MELODIES Research Project

Project: MELODIES – (Maximizing the Exploitation of Linked Open Data in Enterprise and Science)

Overview: MELODIES, an EU FP7 R&D project, was coordinated by the IEA’s Dr Jon Blower, focusing on identifying and addressing the challenges of working with open data in the environmental sector. It developed eight new innovative applications combining Earth Observation data with open data sources to produce new information for a range of end users in academia, industry, government and public service organisations.

The MELODIES team held a conference, Exploiting Open Data, in Brussels in October 2016 to share some of the challenges of using environmental Open Data in Europe – as well as the techniques and the solutions that the consortium developed to combat them.

The project developed a shared collaborative technology platform that gives end users the required high-level computing, data management and collaboration capabilities to develop their specific services. This allows them to focus on the design and evolution of their service rather than worrying about how to develop the underlying IT infrastructure. The way the platform has been designed fosters greater collaboration on common tasks and will contribute towards the long-term sustainability of the services. Linked Data techniques are used to connect data sources distributed all over the world.

One of the applications was led by Dr Debbie Clifford at the IEA, together with experts at the University of Reading’s Department of Meteorology and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. It developed new land cover and soil moisture data tailored for use in the greenhouse gas reporting process. The application improves the frequency, reliability and efficiency of existing land cover surveys, which currently are too expensive to undertake annually. Dr Clifford’s application explores how to use Earth Observation data to provide a yearly update in between full, high-resolution land cover maps, which are carried out every 7-10 years in the UK.

Timeline: November 2013 – 2016

Partners: A consortium of 16 academic and industrial partners from eight European countries.

Links: More on MELODIES, including the project blog, at

open data project
The MELODIES team pictured at the project's concluding conference, Exploiting Open Data.