Cubes & Clouds - Cloud Native Open Data Science for Earth Observation

In the rapidly evolving field of Earth Observation (EO), the demand for resources to stay in touch with the latest technologies is tangible. To address this, EOX supported the European Space Agency (ESA) in the creation of Cubes and Clouds Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). This course not only furthers our commitment to Open Science but also enhances EOxHub as a cloud platform and its rich educational offerings.

Cubes & Clouds - Cloud Native Open Data Sciences for Earth Observation is aiming to bridge the gap between latest trends in bringing users to data as opposed to the traditional approach of downloading data and creating analysis locally. During the course, students have the opportunity to learn about news in cloud optimised data formats, data access and search protocols, allowing users to first explore the data before accessing them fully. Spatio-Temporal Asset Catalog (STAC) is presented as one of the industry standards for EO metadata description. Course is also highlighting the open science principles and FAIR data principles.

Cubes & Clouds is designed to cater to Earth Science students and researchers eager to elevate their technical prowess, as well as Data Scientists aspiring to explore the vast realm of EO. The course stands out by bridging theoretical knowledge with practical application, structured around the powerful concepts of data cubes and EO cloud platforms.

Cubes and Clouds

Through a carefully crafted curriculum participants delve into the core of EO workflows—from data discovery and actual processing to the important stage of sharing results. What sets this course apart is its very hands-on focused approach, ensuring that learners not only grasp theoretical concepts but also gain practical experience. But the theoretical introduction is not missing - in the first part topics like datacube, platform or data access protocols are introduced. By the course's conclusion, participants are well-equipped to use cloud platforms independently for EO research and confidently adhere to Open Science principles.

The learning journey is paved by an array of engaging content, including videos, animations, quizzes, all tailored to ensure a comprehensive understanding of each topic. Most importantly, lessons are accompanied by hands-on coding exercises directly on a cloud platform. The course is designed to be flexible, accommodating the diverse schedules of our global learners while ensuring an effective learning pace with an estimated length of 30 hours.

EOxHub, a cloud workspace developed by EOX is used as a main platform for the hands-on part of the course. Workspaces for students come with curated environments with all necessary Python libraries and tools installed that students need together with computational resources suitable for coursework. EOxHub workspace is presenting an option to make the first step in the cloud environment without the need of a large and complicated setup.

EOxHub Workspace for Cubes and Clouds course

A unique highlight of Cubes & Clouds is the interactive map project, where participants collaboratively map snow cover in mountainous regions, showcasing their newfound skills in a real-world application. For showing the results of every successful student we are hosting a publicly available STAC browser (opens new window) where all submitted results from coursework are displayed. This feature is not only as a motivation but mainly to conclude the whole process of Open Science principles to actually make data FAIR - findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. Even though the course theme is snow cover detection, learnt skills are easily transferable to different use cases and different datasets as students are equipped with transferable skills.

STAC Browser with visualisation of an item

EOX’s participation in creating and supporting Cubes & Clouds reflects our ongoing dedication to promoting Open Science as a foundational element. Open Science not only accelerates scientific discovery and increases transparency but also fosters collaboration and inclusivity across the global scientific community.

We invite all interested Earth Science enthusiasts, professionals and Data Scientists to join this transformative learning experience. Whether you are looking to refine your technical skills or embark on a new journey in the EO field, "Cubes & Clouds" offers the tools and knowledge needed to succeed in this dynamic discipline. Enrol today and be a part of shaping the future of Earth Observation.

Sign up for Cubes & Clouds on EO-College (opens new window), tag EOX on social media with your submissions and join the community of successful students.