The openEO API–Harmonising the Use of Earth Observation Cloud Services Using Virtual Data Cube Functionalities

Matthias Schramm*, Edzer Pebesma, Milutin Milenković, Luca Foresta, Jeroen Dries, Alexander Jacob, Wolfgang Wagner, Matthias Mohr, Markus Neteler, Miha Kadunc, Tomasz Miksa, Pieter Kempeneers, Jan Verbesselt, Bernhard Gößwein, Claudio Navacchi, Stefaan Lippens, Johannes Reiche

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


At present, accessing and processing Earth Observation (EO) data on different cloud platforms requires users to exercise distinct communication strategies as each backend platform is designed differently. The openEO API (Application Programming Interface) standardises EO-related contracts between local clients (R, Python, and JavaScript) and cloud service providers regarding data access and processing, simplifying their direct comparability. Independent of the providers’ data storage system, the API mimics the functionalities of a virtual EO raster data cube. This article introduces the communication strategy and aspects of the data cube model applied by the openEO API. Two test cases show the potential and current limitations of processing similar workflows on different cloud platforms and a comparison of the result of a locally running workflow and its openEO-dependent cloud equivalent. The outcomes demonstrate the flexibility of the openEO API in enabling complex scientific analysis of EO data collections on cloud platforms in a homogenised way.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1125
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2021


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