Art. 5 - by Paolo Mazzetti - CNR (Italy)

The ENERGIC OD project aims to build Virtual Hubs to facilitate the use of open geospatial data. To achieve its objective the ENERGIC OD has recently released a revised version of the Virtual Hub system architecture based on feedback collected in the first year of activity and from the first technical review. The ENERGIC OD Virtual Hub concept puts its basis on past experiences in building System of Systems through a brokering approach. In brokered architectures, dedicated components provide mediation and harmonization of interfaces and data models avoiding the need of changes in the data provider systems.

As an innovation action, ENERGIC OD focuses on loosely-coupled integration of mature technologies and tools, most of them provided or under control of ENERGIC OD Consortium members. In particular, existing brokers – such as the GI-suite Brokering Framework adopted in the Global Earth Observation System of Systems – assure the basis to build advanced Virtual Hubs. The integration of tools in the Virtual Hub is based on full server-side APIs, while applications development is facilitated through simple client-side APIs based on widespread Web technologies (HTML5, Javascript and CSS). For greater flexibility, ENERGIC OD adopts an agile methodology allowing rapid development in response to new requirements.

ENERGIC OD will deploy one regional Virtual Hub in the Berlin metropolitan area and five national Virtual Hubs in France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain. However, the architecture is flexible and can accommodate different topologies, to address specific requirements, such as the need of a seventh European-level Virtual Hub, or a central Virtual Hub acting as a single-point-of-access, as it could be suggested by marketing reasons for better exploitation. By a technical point-of-view, the deployment will be made possible on local infrastructures, possibly managed by one or more ENERGIC OD partners, or on private and public clouds providing Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) functionalities.

A first version of the ENERGIC OD has been already deployed in the six test sites and accessible by project partners and sub-contractors for the development of the ten ENERGIC OD pilot applications.