Issue #1 / August - 2011

Issue 01 – August 2011

In this newsletter, the EO2HEAVEN consortium provides an overview of their ongoing activities, results and future plans. It is the aim of the project consortium to publish a bi-annual newsletter to promote the transfer and awareness of the results to the project stakeholders and environment and health communities.


EO2HEAVEN is a research project co-funded by the European Commission as part of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) Environmental theme. It started on 1st February 2010. The duration of the projects is three years and the allocated European Commission funding is more than Euro 6 million.

EO2HEAVEN contributes to a better understanding of the complex relationships between environmental changes and their impact on human health. The project will monitor changes induced by human activities, with emphasis on atmospheric and water pollution.

The main result of the project will be the design and development of a GIS based upon an open and standards-based Spatial Information Infrastructure (SII) envisaged as a helpful tool for research of human exposure and early detection of potential health endangerments. For this reason the project will develop models to relate environmental data with exposure and health data. The SII will include bridging capabilities at the syntactic and semantic levels to and between environmental and health systems. Health data collections will be studied and new structures for their integration into SII will be described. Also, standards for health data collection will be proposed. Ongoing and recently completed research projects in the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), environmental and health domains will be studied and used in an integrative approach.

In addition, EO2HEAVEN will examine the different Earth Observation products, especially those resources available free of charge for the research community.

In order to study the impact of human activity on health the project will take advantage of the availability of this long time-series data combined with its great potential to detect and map environmental variables. For this purpose EO2HEAVEN will also strengthen the integration of remotely sensed and in-situ environmental measurements. The SII therefore facilitates the set-up of observation and decision support systems that rely upon the correlation and fusion of earth observation, in-situ and human health data.


EO2HEAVEN has participated in the following Group on Earth Observations (GEO) related events during 2011:

  • 5th GEO European Projects Workshop (GEPW-5; London 08-09/02/2011):
    Two presentations were given by Ingo Simonis (Technical manager), under the sessions 1a "Topics to be included in 2012-2015 Work Plan" and 3a "Climate, Disasters, Health, Weather, Energy". In addition, Kym Watson (Project coordinator) gave a report on the session 3a. All the presentations made at the GEPW5, including the two EO2HEAVEN presentations are available
  • GEO Health and Environment Community of Practice, 3rd Workshop (Geneva 29-31/03/2011).
    The Health and Environment Community of Practice (CoP) is an expert group responsible for providing consolidated input to the GEO 2012-2015 work plan in the health and environment Societal Benefit Area. Kym Watson participated in the Workshop and gave a project status report addressing what type of EO data EO2HEAVEN is using, what correlations between environment and health are being investigated and summarizing our work on the SII architecture. All the meeting documents and presentations are available.

4th Phase of GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot (AIP-4, March-November 2011)

AIP-4 aims to increase the accessibility of GEOSS datasets identified as supporting Critical Earth Observation Priorities by the GEO User Interface Committee (UIC) and increase the use of the data with standard service interfaces and generalized clients, supporting brokered search, and supporting community publisher and user requirements through integration with the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI).

EO2HEAVEN is contributing to AIP-4 helping to provide access to Earth Observation and health data sets used in the project. The access will be provided by OGC specified Web Services. Additionally, the project will contribute with an import tool for sensor data sets (e.g. CSV or plain text files) into an OGC Sensor Observation Service. This tool will be able to read existing data archives, helping users to specify how the data is encoded in these files and then converting the data sets into the according SWE data formats.
All responses to AIP-4, including EO2HEAVEN's are available.

GEO Work-Plan 2012 2015

The version 1 of the next and final GEO Work Plan has been distributed to GEO community for comment by 31st August. Version 1 incorporates the comments received from the GEO community during the technical review period March-May 2011 and draws from the outcomes of the 2011 Work Plan Symposium.

The draft Work Plan, has been designed to fully address the 2015 Strategic Targets; establish an operational and sustainable GEOSS; reinforce coordination, user engagement and resource mobilization; and provide information products and end-to-end services tailored to serve society's needs across the nine Societal Benefit Areas. Based on the outcome of the official review, and the recommendations made by the Executive Committee in July, the Secretariat will prepare Version 2 of the 2012-2015 Work Plan, to be issued in October with other Plenary documents and submitted to the GEO-VIII Plenary in November for "acceptance as a living document".

EO2HEAVEN has contributed to the GEO Work-Plan 2012-2015 co-leading two health components (C1 Air-borne Diseases, Air Quality and Aeroallergens and C2 Water-borne Diseases, Water Quality and Risk). EO2HEAVEN role is mainly seen as contributor of services and data sets to GEOSS and as alpha-testers of the GCI. Project expertise in the integration of EO and health data sets, i.e. data sets across societal benefit areas, was considered as highly relevant. EO2HEAVEN was encouraged to participate in further AIP programs and in running further pilots showing the benefit and usability of GEOSS.

More information about the GEO Work-Plan 2012-2015 is available.


