DATA OBSERVATORY FOUNDATION

Data Observatory (DO) is a nonprofit, public-private-academia collaboration led by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation and the Ministry of Economy, created in alliance with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (UAI). DO has the mission to acquire, process, store, and provide availability for high-quality and large volume datasets in order to contribute to the development of astroinformatics and artificial intelligence initiatives that seek to promote knowledge, science and innovation. DO performs as one of the structural axis regarding the national policy on artificial intelligence.

Context:

A virtuous ecosystem of artificial intelligence needs a large capacity of data processing, intelligence (in the form of algorithms), and a large amount and quality of data in order to function.

DO mainly focusses on storing, managing, and providing availability of a large amount of very high-quality data (such as data generated out of astronomical observation) for other sectors of society. Free access to data allows for different actors in society to generate capabilities through the training of artificial intelligence algorithms (machine learning), data intelligence (Data Analytics), as well as generate educational capacity for the development of talent in this area.

In order to carry this role out, DO integrates public, academic, and private sector capabilities in the development of an informatics infrastructure, talent, and open data availability (Data Sets) as beneficial assets to be leveraged by different actors in the generation of new technologies, capabilities, and knowledge that have an impact on our society.

Members of DO:

Participation of DO members includes talent and knowledge transfer, strategic databases, instrumentation and infrastructure – such as cloud services, high-performance laboratories and informatics – as well as funding for innovation projects.

Although this initiative started out with a few members from the public, private and academia sectors, DO´s mission seeks to expand the participation of these levels through regular public announcements to incorporate various actors in the advancement of the role of DO as a structural and developmental axis for artificial intelligence in Chile.

DO and Personal Data:

DO does not process personal data. Only anonymized data, data obtained from astronomical observation, or data that has been accessed in conformity with the pertinent regulations are processed. It is of the essence of DO that the data to be stored and processed are open.

 

 

DO Functions and capabilities (IDÉES-FORCES):

  • DO stores, manages, and provides availability for a large amount of high-quality data, mainly obtained from astronomy. If DO were nonexistent, there would not be a technological platform available that is suitably robust for storing and sharing said data.
  • DO promotes a sustainable development model using open data.
  • DO successfully makes it possible for these data to generate value through research and innovation.
  • DO democratizes data accessibility, connecting them to different communities and adding value for high-impact sectors.
  • DO doesn´t work with personal data. Only anonymized data are processed.
  • DO provides its cloud-anchored infrastructure to all kinds of organizations interested in sharing data of interest for various sectors, or making these data available, in order to collaborate with development and innovation; such may include observatories, universities, learning centers, public entities, among others. This provides the necessary infrastructure for storing enormous volumes of data on the cloud.

DO PORTFOLIO OF PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES:

COVID-19 Database (data science in relation to the pandemic): The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 database on GitHub is a massive-use platform offering open access to the data analysis community. Data Observatory (DO) additionally develops a set of solutions using cloud platforms offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) through DO, which will multiply the accessibility and usage of this database that is fed with data from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications, the Ministry of the Environment, and data on national mobility that is supplied by third parties.

Open Data Cube (earth and marine satellite data monitoring): Data Observatory and the Chilean office of the Australian agency for scientific development, CSIRO, signed a strategic partnership for developing a revolutionary OpenDataCube project for earth and marine satellite monitoring in Chile which in its initial phase used Landsat satellite data from Chile to progress in the investigation of matters such as water, drought, agriculture, red tides, and urban development, at different locations. The project will be carried out in three stages, beginning with the development of an open data cube prototype, making it completely available for Chilean society, and connecting it to other open data cubes that are being developed in Latin America.

ALeRCE (astronomical broker): ALeRCE, Automatic Learning for the Rapid Classification of Events, is a project led by the Center for Mathematic Modeling (CMM) at Universidad de Chile, and the Millennium Institute of Astrophysics (MAS), together with Data Observatory (DO). ALeRCE aims at positioning Chile internationally as an astronomical broker in charge of the artificial intelligence layer that will process the enormous volume of alerts generated by gigantic telescopes, such as the Vera Rubin Observatory – also called LSST due to its monitoring program – in a sustainable manner over the next ten years.

FACH Hackathon (virtual applied data science tournament for academia and society): Virtual contest organized by the Chilean Air Force’s Aerial Survey Facility (SAF), Data Observatory, and the Faculty of Engineering and Sciences at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (UAI), in alliance with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, the Ministry of Economy, Development, and Tourism, Amazon Web Services (AWS), CSIRO Chile – the local office for the Australian research agency – and Fundación País Digital. It included the participation of 47 teams that designed solutions for climate problems such as forest fires in outer metropolitan areas, glacier retraction, and wetland degradation, with the use of satellite imagery.

Earth Analysis Interoperability Lab – EAIL (open satellite data for space agencies): In alliance with CSIRO, DO is collaborating with the development of a platform that aims at collecting open satellite data, and making it available on a new platform, which is to be used by 34 space agencies that are members of CEOS, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites.