Digital Earth at a Glance

Digital Earth is part of a comprehensive strategy of the Helmholtz Centres in the Research Field Earth and Environment (E&E). This strategy consists of three overarching initiatives: ESM links existing simulation models, MOSES links existing infrastructures and integrated data collection in the field. As a third initiative, Digital Earth aims at the integrative analysis and exploration of large, heterogeneous data across all disciplinary boundaries, thereby being accompanied by the National Research Data Infrastructure.

Digital Earth or "Towards SMART Monitoring and Integrated Data Exploration of the Earth System - Implementing the Data Science Paradigm" consists of more than 50 scientists from eight Helmholtz partner institutions. Being a data science project, Digital Earth enables an iterative integration of data acquisition (SMART Monitoring) and data analyses by implementing feedback loops, aiming to use and advance methods and workflows across scientific disciplines, centers and Earth compartments. Digital Earth will:

  • Provide large scale knowledge exchange and transfer;
  • Develop software and workflows;
  • Try to define defacto ‘standards’ & implement best practice;
  • Provide services for Decision Support Tools

These approaches are being developed for two show cases:

  1. Quantification of methane gas release from the North Sea
  2. Analysis of flood events along the Elbe river

With these two exemplary show cases we can comprehensively demonstrate the interaction of dependencies in complex processes in the terrestrial, atmospheric and marine area.

Project Structure

Based on the outlined objectives and the related demands, five work packages have been defined. Click for an overview on the entire structure of the project.




     Jens Greinert
     Phone: +49 431 600-2590
     E-Mail: jgreinert(at)



     Daniela Henkel
     Phone: +49 431 600-2111
     E-Mail: dhenkel(at)