Body of Knowledge for Earth Observation and Geographic Information is publicly available! — What you can expect from it?

The Body of Knowledge for Earth Observation (EO) and Geographic Information (GI), EO4GEO BoK, is publicly available, so what can be found there? — this article answers your questions.

4 min readOct 28, 2020

Authors: Martyna Stelmaszczuk-Górska, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena; Estefania Aguilar-Moreno and Sven Casteleyn, Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, Castelló de la Plana, Spain; Rob Lemmens, University of Twente, Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Enschede, The Netherlands.

By its definition, the EO4GEO BoK is a formal description of the EO/GI domain represented by a complete set of concepts in a structured way, including the theories, methods and technologies that can be used by members of a discipline to guide their education and work practice (Olijslagers, 2019). The BoK defines what knowledge and skills are needed to complete jobs or tasks in the EO/GI domain, and thus contributes to the development of the skills strategy for the sector in the changing world. This strategy will help to bridge the skills gap between the supply of and demand for education and training in the Earth Observation and Geographic Information sector (Miguel-Lago et al., 2019).

The EO4GEO BoK, now in its 4.0 Version, represents the next richer, more complete Body of Knowledge for EO/GI sectors. It is a work in progress, but already gives a good idea about the extensive content the BoK will provide to the EO and GI community.

The EO4GEO BoK is updated on a regular basis. Each public release can be viewed with two tools which both have a BoK content search engine, and represent the same content in a different manner:

  1. The Living Textbook uses a concept map as a starting point and visualizes concepts and their relationships in one view, providing a convenient way to find connecting concepts and their descriptions. It provides an under-the-hood view of the BoK, also used by the contributing experts to develop and keep an overview of the BoK content. Available here.
  2. The BoK Visualization and Search tool provides a compact and easy to use graphical and textual view on the BoK, by organizing concepts in a hierarchical way according to the BoK’s super-sub concept structure. It is also the universal access point for the BoK, providing permalinks for each concept, thereby allowing BoK content to be referred to, linked with and used in software applications, such as the EO4GEO tools. Accessible here.

The publicly available version (Version 4.0) of the EO4GEO Body of Knowledge consists of:

  • 907 concepts (379 come from the previous project GI-N2K)
  • 1875 skills
  • 1353 external resources (references)
  • 1129 relations

All the 907 concepts are under development in seven working groups (WG) related to Geographic Information (WG1 Methods and Foundations, WG2 Visualization & GI systems, WG3 SDI and related), Earth Observation (WG4 Physical principles, WG5 Platforms, sensors and digital imagery, WG6 Image processing and analysis) and market perspective (WG7 Thematic and application domains). These groups were created to facilitate the EO4GEO BoK implementation in the first phase of the BoK development. In the next stages of the BoK enrichment, the work of these WGs will become more and more integrated.

Figure 1. Distribution of the concepts among the working groups (WG).

Over 20% of concepts are completed. The stages of a concept during its development in the BoK are:

New (or GI-N2K) > Planned > In Progress > Completed > Approved.

Currently completed concepts still need to be reviewed by the Editorial Board before they get the status Approved. Most of the concepts currently being developed have the status: new, in progress or planned to be described.

Figure 2. Percentage of completed concepts per working group

As you can see, there is still a lot of work to do. Therefore, please join our efforts and contribute to the first Body of Knowledge for Earth Observation and Geographic Information!

Check the current content of the EO4GEO BoK yourself and start using its maintenance and editing tool as well as end-user tools! Learn how to use the tools in the articles dedicated to the Living Textbook Tool and to the BoK software platform.




Large-scale Skills Partnership for the downstream segment of space economy dedicated to data, services and applications(under the EC initiative Pact for Skills)