Join STAC Sprint #4!

Chris Holmes
Apr 10, 2019 · 3 min read

Things have been moving along well in the SpatioTemporal Asset Catalog community, but we’ve decided it’s been far too long since our last sprint. While STAC is primarily an online collaboration, the in-person sprints are where we’ve always made our most substantial progress. After our initial inception at a sprint in Boulder, we paired our next two sprints with other groups — the second with WFS 3.0, and the third with Analysis Ready Data. It was great to have the interchange between related groups, but for this sprint, we’ve decided to make it all about STAC.

The event will take place in San Francisco, generously hosted by Planet at their office. As always, the Radiant Earth Foundation is the convener, hosting the spec and providing a neutral meeting ground for diverse organizations. We’ll have three full days of time together, though the plan is to shift from ‘making’ the spec to using the spec. Some of the things we hope to sprint together on include:

  • Creating new STAC catalogs: While there are STAC versions of some of the biggest open datasets, there’s a number of more datasets that we’d like to wrap in STAC. Sentinel 1, NAIP, USGS 3DEP LiDAR Point Clouds, and Radarsat are top of the list, but we welcome people coming to work on any dataset they’d like to be in STAC. It doesn’t have to be open data or global — we welcome anyone who wants to come and map their data into STAC, and feedback any improvements needed into the spec.
  • Working on STAC Software: There are a number of STAC servers, and a couple of STAC clients, so we’d like to do a mini ‘plugfest’ and make sure each is working with one another. We also hope to build up more client tooling, now that there are a number of catalogs and server software. People are welcome to bring their own project, start a new one, or join one of the existing STAC implementations. We’ll also be working on testing and validation tools, to make it even easier to create STAC compliant catalogs and software.
  • Enhancing STAC with new extensions: As STAC matures more of the interesting work is on the edges, as extensions that describe particular domains in more detail. New ones like Training Data, Full Motion Video and Mosaics are of interest to the community, as well as a continued iteration on SAR, Point Clouds, EO and Data Cubes.
  • Outreach: At the last sprint a core group made great progress on a website (preview here, should be live at a real URL soon). We hope to expand the web presence with more tutorials and explanation, and potentially think through where we can present and write to spread the word about STAC.
  • Core Spec Work: And of course we will advance the specification, as talking things over with everyone together can move things forward more quickly than almost any other means. As always we aim to remain grounded in real-world usage, so hope to use the work of the other threads to drive concrete changes. Though there are a couple of big topics that we want to get through, like asset definition and defining the road to 1.0.

While the event will be focused in San Francisco we will be organizing some amount of ‘virtual participation’. The goal will be to stream a handful of sessions and to organize groups with remote participants that can move ahead collaborating with our normal development tools like Github and gitter.

So if you are interested in participating, either in San Francisco or remotely, please fill out the application form at

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If you are interested in attending in person but don’t have travel funding we may have some small travel grants available. And we are also seeking sponsors who want to help make the sprint a success. Just get in touch on our gitter chat if either is of interest.

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