Save the date! Cloud-Native Geospatial Outreach Event on April 19–20
In September of 2020, we organized the first ‘Cloud-Native Geospatial Outreach Day’, which shared all that was going on with Cloud-Optimized GeoTIFFs (COG) & SpatioTemporal Asset Catalogs (STAC) with a wider audience. Though I am clearly biased, it was my favorite event of the last three years, as it really showed how far these new emerging specs have come and it brought many new collaborators into the community.
So I’m pleased to announce that we’re reviving the event and expanding it to include newer specifications like Zarr and Cloud Optimized Point Cloud (COPC), with the help of the Open Geospatial Consortium to make it all a reality. There are more details below on how that came to be, but first the key information.
The goal of the event is to highlight everything going on in the cloud-native geospatial communities. It will be virtual-only, though we very much hope the next one of these will be in person. We’re going to be quite focused on the key specifications described in Towards a Cloud-Native Geospatial standards baseline. Each will have an overview talk to introduce the specification and the state of its ecosystem to a wider audience, but the majority of the content will be 5-minute ‘lightning talks’ that highlight a particular topic. We’re hoping to hear from lots of different organizations on their experiences so that new users can get a sense of how these specifications make a difference in real-world use cases. We’ll also have a few tutorials that will give attendees a chance to get some hands-on experience with tools in the ecosystem.
We are currently targeting April 19th and 20th for the event. We’re still working on the exact timing of the sessions, but our goal is to make it friendly to a variety of time zones so we’ll likely aim for 3 or 4 sessions spread across all hours. We’ll also aim to post the videos as soon as we can so that those who aren’t able to attend in real-time can watch them when they wake up.
Call for Speakers & Tutorials
Have you used STAC, Zarr, COPC, or COG’s in a project? Or do you have a new project or idea that follows the Cloud-Native Geospatial philosophy? We want to hear from you! No topic is too small, and we welcome speakers of all experience levels (including zero experience). Seriously — it’s a very friendly audience who is really excited to hear about any use of these new specifications. Even if it was a straightforward implementation of TiTiler to read COGs or just using the pangeo stack to work with Zarr, people are interested to hear about why your organization went that route and what you’re trying to do with it.
The only requirement is that you keep your talk to 5 minutes and that it’s focused on one of the cloud-native geo standards. You can talk about a particular project in the ecosystem, about new extensions or even new cloud-native geo standards, or even share an idea or interesting experience. Talks about particular products are welcome, as long as they are mostly highlighting the implementation of one or more of the core standards.
We’re also inviting longer, hands-on tutorials (60–90 minutes) to give new users a deep dive on how to actually use cloud-native geospatial with one or more ecosystem tools. You don’t need to fill the entire time with content, indeed we hope there is space for questions.
To apply to become a speaker just submit the form at: https://forms.gle/3Axusif1f1WHXsdUA
The deadline to apply is March 15th, and we’ll try to let speakers know soon after.
Event Sign-up and Website
We’re not yet taking sign-ups for the event itself. We’re aiming to have a website up within a couple of weeks, and we’ll announce our initial sponsors and spread the word widely at that point. We just wanted to get the date on everyone’s calendar and start securing speakers.
I am quite pleased that the OGC is helping us organize this event. Some may wonder how that came to be. While it was very satisfying to create the original Outreach Day, the big downside was that organizing it was a lot of work, taken on by me and a few dedicated people at Radiant Earth working late nights. We had planned to do a follow-up last year but it has continued to fall to the wayside as everyone had too much to do. But a couple of months ago I was talking to Nadine during my Visiting Fellowship at the Open Geospatial Consortium after I posted about the idea of a Cloud-Native OGC and the key standards to support that. In discussing how to make that vision a reality we realized that OGC would be a great partner to revive the Cloud-Native Geo event and help expand it to include newer emerging standards. The general cloud-native geospatial approach is a topic of growing interest to a number of OGC members. So with this event, we’ll be transitioning organizers from Radiant Earth to the OGC, but Radiant will be helping out with some of the organizing to provide a natural transition and bring along their great community.
COG and Zarr are both in the process of becoming OGC standards, and when STAC API gets to 1.0.0 we’ll submit it as a community standard. Our hope is that this event will help unite OGC and cloud-native geospatial efforts to lead to more direct investment in this emerging ecosystem. Indeed if we get sufficient sponsorship we’ll use the proceeds to help kick off a first OGC cloud-native geo initiative. The sponsorship prospectus should be up soon, but if you’re interested n sponsoring the event or the first initiative then don’t hesitate to reach out.