GEOSS authentication/authorization services: a Broker-based approach

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Mattia Santoro and Stefano Nativi, CNR - IIA, Sesto Fiorentino-Firenze, Italy
The vision of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) is the achievement of societal benefits through voluntary contribution and sharing of resources to better understand the relationships between the society and the environment where we live. The GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) allows users to search, access, and use the resources contributed by the GEOSS members.

The GEO DAB (Discovery and Access Broker) is the GCI component in charge of interconnecting the heterogeneous data systems contributing to GEOSS. Client applications (i.e. the portals and apps) can connect to GEO DAB as a unique entry point to discover and access resources available through GCI, with no need to implement the many service protocols and models applied by the GEOSS data providers. The GEO DAB implements the brokering approach (Nativi et al., 2013) to build a flexible and scalable System of Systems.

User authentication/authorization functionality is becoming more and more important for GEOSS data providers and users. The Providers ask for information about who accessed their resources and, in some cases, want to limit the data download. The Users ask for a profiled interaction with the system based on their needs and expertise level. Besides, authentication and authorization is necessary for GEOSS to provide moderated social services – e.g. feedback messages, data “fit for use” comments, etc.

In keeping with the GEOSS principles of building on existing systems and lowering entry-barriers for users, an objective of the authentication/authorization development was to support existing and well-used users’ credentials (e.g. Google, Twitter, etc.).

Due to the heterogeneity of technologies used by the different providers and applications, a broker-based approach for the authentication/authorization was introduced as a new functionality of GEO DAB. This new capability will be demonstrated at the next GEO XI Plenary (November 2014).

This work will be presented and discussed.


Nativi, S.; Craglia, M.; Pearlman, J., "Earth Science Infrastructures Interoperability: The Brokering Approach," Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, IEEE Journal of , vol.6, no.3, pp.1118,1129, June 2013