National Computational Infrastructure

NCI Australia logo with the words Providing Australian researchers with world-class high-end computing services

Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Pinterest StumbleUpon

Data Cube – the future of earth observation

Geoscience Australia is testing a new system for analysing and visualising massive datasets linked to stacks of ‘time slice’ Landsat images.

Since 2005 the key objective of the National Earth Observation Group at Geoscience Australia has been to maximise the value and impact of the Earth Observations from Space data holdings for Australia by progressively removing barriers to the use of the data, and by stimulating and leading work into more sophisticated and quantitative remote sensing science targeting national issues.

The Time-Space Data Cube system for crunching Landsat images over more than a decade.The concept is to ‘cube’ Earth Observation datasets by stacking Landsat image ’tiles’ in time sequences covering the same area of ground. It’s like a geographic time machine unlocking decades of information about the Australian landscape.

Adam Lewis, Leader of GA’s National Earth Observation Group, said the Data Cube prototype has been evolving since early 2013 and so far contains 15 years of Landsat 5 and 7 imagery. The dataset covers Australia’s total land area with 3,960,528 tiles using 110TB of compressed geoTIFF files.

Using NCI’s Raijin, decades of satellite imagery is now organised into the Data Cube, profoundly changing the future of earth observations. The data can be analysed and used to inform Government about the effects of land degradation, flood damage and deforestation.

Geoscience Australia's surface water map of Australia, using time series Landsat images.Said Lewis: ‘The Raijin high performance computing facility – 1.2 petaflops – is a critical enabler of the Data Cube system. For example, it’s now possible to do a time series analysis of 15 years of Landsat data for surface water, across the whole continent, in under two days of processing time’.


Originally published:








Back to News

In Collaboration With