 years, “Earth Observation” (EO) satellites developed or operated by space agencies, and by the European Union since the launch of the Copernicus programme, have provided a wealth of data. The availability of a growing volume of environmental data from space represents a unique opportunity for science and applications, but also poses a major challenge to achieve its full potential in terms of data exploitation. The availability of large volumes of EO data raises new issues in terms of discovery, access, exploitation, and visualization. Different communities, having different needs, methods, languages and protocols, need tools to facilitate access to the large volume and heterogeneity of environmental data, to cooperate to give the EO data and derived information the significance they need.

Responding to these technological and community challenges requires the development of new ways of working, capitalizing on software and hardware developments to facilitate the mining, exploitation, analysis, sharing and visualization of massive EO data sets and high-level products and we are convinced that the FOSS4G community can play a crucial role in addressing these challenges.

With the FOSS4G EO Data Challenge, we are challenging startups, developers, students and researchers to come up with useful, valuable or interesting open source applications using large volumes of EO data (and their evolution in time) and state-of-the art technologies (AI/ML, HMC, STAC, data cube, COG). Linking of EO data with other sources of open data (e.g. OpenStreetMap, Copernicus Services – Land, Atmosphere, Climate) is highly encouraged. Our voluntary mentors will guide the process to mature and demonstrate your ideas.

If you want to join the challenge as a mentor, as a sponsor or IaaS provider, please send us a message at


All participants will have our gratitude and applause, yet only the best solutions will be rewarded. All prizes will be announced by the FOSS4G EO Data Challenge Committee in a ceremony on the 30th of August and will consist of:

  • At least five prizes of 2000 – 2500 Euro each;
  • One winning team, selected by the European Space Agency, will be invited to join the ESA-ESRIN Copernicus app camp from 16-20 September 2019 all expenses paid;
  • Consulting to turn your idea into a sustainable business case;
  • Credits to be used on FOSS4G 2019 EO Data Challenge Infrastructure Partners.

The competition will be open for approximately 6 months, from April until the FOSS4G conference date (26 of August), and will have several phases:

  • Call for challenges and solutions will be open for two weeks and, at the end of the call, the best solutions, selected by a group of open source / EO data gurus will go into the second phase;
  • The quality and feasibility of each selected solution will be evaluated and selected for mentoring by our veteran company partners;
  • The best of the best will go to the final phase where the teams will receive accounts on a (geo)cloud with access to multi-petabyte of data and high computing resources;
  • The mentored development results will be presented during the conference and the winners will be selected by a jury of representatives from industry, open source communities, space agencies and the European Commission.
Important Dates
  • 10 April: Launch of the call for proposals;
  • 30 April: Close of the call and start of the selection process;
  • 10 May: Start of in-lab development and mentoring;
  • 1 July: Setup in cloud environment;
  • 30 August: Winners announced in the FOSS4G 2019 Ceremony*.

*Participation to the FOSS4G2019 Ceremony is free of charge. However, if the Participant wants to attend the full FOSS4G conference, he/she must make their own arrangements (transport, accomodation and FOSS4G2019 ticket).


There are three ways you can get involved in FOSS4G EO Data Challenge:

  • Submit a solution for an existing challenge. Our early partners proposed a number of challenges along with mentors and suitable infrastructure. Check them and join the challenge you think you have a solution for;
  • Submit your own challenge idea and solution. Tell us if you have your own challenge idea and potential solution. We will find you a good mentor and adequate infrastructure to turn that idea into reality;
  • Propose a new challenge. Join us as a partner by proposing a new challenge.

Before joining FOSS4G EO Data Challenge please make sure you read our Official Rules and our Privacy Statement on the Protection of Personal Data.


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