GEOSS Architecture for the use of Satellites for Disasters and Risk Assessment (GA.4.Disasters)

Ad Hoc CEOS DRM Working Group  -  Meetings

GA.4.Disasters architecture document released Dec. 31, 2013  -  Further Reading


We have completed the WGISS project on the GEOSS architecture for disasters management.  In December 2013, we completed incorporating review comments, including comments from UN-SPIDER as well as within CEOS.  The final document can be accessed at:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many contributores to this WGISS project over the last two and a half years, from those who helped guide the scope and objectives, those contributing case study findings and presentations at WGISS meetings, as well as those reviewing the final report.  Thank you!!


The WGISS GA.4.Disasters project addresses the use of satellites, sensors, models, and associated data products to support disaster response and risk assessment. The purpose of the GEOSS architecture is to provide an enterprise perspective for managing distributed systems and web services for disaster management. It is intended to provide a common vocabulary to describe the GEOSS building blocks and how they are composed. WGISS will evaluate existing and proposed disaster response and risk assessment processes as a point of departure in evolving the architecture descriptions. Key proof-of-concept prototypes will be implemented to refine the architecture, capture lessons learned and recommend standards for web service and system interfaces.

Recent News:

(Nov. 2013) The GA.4.D Architecture for final review has been released. Comments due Dec. 1, 2013 to Karen Moe (email below). 

(Sept. 2013) The GA.4.D Architecture document has been significantly edited and reformatted in preparation for WGISS-36 and final review and release. 

(July, 2013) The Final Report from the March GEOSS Future Products Workshop is now online.

(July, 2013) The abstract entitled "Towards a Sensor Web Architecture for Disaster Management: Insights from the Namibian Flood Pilot," was presented (by G. Percivall of OGC on behalf of the GA.4.D team) at the 2013 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (Melbourne, Australia).

(Spring 2013) The IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (J-STARS) published a paper "Improving Disaster Management Using Earth Observations—GEOSS and CEOS Activities," co-authored by the GA.4.D and the OGC / GEOSS AIP-5 team.

(Spring 2013) A new draft of the architecture document, GA.4.D v0.9.6, covers disaster lifecycle phases in a more balanced way; provides a more detailed view of Processes in the Enterprise View; and discusses semantics (definition / translation) in the Information View.

(May 13-15, 2013) Supported a DRM Pilot and Strategy Review and a CEOS Disaster SBA team meeting (Greenbelt, MD - USA).

(May 6-10, 2013) Participated in the WGISS-35 workshop (São José dos Campos, Brazil) (AgendaActions): summarized GA.4.D architecture and sketched recommendations for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) pilot studies.

(March 26-28, 2013) Participated in a GEOSS Future Products Workshop (Silver Spring, MD - USA). (Update July 9, 2013: the workshop final report is now online.)

Earlier highlights:

(2013-01-30,31) Met with the CEOS Disasters SBA team to begin collaborating on a Global Earth Observation Strategy for Disaster and Risk Management (DRM), as called for in the recent CEOS DRM report.

(2013-01-18) Submitted a manuscript for publication in the IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (J-STARS), co-authored with the OGC / GEOSS AIP-5 team, describing the interactions and collaborations between GA.4.D and AIP-5.

(2013-01-14) Summarized results and insights from 2012 work with the GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot (AIP-5), in a pair of presentations (12) to the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), in Redlands, CA.

(2013-01-10) Presented a poster describing the GA.4.D architecture and case studies; and co-hosted a panel discussion of emergency responders on how they use information from multiple sources, at the Winter Meeting of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP), in Washington, DC.

(2012-12-05) Reviewed the GA.4.D architecture, case studies, and preliminary recommendations in a session on "Near Real Time Data Uses for Earth Science and Space Weather Applications" at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

(2012-11-28) Joined the CEOS Disasters SBA team in Washington, DC, to discuss the 2012 / 2013 Actions  and their relationship to the CEOS ad hoc Disaster and Risk Management team's recent report, "Enlarged Actions Concerning Satellite EO and DRM." (Presented materials)

(2012-09-28) We discussed the GA.4.D architecture and tentative conclusions and recommendations at WGISS-34 in Hyderabad, India. Materials from this session are available on the GA.4.D Meetings page.

(2012-09-06) A new draft of the GA.4.D Architecture document is available for review, with additional material on service types, and new case studies in the Appendix.

(2012-07-25) We presented a paper at IGARSS (Munich, Germany, July 2012) with George Percivall and Nadine Alameh, who are leading the 5th GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot (AIP-5). (For other presentations in the session, see IGARSS 2012 under "Further Reading")

(2012-04-27) We discussed the GA.4.D architecture and preliminary case study findings at the WGISS-33 meeting (Tokyo, Japan, April 23-27 2012). Materials from this session are available on the GA.4.D Meetings page.

(2012-03-14) The first draft of the GA.4.D Enterprise Architecture document is available for review. It sketches several viewpoints for describing and understanding disaster management and risk assessment processes, and their use of information from satellites. 

(Feb. 2012) A joint WGISS GA.4.Disasters project & CEOS Disasters SBA meeting took place on Monday, 13 February 2012, in Washington, DC, preceding the CEOS-GEO Actions Workshop. Materials from this meeting are available on the GA.4.D Meetings page.

(Dec. 2011) Karen Moe and John Evans presented a poster at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting on “A Reference Model for Use of Remote Sensing for Disaster Management and Risk Assessment(4.7MiB PDF).

(Sept. 2011) GA.4.Disasters was the subject of in-depth discussions at WGISS-32.  Materials from this session are available on the GA.4.D Meetings page.
(July 2011) The GA.4.Disasters proposal was approved as a new project at WGISS-31 in June 2011. The project leads are soliciting WGISS member participation to collect and evaluate existing GEOSS documents related to the needs of GEOSS users and providers of satellite services for use in response to disasters and risk assessments. The project group is to be established in July, with the goal of producing a task plan for discussion at WGISS-32, and documenting a draft enterprise architecture document by the end of 2011. Members will identify potential resources and prototype developments to address the needs of the disasters and risk assessment societal benefit area and leverage the capabilities of WGISS participating agencies.

Points of Contact:

Karen Moe                                    Sergii Skakun
NASA  – USA                               NASU – Ukraine
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Further reading



CEOS-GEO Action Tracking System:  Detailed descriptions, planned deliverables and milestones, and accomplishments to date can be found for Action DI-01-C1_2 at

Attached files: