Vito

Stop downloading satellite data! Use a Virtual Machine instead

Thanks to Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation programme, we have full, free and open access to massive amounts of data. But how do we use this data to the fullest? We notice that a lot of users often struggle to get the data, or actually the info, they need. You need to know which data sources are available, find out if any of the images are fit for your purpose and then you still need to spend time downloading all the data.

What if we skip all this and just let you focus on analyzing the data? Stop spending time on downloading or budget on extra storage. With a Virtual Machine you can focus on what’s really important: analyzing the data to extract objective information.

What's a Virtual Machine?

Enter the world of cloud computing. In this world, the cloud doesn’t only hold all the data you need. It offers the ability to process that data following your instructions. In practice, a data center full of processing servers and storage is made available to you, and you interact with it through a virtual machine.

With an additional desktop on your computer, which runs on a server in the data center, you’re all set to access, explore and process the data you want. You can save on time (avoiding to wait until downloads are done) and on investment (no additional storage or computers to buy). Instead, you can start work immediately.

Terrascope Virtual Machine to process satellite data
A preview of a Terrascope Virtual Machine providing a series of data and tools

All-in-one service

Terrascope's Virtual Machine provides a series of data and tools. One of the biggest assets is that Terrascope provides the data in useable formats, like GEOTIFF, and pre-installs software to work with the data on the Virtual Machine:

  • QGIS and GRASS: open source geo-information system
  • Developer tools, e.g. to write python or R scripts
  • SNAP, the Sentinel Application Platform for satellite data processing

You can also install any of your favorite software tools that you want to use (e.g. MatLab), since you are the administrator of the Virtual Machine.

Next to the software, you can also access ready-to-use products based on the satellite data:

  • Atmospherically corrected Sentinel-2 imagery
  • Biophysical parameters, like NDVI, FAPAR, LAI, FCOVER
  • Georeferenced Sentinel-1 backscatter data
  • The entire SPOT-VEGETATION and PROBA-V archive
  • The entire Copernicus Global Land Service archive

TerrascopeVM-productsV2Via the EO browser Terraviewer you can easily access a set of ready-to-use products based on satellite data including Sentinel-2 natural color, Sentinel-1 GRD, PROBA-V syntheses, Copernicus Global Land, etc.

Your data, your algorithm! You're in control

Terrascope’s Virtual Machines are easily accessible but at the same time guarantee full data privacy and security. Your data and algorithms are yours only and will not be shared with third parties nor the experts behind the platform. This also means that you’re responsible for making back-ups.  You can download any results you want to keep, and to store your code or programs in an external repository e.g. Github.

We do encourage interaction between our users to facilitate data and knowledge sharing. For this purpose, a public folder is available so you can easily exchange data, codes, … with another VM user.

Get started now and start saving money

You can request a Virtual Machine in a couple of minutes. As soon as your VM is setup (approx. after 24 hours), you'll receive 4 CPU’s, 8 GBytes of RAM memory and 80 GB of HDD disk space to get you started with a Linux operating system (CentOS), and this completely free of charge.

  1. Use your Terrascope or PROBA-V distribution portal account to login. Or request a login if necessary.
  2. Request an OpenStack Virtual Machine at the Terrascope Virtual Machine website
  3. Submit your request form and indicate when you need the VM. You’ll receive a confirmation within 48 hours
  4. Receive your VM and get started. You’ll receive an email with guidelines to access your personal VM


Tutorial video on how to request a Virtual Machine

As soon as you're all set, you’ll have access to the complete Terrascope data archive as well as a powerful set of tools and libraries to work with the data (e.g. SNAP toolbox, GRASS GIS, QGIS) or to develop-debug test applications (R, Python or Java).

If you have any questions, would like (technical) support or need more resources for operational use or on a project base, don’t hesitate to contact us or check the FAQ on the website.

Register yourself now and start exploring our ways of interacting with the data and tools!