System of Agents for Forest Observation Research with Automation Hierarchies (SAFORAH)

Building a Next Generation Distributed Storage and Computing Network for Earth Observation through partnerships.

Visit the SAFORAH CUDOS Portal

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Visit the SAFORAH OGC Portal



The System of Agents for Forest Observation Research with Advanced Hierarchies (SAFORAH) was created in March 2002 to coordinate and streamline the archiving and sharing of numerous distributed large remote sensing data sets between various research groups with Canadian Forest Service (CFS), UVic and other academic and government partners to facilitate research in support of our national forest monitoring activities. SAFORAH was developed through a collaboration of government, university and industry.

SAFORAH was built with advanced grid-computing technology that presents the distributed data storage facilities as a single archive offering download or upload of remote sensing data to users. Currently, four regional CFS centres, Environment Canada - National Wildlife Research Centre, and the University of Victoria (UVic) are operationally connected to the SAFORAH data grid. The UVic connections include the Department of Physics' petabyte data store, the Geography Department, and the Computing Science Department. Discussions are underway to connect other agencies.

User Access

Users can obtain access to remote sensing data and information products in SAFORAH by using the Catalogue and User Data Ordering System (CUDOS) or an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) portal.

CUDOS is developed by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates and an online data catalogue for SAFORAH, allowing authorized users to query and download remote sensing images and information products. Image data is served in a zip compression format, containing all images and metadata files. User registration is required.

The OGC Web Coverage Service, Web Map Service, Web Processing Service, and Catalogue Service for Web have been implemented by the CFS at the Pacific Forestry Centre to promote geospatial metadata standards for sharing geospatial resources over different geospatial information systems. An SAFORAH OGC Portal, connecting to these OGC services, is also available for public users to query, process, and download EOSD Forest Cover maps, Landsat and Radarsat-1 data. No user registration is required.

Data Products

SAFORAH provides support to collaborative research and sharing of remote sensing data and information products within the Canadian government, universities, scientific institutions and the public.