This application case concerns environmental geo-localized data using the InGeoCloudS service-oriented platform in the cloud for geoscience data cataloguing, discovery and sharing. Platforms for publication of geo-referenced data like InGeoCloudS facilitates public and professional access to a large volume of geological data, especially for the study and prevention of natural disasters: earthquake zones, risk of landslides, groundwater conditions.
The reliability and flexibility of Cloud architectures provides scientists with a high-quality, robust and cost-effective service. Geodata information in the environmental domain possesses interesting characteristics like the size of the available data, the existing metadata descriptions (mostly according to the European Directive INSPIRE) and the current availability of related services that can be moved to the cloud. Actors in the domain own and manage sensible information and their exploitation in the cloud poses security issues. This encompasses mission-critical data for public safety and security (natural hazards prevention) and also environmental data and associated services can have a business value when very specific exploitation needs are fulfilled (for insurance companies, construction and public works sectors…).
Thus, some European public institutions and Data Providers are still reluctant to “move to the cloud” and a very often-cited reason are the perceived threats on data security, user control on their data, and data location. Beside legal obligations of sharing public data to a large audience, geosurveys missions in all European countries include management of most sensible data about rare earth materials, minerals and natural earth resources. These datasets are exploited commercially and used by private companies, analysts or by other institutions of the public sector (ministries, public administrations…).
Geo-data infrastructures management generally support a whole palette of services for data storage and cataloguing, data discovery, data processing, data edition and data dissemination. In all cases described above, general CLARUS objectives of developing a secure framework for data outsourced to the cloud are in line with data owners and data consumers requirements. CLARUS solutions shall allow end users to monitor, audit and retain control of the stored data without impairing the functionality and cost-saving benefits of cloud services. A CLARUS-enabled platform might mitigate some of these threats by strengthening the trust in the domain. Data providers might also be interested in using a single infrastructure in the cloud while developing a separation of their data according to security criteria. Security level-based segmentation of their data storage can be a new feature for such platforms, enabled by CLARUS.