Professor GUO Huadong: 'CASEarth: A Big Earth Data Engineering Program’

Professor GUO Huadong is from the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences and was CODATA President 2010-2014.

As a revolutionary innovation in scientific productivity, big data has brought a new methodology to scientific research. Big Earth Data, an important subset of big data dealing with the atmosphere, land, and oceans, is becoming a new frontier contributing to the advancement of Earth science and significant scientific discoveries. Big Earth Data is characterized as being massive, multi-source, heterogeneous, multi-temporal, highly dimensional, highly complex, nonstationary and unstructured. It provides favorable support for data-intensive knowledge discovery and is becoming the new key to understanding Earth—a new engine for conducting Earth science. 

As a strategic priority research program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Big Earth Data Science Engineering Program (CASEarth) has been designed to develop an effective data-to-knowledge platform. The implementation of CASEarth can be expected to achieve substantial breakthroughs for Big Earth Data services.

The overall objective of CASEarth is to establish an International Big Earth Data Science Center, which mainly involves three parts: 1) build a world-class Big Earth Data infrastructure to collect and analyse data; 2) develop a world-class Big Earth Data platform to drive the discipline towards new scientific discoveries; and 3) construct a decision support system to serve government decision-making. 

CASEarth consists of the following eight research components to achieve technological breakthroughs and obtain innovative results: 1) CASEarth Satellites; 2) Big Data and Cloud Service Platform; 3) Digital Belt and Road; 4) Beautiful China; 5) Biodiversity and Ecological Security; 6) Three-Dimensional Information Ocean; 7) Spatiotemporal Three-Pole Environment and 8) Digital Earth Science Platform. 

CASEarth has been building a big data and cloud service platform as well as a big data-driven Digital Earth Science Platform, and integrating the data, models, and services in the study of resources, the environment, biology, and ecology. By promoting multidisciplinary integration, it has the potential to break through the bottleneck of data sharing. A sub-system has also been established to better use Big Earth Data for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Belt and Road region.

The Big Earth Data Sharing Service Platform constructed by CASEarth is now ready for service. The platform provides global users with systematic, diversified, dynamic, continuous, and standardized Big Earth Data with a global unique identifier, and promotes the formation of new data sharing models by constructing a data sharing system that integrates data, computing, and services. At present, the total amount of shared data is about 5 PB, and about 3 PB will be updated each year.