November 25, 2020

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DATOS Project utilises data science techniques for geospatial outputs

The Remote Sensing and Data Science: DATOS Help Desk (DATOS Project) is the geospatial applications initiative of the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI).

It is funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).

How does it work?

According to a recent press release, DATOS project applies Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and other data science techniques to remotely sensed data.

On top of these, it also uses Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) to produce geospatial outputs that can be used for disasters, agriculture and other purposes.

The geospatial outputs come from data from the DOST-ASTI’s increasingly extensive collection of data and infrastructure for data science. Add to that the data produced by previous DOST projects.

The following are some of DOST-ASTI’s data and infrastructure for data science:

  1. The Philippine Earth Data Resources Observation (PEDRO) Centre is the ground-receiving station for images from the Diwata micro-satellites and other commercial satellites that the Agency is subscribed to.
  2. There are over 2,000 automated hydro-meteorological sensors that were deployed by the Agency to collect near real time weather and water level data from all over the country.
  3. The Computing and Archiving Research Environment (COARE) Facility archives and processes all the aforementioned satellite images and weather data.
  4. The Philippine Research, Education, and Government Information Network (PREGINET) is the Philippines’ only research and education network that interconnects academic, research, government institutions and international RENs.

Benefits of DATOS

The DATOS Project, for instance, has developed a way to map out crops by using satellite images and by extracting the temporal signature of crops determined through radar satellite images.

The temporal signature is similar to a voice recognition technique wherein different words with varying lengths can be identified as the same word.

A standing partnership with the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) exists in order to help automate the mapping of sugarcane plantations for yield prediction and disaster monitoring.

The same methodology can be used to map out other crops with known temporal signature such as rice and corn.

Moreover, DATOS produces flood situation maps by retrieving satellite images and letting AI identify flooded areas from these imageries.

DATOS is able to detect floods in areas that are hit by heavy rainfall and sends these mapped out areas to the respective DOST regional offices in the event of severe weather disturbances.

AI is also being used to detect objects from satellite images.

An example of which is the current partnership with the Bataan Peninsula State University in order to help the institution automate the mapping of their province’s mango trees.

Other objects that have been detected by the project from satellite images using AI include road networks, ships, land cover classes, and built-up areas.

The Agency responsible for DATOS

The DOST-ASTI is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that undertakes scientific research and development and technology transfer in the advanced fields of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), computing, electronics and their applications.

It continues to dedicate itself to developing and delivering technology solutions to enable a productive, globally competitive and resilient Filipino society.