Issue #2 / March - 2012

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The EO2HEAVEN newsletter aims to promote the transfer and awareness of the project’s results to the environment and health communities. For this purpose it provides an overview of the project’s activities, results and future plans. The current issue follows the first newsletter published in August 2011 and it is the aim of the project consortium to maintain this publication on a bi-annual basis.

The current issue focusses again on EO2HEAVEN’s contribution to GEOSS activities, but also describes the changes in the consortium and the next events

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 the environmental health research community facilitating easy access to data sets and processing capacities, using state-of-the art internet technologies, applications, and architectural principles to shed more light on the complex correlations of environmental factors and health aspects such as cholera, cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases.

Throughout the life span of the project the stakeholder requirements from three different case studies (in Saxony, Durban, and Uganda) will be assessed and the technical solutions proposed by EO2HEAVEN will be evaluated through an iterative process, thus ensuring that the solutions can be applied on a global scale

EO2HEAVEN’s public deliverables pertaining to the period Feb 2010 – Jan 2012 are now available at the project website ( These documents are part of the work that has been carried out in the project and include user requirements, information about Earth Observation products and processes and the description of the architecture of the spatial information infrastructure, among other topics. The list of deliverables is the following:

  • D1.4 Intermediate report
  • D2.13 Harmonised use case specification and user requirements report after second cycle
  • D3.1 State of the art for environmental & health monitoring in air and water
  • D3.2 EO and EI products needs
  • D3.6 Catalogue of EO and EI products (first issue)
  • D3.7 EO/EI processing chains prototypes and validation results (first issue)
  • D4.7 Specification of the SII Implementation Architecture (second issue)
  • D4.8 Specification of the advanced SWE concepts (second issue)
  • D4.9 Specification of advanced geo-processing services (second issue)
  • D5.2 Open Source or proprietary license components report

D4.7-D4.9 build on results of the FP6 projects ORCHESTRA and SANY.
All the public deliverables are available on the EO2HEAVEN website.

EO2HEAVEN conducted a one-week meeting hosted by KIT in Amsterdam during 5-9 March. The meeting brought the developers together with the partners from the case studies and modeling and fusion tasks. The 1-week work session did actual development, implementation, data analysis and modelling, and testing of different components and tools. It also captured technical implementation strategies and work plans leading up to the GEO IX Plenary in November 2012.

The main purpose of the Eighth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO-VIII) was to present and approve the GEO Work Plan and the new Work Plan management structure for 2012-2015. Participants also welcomed the recent improvements to the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI), which now provides access to millions of data sets and information products through the GEO Portal.

There were overview presentations of GEOSS activities to date, and an accompanying exhibition of GEO projects and GEOSS results. The EU had a large stand showing results of several EU projects relevant to GEOSS and organized talks in an adjacent "EU Speakers' Area". EO2HEAVEN contributed with an electronic poster for the EU stand as well as a project presentation by project coordinator Kym Watson in the EU Speakers' Area.

A workshop on environment and health was organised as a side event by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where Kym Watson gave an overview of EO2HEAVEN’s work in the three case studies.

The GEO Work Plan management structure is available

The GEO Work Plan was accepted during the past GEO-VIII Plenary in Istanbul (November 2011).

EO2HEAVEN will contribute to the GEO Work Plan for 2012-2015 in the task HE 01 'Tools and Information for Health Decision Making' through the two GEO Work Plan components:

  • C1: Air-borne Diseases, Air Quality and Aeroallergens: the EO2HEAVEN consortium investigates the value and feasibility of using remotely sensed information as a proxy for in-situ air pollution levels. Accordingly, in-situ measurements of air pollution are related to various respiratory health outcomes to produce a statistically robust health model.
  • C2: Water-borne Diseases, Water Quality and Risk: EO2HEAVEN has recently started work aiming to develop new methodological approaches and interdisciplinary tools to anticipate cholera epidemic outbreaks based on environmental, epidemiological and microbiological information.

The final version of GEO 2012-2015 Work Plan is available.

The GEO Portal now provides access to millions of data sets and information products.

AIP develops and pilots new process and infrastructure components for the GCI and the broader GEOSS architecture. The main aims of AIP are to reach consensus on Interoperability Arrangements and to register operational components and services that carry forward into persistent operations of GEOSS.

In September 2011 OGCE attended the GEOSS Architecture and Data Committee meeting, to provide a briefing on the status of AIP-4 and planning for AIP-5, which will continue an evolutionary development process with the focus in this phase on health, among other SBAs.

