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Researchers develop online fire monitoring service
In cooperation with European research partners, researchers of the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam have developed the technical infrastructure of an online fire monitoring service. The application is developed for the detection of forest fires and is available now for expert users. The European research project called TELEIOS, was funded by the European Union and lasted from 2010 to 2013.
In a real-time interpretation the online fire monitoring service combines satellite images with geographical data such as vegetation, land-coverage, cadastral information and environmental data. The application is in use by the Natural Observatory in Athens and has already rendered services to the Greek army, fire brigade and Civil Protection Agency to optimize their efforts and processes in fighting forest fires. The service also calculates scenarios how fires can develop. In addition, the researchers also fully automated a burnt scar mapping service which shows over a long period which areas have been burned in the past, to what extent and what the impact has been on the environment. The analysis took place using archived data of a period of 30 years from 1984 until 2012.
The main innovation of the project is the development of the technical infrastructure for a Virtual Observatory in which advanced database technologies, geographical and semantic web technologies are combined. The database management system MonetDB, developed by the research group Database Architectures at CWI, is used as back-end for the semantic web technology to store and search the semantic data. The infrastructure allows for quick access in the huge amount of data with new query techniques. In addition, satellite images are stored in the database management system as arrays, which allows image processing to take place instantaneous in the system. To achieve this CWI developed the query language SciQL that leverages the power of database systems and scientific computations.
The research in the Netherlands is carried out by the Database Architectures group of CWI, led by Stefan Manegold. Project leader of the TELEIOS project is the Greek National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA). Other partners include the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) in Greece, the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt in Germany, and Advanced Computer Systems (ACS) in Italy.