The current implementations are driven by three different scenarios:

Scenario1: Durban air pollution

The main objective of this scenario is to provide the Municipally Authorities with a simple client displaying a health risk map. This risk map is obtained from different environmental parameters and available health data. For this propose EO2HEAVEN is currently implementing an easy to use web browser client providing maps showing the risk situation for people suffering from respiratory diseases. The maps include the current risk situation and a three days forecast based on an air pollutant dispersion model. To create these maps, several Web Services (for up-to-date remote sensing data set access and map creation) are used in the background.

Scenario 2: Environmental effects on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in Saxony

This scenario is quite similar to Scenario 1. The main difference between the previous scenario and this scenario is that this scenario is more focussed in the processes needed to obtain the risk map while the final display of the risk map is less important. In this case it is more important to allow scientist to interact with the different processes needed to obtain the risk map. For this propose EO2HEAVEN is currently implementing various components. On the client side, a more functionality-enriched client is developed, supporting scientists to find and integrate the data sets they need for their work (e.g. via Web Services providing up-to-date air pollution observations or remote sensing imagery). To allow for more sophisticated and complex calculations, various Web Services providing geospatial analysis functionality (for instance interpolate missing values in a remote sensing data set) are developed for immediate usage by the client and further external communities (e.g. the GEOSS community).

Scenario 3: Investigating the spatio-temporal link between environmental factors and cholera outbreaks in areas surrounding Lakes Eduard and George in Uganda

This scenario is completely different from the previous two. In this case the scientist will be interested in obtaining time series data from the different satellite images available. For this purpose EO2HEAVEN is going to implement various services. On the client side, an easy-to-use client is developed for providing sophisticated means for the visualisation and supporting the scientists to identify new sources of information (here: time series of different environmental parameters like sea surface temperature captured with remote sensing procedures etc.). In addition, the client provides means for invoking the extraction of the time series by presenting the available data sources in a spatial context. The client enables the scientist to visualize, compare, and download the extracted time series. On the server side, interoperable web services are developed to be used within the project. The concepts and profiles are developed to be used by other communities by using open standards (e.g. OGC service specifications).



Training workshop in Pretoria & Durban 7-11 November 2011

The first EO2HEAVEN training workshop will take place in South Africa between the 7th and 11th of November 2011. Two and a half days will be devoted in Pretoria and another two days and a half will be spent in Durban as well. The purpose of this workshop is to show the participants the EO2HEAVEN system and the latest functionalities (project concepts, architecture and tools) from a thematic and technical point of view. Feedback from the participants to the workshop will be collected and discussed for the third iteration of developments of the system. The workshop aims to have between twenty and forty participants in each location trying to balance the impact in local and regional stakeholders on one hand and a maximum number of attendees for learning purposes on the other.

At this moment, the consortium is collecting the materials to be used for the workshop and constructing the list of potential participants of the workshop. This list will be comprised of decision makers, technicians, medical professionals and researchers from local authorities and universities in Pretoria, Durban and potentially Uganda.

Eighth Plenary Session and exhibition of the Group on Earth Observations in Istanbul 16-17 November 2011

The GEO-VIII Plenary will finalize the Work Plan 2012-2015, review progress on access to data and information via GEOSS, and advance many of the specific Tasks and activities that are essential to achieving our 2015 Targets.

EO2HEAVEN is planning to participate in the event and show our engagement in 4th phase of GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot (AIP).

Further information of the event is available:

EO2HEAVEN's Advisory Board workshop in Enschede 22-24 November 2011

EO2HEAVEN will hold their next technical and management committees' meetings together with the second Advisory Board (AB) workshop in Enschede (Netherlands) on the 22nd – 24th November.

The AB workshop will take place on November 24th. During the AB workshop external experts on the environment and health domain will review the project results and will provide guidance to the development of use cases, aligning them with the current health and environment initiatives in Europe and other parts of the world.

The rest of the meeting will be devoted to internal work package discussions, AB feedback wrap up, and management committee discussions.

The documents and presentations of the first EO2HEAVEN's AB workshop in Orléans (01/03 February 2011) are available


Financial Coordinator

  • Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation
    Mr. Kym Watson
  • Position: Project and Group Manager
  • Tel: +49-721-6091-486
  • Fax: +49-721-6091-413
  • E-mail:
  • Address: Fraunhoferstraße 1, Karlsruhe 76131, Germany

Research Coordinator

  • Mr. Jose Lorenzo , Position: E&U Market Manager
  • Tel: +34-91-214-8335
  • Fax: +34-91-754-3252
  • E-mail:
  • Address: Calle Albarracin 25, Madrid 28037 Spain

Technical Manager

  • Mr. Ingo Simonis Position: Project Manager
  • Tel: +49 6171 20 88 551
  • Fax: +49 (0)4921 93 69 215
  • E-mail:
  • Address: Werner Heisenberg Strasse 73, Emden D-26723, Germany
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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme. (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 244100 Contact © 2013 EO2HEAVEN Consortium