In the course of 2011 UTICT and NEVANTROPIC had to withdraw from the project and two new partners joined the consortium: MAKERERE UNIVERSITY and HET KONINKLIJK INSTITUUT VOOR DE TROPEN (KIT, Royal Tropical Institute). A description of both new partners and their roles in the project is provided below:

Makerere University
Makerere University

Makerere University personnel are familiar with the WHO-AFRO Integrated disease surveillance and response, a strategy that was adopted and has been operating in Uganda since the year 2000. The aim of the strategy is to ensure disease surveillance data is readily available for adequate epidemic preparedness, investigation and response. The EO2HEAVEN project therefore provides a platform for improving the capacity of the existing epidemics early warning system to predict and pre-empt cholera outbreaks. The EO2HEAVEN project personnel have experience and skills for coordination of health systems projects that have been implemented in various parts of the country and neighbouring regions through the existing national health policy framework programs.

KIT Biomedical Research department has extensive experience in the field of infectious and non-infectious disease research and public health. The epidemiological research group has a strong reputation in the statistical analysis of spatial processes underlying health events as well as disease modelling. Furthermore, KIT has extensive experience in facilitating multidisciplinary collaborations between local stakeholders and the international research community as well as dissemination of research results in the heath domain, maximizing the effectiveness of project efforts.

KIT is contributing its ample expertise in the health domain to establish data requirements and to define appropriate health indicators necessary for disease impact analysis and prediction for the different case studies in the EO2HEAVEN project. Additionally, KIT is taking a key role in modelling the associations between disease outcomes and environmental data obtained from EO and in-situ sensors.

EO2HEAVEN has been invited to participate in the 2012 GEO Work Plan Symposium that will focus on the cross-fertilization of the new Work Plan Tasks. The event will take place from 30 April to 2 May 2012 at the GEO Secretariat, Geneva (Switzerland).

The Symposium will bring together Task Leads and contributors from all Work Plan Tasks as well as members of the new Implementation Boards. It will provide numerous opportunities to exchange information and highlight Task outputs, also making it easier to assess progress against the 2015 GEOSS Strategic Targets. Interactions will also help identify gaps and issues and design actions for accelerating GEOSS implementation.

The AIP-5 Kickoff Workshop will be held on May 3-4, in Geneva at the UNEP International Environment House. The main purposes of workshop are to form the AIP-5 Working Groups and to agree on plans and initial designs in each Working Group. The results of AIP-5 will be shown at the GEO-IX in Brazil, in November 2012.

Sixth 'GEO European Projects Workshop' will take place at the premises of the CNR in Rome on 7 - 8  May 2012. The provisional topics for discussion at this workshop include the recently adopted Work Plan for the period 2012-2015, the future of GEO beyond 2015 and the GEOSS Data-CORE (GEOSS Data Collection of Open Resources for Everyone). European projects and other interested players will have a platform to give their input to the future role of Europe in GEO. In addition, the workshop will provide an opportunity for European projects to showcase their activities in the domain of Earth Observation, giving a high visibility to the European actions conducted in the context of GEO. EO2HEAVEN will present its results there.

More details will be available in due course.

EO2HEAVEN will hold a Stakeholder Workshop in Uganda to have a deeper understanding of how the project’s results could be of benefit to Ugandan stakeholders. This workshop will take place most likely at the end of May.

The workshop will be hosted by Makerere University and other project partners such as KIT, CSIR and OGCE will participate in the event. Relevant stakeholders including experts at Makerere University and the Ministry of Health as well as health organizations working in this field will be invited. This activity will strengthen the inputs from the health domain and will allow us to establish direct contact with other initiatives.

EO2HEAVEN has offered to host the next GEO Health and Environment Community of Practice (CoP) Meeting in Karlsruhe. The date for this meeting has not been fixed yet, although it will probably take place around mid-July. The Health and Environment 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. This meeting follows the 3rd Workshop held in Geneva in March 2011, and represents an excellent opportunity for the project to show our results and contributions to the GEO work plan and gain visibility within the GEOSS community.

The Health and Environment CoP web site is available. More details will be available soon.

EO2HEAVEN is organisinga stakeholder workshop in June in Dresden. This event will be a German speaking workshop hosted by TUD (Technische Universität Dresden) and will bring together health experts and stakeholders from Germany.

More details will be available soon.

A second South African workshop will be held in Pretoria and Durban between the 5th and 9th of November 2012. CSIR and UKZN will host the events with a similar setup to the workshops held in 2011, although on this occasion the main purpose will be to show the tools and methods produced in the third and final iteration of the project and discuss the possibility of implementing an operational system in a local organisation.

More details will be available in due course.

Note (20/09/2012): the dates of the workshops in Africa are currently being revised. The dates and further details will be confirmed on the EO2HEAVEN website very soon.

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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