ITC’s first spin-off Ramani facilitates public use of Earth Observation data

The first spin-off company of the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation of the University of Twente (ITC) has been launched: Ramani. The new-born company intends to contribute to the advancement of public use of Earth Observation data. Ramani has expertise as a key-technology provider at some of Europe’s largest innovation competition events, such as the Copernicus Masters and various App Developer Camps, of which the latest iterations were fully funded under contract with ESA and executed jointly with SAP.

Essential building stone
A harmonic system has been developed capable of cataloguing distributed (geo-spatial) data resources spanning across scientific communities, which is an essential building stone towards uniting providers and users of geo-spatial data. In conjunction with a VISual Maps-API, which is currently available for a broad range of client platforms (Android, iOS, SAP-HANA XS, nodeJS, JavaScript, etc.), it enables the Mobile App Industry to integrate the rich data offerings that the Copernicus programme has offer into their mobile solutions with much greater ease and less prior geo-ICT knowledge then was previously necessary.

The API not only returns the maps of EO data for consumption on mobile devices, it can also analyse them to detect correlations or trends over time/space in five dimensions (5D: x, y, depths/height, time, forecast time). The results of analyses are returned in a variety of easy-to-understand graphics, either as PNG-image or as Scalable Vector-Graphics (SVG) for further client-based interaction, or as enhanced data-streams for downstream service providers to build other added-value services. The Maps-API connects to a rich Digital Data Library (DDL) hosted by Ramani on behalf of ESA, allowing developers to tap into Copernicus EO-data products.

Making copernicus data available
Named after the 16th Century astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, it is ESA’s latest and most ambitious Earth observation programme to date with more than 10 satellites being launched into orbit in the next decade. Combined with Ramani’s Maps-API, Copernicus provides relevant, timely, and easily accessible information to society. For example, to help improve the management of the environment, understand its impact on human well-being (and vice versa), follow the effects of climate change, etc.

Ramani was a co-organizer of a recent App Camp challenge at the latest Mobile World Congress (MWC) jointly funded by ESA and a leading industry provider of Cloud database technology, SAP. In the qualification rounds leading up to this event, Ramani provided on-line support to some 180 participants simultaneously across six locations in Europe (Finland, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, and the UK).

Knowledge spin-off
Ramani, named after the Swahili word for ‘Map’, is the first spin-off of the University of Twente’s Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation. It is a subsidiary of Ujuizi Holding B.V., which aims to accelerate mobile technology in BoP (Bottom of Pyramid) markets. Last month, the agreement with the initial investors was signed, including Holding Technopolis Twente B.V., which holds and manages the participations of the University of Twente in spin-offs and organizations for commercialization support. ITC’s Natural Resources Department and Kennispark Twente provide entrepreneurial and content support for the Ramani initiators.

More info on Ramani via http://ramani.ujuizi.com.