ESA GlobPermafrost - WebGIS based Visualisation of Remote Sensing Data

Antonie.Haas [ at ]


GIS server and desktop GIS technologies support scientific work at all levels, from data collection and data processing to data management and data visualisation. Here we present how the development and publication of scalable WebGIS data services supports the ESA DUE Globpermafrost (2016-2018), and the ESA CCI+ Permafrost (2018-2021) projects, specifically in the interaction with the permafrost community. Within ESA DUE programs, user feedback is essential to improve the remote sensing products. This is why ESA GlobPermafrost had to focus on methods and infrastructure for data presentation, and established PerSYS (Permafrost Information System). PerSYS became the ESA GlobPermafrost geospatial information service for publishing and visualisation of information and data products to the public. Data products are described and searchable in the PerSYS Data Catalogue, a core component of the Arctic Permafrost Geospatial Centre (APGC), established within the framework of ERC PETA-CARB at AWI. All GlobPermafrost data products will be DOI-registered and archived in the data archive PANGAEA provided by AWI. The data visualisation employs AWI’s WebGIS-infrastructure maps@awi (, a highly scalable data visualisation unit within AWI’s data workflow framework O2A (from Observation to Archive). GIS services have been created and designed using ArcGIS for Desktop (latest Version) and finally published as a Web Map Service (WMS), an internationally standardized format (Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)), using ArcGIS for Server. The project-specific data WMS as well as a resolution-specific background map WMS are embedded into a GIS viewer application based on Leaflet, an open-source JavaScript library. The GIS viewer application was adapted to interlink all GlobPermafrost WebGIS projects, and especially to enable their direct accessibility via the GlobPermafrost Overview WebGIS. The PerSys WebGIS is accessible via the GlobPermafrost project webpage and linked to the respective product groups as well as to maps@awi. WebGIS technology within maps@awi supports the project-specific visualisation of raster and vector data products of diverse spatial resolutions and remote sensing sources. This is a prerequisite for the visualisation of the wide range of GlobPermafrost remote sensing products like: Landsat multispectral index trends (Tasseled Cap Brightness, Greeness, Wetness; Normalized Vegetation Index NDVI), Arctic land cover (e.g., shrub height, vegetation composition), lake ice grounding, InSAR-based land surface deformation, rock glacier velocities and a spatially distributed permafrost model output with permafrost probability and ground temperature per pixel. All WebGIS projects are adapted to the products’ specific spatial scales. For example, the WebGIS ‘Arctic’ visualises the Circum-Artic products. Higher spatial resolution products for rock glacier movements are visualised on regional scales in the WebGIS projects ‘Alps’, ‘Andes’ or ‘Central Asia’. The PerSYS WebGIS also visualises the locations of the WMO GCOS ground monitoring networks of the permafrost community: the Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost GTN-P managed by the International Permafrost Association IPA. The PerSYS WebGIS has been presented on several User workshops and at conferences, and is being continuously adapted in close interaction with the IPA.

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Conference (Poster)
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ESA Living Planet conference, 13 May 2019 - 17 May 2019, Milano.
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Haas, A. , Heim, B. , Bartsch, A. , Walter, A. , Muster, S. , Grosse, G. , Schäfer-Neth, C. and Seifert, F. M. (2019): ESA GlobPermafrost - WebGIS based Visualisation of Remote Sensing Data , ESA Living Planet conference, Milano, 13 May 2019 - 17 May 2019 .

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