EO-DWARF: Semantic EO Data Web Alert and Retrieval Framework, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research & Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE), H2020

Technological advances in Remote Sensing have increased the availability of satellite images with different spatio-temporal and spectral characteristics.There is difficulty for retrieving the most appropriate data for each user’s needs. One key challenge is to connect the quantitative information of the EO images with the qualitative (high-level user queries) and be able to mine these connections in big archives. An inherent question arises; how to retrieve EO images based on user semantically aware questions. Content based EO image retrieval techniques have been introduced for bridging the gap between low-level image features and high-level queries. The main constraint of the existing approaches is the generalization of the problem.The formulated ontologies are not focused on the constraints of EO images.

The main objective of SEO-DWARF is to realize the content-based search of EO images on an application specific basis. The marine application domain and data from Sentinels 1, 2, 3 and ENVISAT will be used. Queries such as “Calculate the rate of increasing chlorophyll in the NATURA area” will be answered by the SEO-DWARF, helping users to retrieve the appropriate EO images for their specific needs or alert them when a specific phenomenon occurs. The research contains the:

a) ontology formalization for the specific research topics,

b) determination of the semantic queries for the application domains,

c) algorithm development for extracting metadata from the EO images,

d) design of an architecture of the platform to perform the semantic image retrieval and storage and management of the extracted metadata.

All four aspects will be integrated in an innovative and user-friendly web based platform enabling the users to retrieve images for marine applications or register for a semantic alert. A strong and experienced research team, of 4 academic and 5 industrial partners, coming from Greece(3), Italy(2), Germany(1), France(1), Cyprus(1) and Switzerland(1) constitute the project’s consortium.


  • Laboratory of Remote Sensing, National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) – Greece
  • TWT GmbH – Science & Innovation – Germany
  • Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) – Cyprus
  • I-SEA SAS – France
  • Planetek Italia S.r.l. – Italy
  • Department of Marine studies, University of the Aegean – Greece
  • Planetek Hellas EPE – Greece
  • University of Bari “Aldo Moro” – Department of Computer Science – Italy
  • CloudSigma AG – Bulgaria

The goal of the SEO-DWARF project is to establish a fertile collaborative research and innovation environment by means of staff exchanges, knowledge sharing and know-how transfer that will promote the resolution of scientific questions formed by the marine application domain regarding satellite image retrieval from the Copernicus programs and advance the state of the art in processing, alerting, retrieving, fusing, serving, of remote sensing images and products. Specifically, objectives of the project will be centered on:

  • Creating a research and innovation collaboration network through staff exchanges for the:
  • Exploitation of the existing knowledge about the remote sensing applications on the marine domain.
  • Development and implementation of automatic algorithms for extracting metadata from the remote sensing images and associate them with the corresponding ontology.
  • Exploitation of the big data EO archives for the efficient retrieval and serving of data based on the semantic queries performed.
  • Data fusion among optical, SAR and ancillary data.
  • Sharing multidisciplinary knowledge and know-how among the partners, while aligning different scientific cultures for the integration of the knowledge from the marine domain and the developed metadata extraction algorithms to retrieve the appropriate images that help to resolve the scientific questions.
  • Push the conducted complementary research of the partners to the market by creating added value services to the Copernicus EO program. The added value services correspond to a semantic web alert and retrieval system for EO data from the Copernicus satellites.
  • Promote the skills and careers of the exchanged staff. The seconded staff are going to be re-integrated to the sending companies/institutes with an in-build return mechanism for further exploitation of their newly acquired and enhanced skills and knowledge.