FFDW and EASIER Data Initiative Collaborate to Upload Spatial Data to Filecoin Network

Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web (FFDW) is excited to announce our collaboration with the EASIER Data Initiative at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). EASIER stands for Efficient, Accessible, and Sustainable Infrastructure for Extracting Reliable Data for the World’s Location-Based Assets. In partnership with researchers from UMD’s Department of Geographical Sciences, the Initiative will ensure that large geospatial datasets are accessible to research organizations and the general public. This project has the potential to benefit organizations responsible for planning, research, and decision-making where location matters.

The Initiative is fully open-source, advancing decision-making and equitable research through the dissemination and permanent preservation of spatial data. The collaboration with FFDW will help the Initiative develop the capacity and infrastructure for uploading, analyzing, and extracting large quantities of data using decentralized storage technologies, including Filecoin and IPFS.

The primary objective of this project is to design and optimize the uploading and offloading process for Filecoin and IPFS to be compatible with existing spatial data workflows. Ultimately, the Initiative envisions an accessible web portal for querying and extracting data, which will enable the Initiative to reach a larger community of partners and users across industry, academic, and government.

  • Uploading - The Initiative will develop a pipeline to upload data on the Filecoin network.
  • Offloading - Data is only as useful as it is accessible, and enabling data analysis and extraction is a critical part of the collaboration with FFDW. The Initiative will create a streamlined process for bringing data off the Filecoin network in an actionable and useful capacity.

This Initiative will first focus on uploading data from Landsat 9–the latest satellite between NASA and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to monitor Earth’s natural resources. This Landsat mission is an ideal way to showcase the next generation of data storage. Often, producers of spatial data–such as the Landsat program–observe open data policies. However, actionable spatial data can often be routed into closed-source commercial systems. Using decentralized technologies such as Filecoin, the EASIER Data Initiative aims to properly align data and distribution infrastructure to the open-data goals of many sensor missions and other sources of spatial data. By developing a data pipeline, this Initiative seeks to further humanity’s access to knowledge.

The EASIER Data Initiative is building a next-generation platform for spatial data, which refers to any interaction or observation that can be referenced to a location on the globe. The location data industry is a $12 billion market and is often cited as covering 60-80% of global data products according to industry experts. Because the amount of data is so vast, the Initiative's work has the potential to benefit organizations – from local governments and universities to federal agencies and NGOs – who are responsible for planning, research, and decision-making. For example, location data can help predict weather patterns or understand the implications of climate change.

The EASIER Data Initiative is in partnership with Textile, an open-source technology company with the mission to accelerate the open exchange of information on the internet, as well as University of Maryland’s Department of Geographic Sciences, a leader in using and teaching geospatial perspective and technology to solve humanity’s most pressing issues at local, national, and global scales.

To learn more about the EASIER Data Initiative, visit easierdata.org.