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Data Discovery (Collections)

openEO strives for compatibility with STAC and OGC WFS as far as possible. Implementing the data discovery endpoints of openEO should also produce valid STAC 0.6 and WFS 3.0 responses, including a partial compatibility with their APIs (see below).

WARNING: STAC and OGC WFS 3, as well as openEO, are still under development. Therefore, it is very likely that further changes and adjustments will be made in the future.


STAC has several extensions that can be used to better describe your data. Clients and server are not required to implement all of them, so be aware that some clients may not be able to read all your meta data.

Some commonly used extensions that are integrated in the openEO API specification are:

  • EO (Electro-Optical) extension
  • SAR extension
  • Commons extension
  • Scientific extension
  • Data Cube extension
  • Non-Common Properties extension

For data discovery in general and each collection you can specify a set of references. These can be alternate representations, e.g. data discovery via OGC WCS or OGC CSW, references to a license, references to actual raw data for downloading, detailed information about pre-processing, etc.

Note: STAC requires to add a link with relation type self (see below). Although this is not technically necessary for openEO and we do not enforce to provide such a link with our validation tools, we still recommend to provide it anyway for compatibility reasons.

The following table lists relation types that are commonly used as rel types in the links. The scope 'Collections' refers to the links that are related to a specific collection, 'Discovery' refers to links that are related to data discovery in general and are not about a specific collection.

Type Description Scope
self Absolute URL to the data discovery endpoint or the collection itself. Discovery +Collections
root / parent URL to the data discovery endpoint. Collections
child URL to a child STAC Catalog or STAC Dataset. Collections
item URL to a STAC Item. Collections
license The license URL for the dataset SHOULD be specified if the license field is set to proprietary. If there is no public license URL available, it is RECOMMENDED to supplement the collection with the license text in a separate file and link to this file. Collections
alternate An alternative representation of the metadata. This could be a secondary web service such as OGC WCS or OGC CSW or a metadata document following another standard such as ISO 19115, INSPIRE or DCAT. Discovery +Collections
about A resource that is related or further explains the entity, e.g. a user guide. Discovery +Collections
derived_from Allows referencing the data this collection was derived from. Collections
cite-as For all DOI names specified, the respective DOI links SHOULD be added to the links section of the catalog with the rel type cite-as. Collections

More relation types may be listed in the STAC documentation.

Compatibility with WFS and STAC APIs

The data discovery endpoints GET /collections and GET /collections/{name} are compatible with WFS 3 and STAC. The only limitation with regard to response compatibility is that openEO allows open date ranges and WFS does not (see issue WFS_FES#155). Additionally, STAC and WFS define additional endpoints that need to be implemented to be fully compatible. The additional information can easily be integrated into an openEO API implementation. A rough list of actions for compatibility is available below, but please refer to their specifications to find out the full details.

WFS 3.0 compatibility

As of now, WFS 3.0 requires more endpoints for full compatibility. You should make the following changes to your API to implement a valid WFS:

  • Add a links property to the GET / request that links to the WFS endpoints.
  • Implement GET /api and return the WFS OpenAPI document.
  • Implement GET /conformance and specify which conformance classes your WFS conforms to.
  • Implement GET /collections/{collectionId}/items and GET /collections/{collectionId}/items/{featureId} to support retrieval of individual features.

STAC compatibility

As of now, STAC has two more required endpoints that need to be implemented:

  • GET /stac
  • POST /stac/search

Provide data for download

If you'd like to provide your data for download in addition to offering the cloud processing service, you can implement the full STAC API. Therefore you can implement the endpoints GET /collections/{collectionId}/items and GET /collections/{collection-name}/items/{featureId} to support retrieval of individual items. To benefit from the STAC ecosystem it is also recommended to implement the GET /stac endpoint. To allow searching for items you can also implement POST /stac/search. Further information can be found in the STAC API respository and in the corresponding OpenAPI specification.