BigSkyEarth Conference: AstroGeoInformatics

BigSkyEarth Conference: AstroGeoInformatics

BigSkyEarth is organizing the conference AstroGeoInformatics – Knowledge Discovery in Big Data from Astronomy and Earth Observation in Tenerife, Spain, on December 17-19, 2018. The conference is hosted by Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and Universidad de La Laguna. The BigSkyEarth book of the same topic will be presented at the conference! Conference contributions will be published as proceedings on

News, Dec 14: Press Release by the IAC about the conference

What is BigSkyEarth?

With the current emergence of Terabyte(TB)-scale astronomical and Earth observation systems, the traditional approach to basic functions such as data searching, analytics or visualization are becoming increasingly difficult to handle. Simple database queries can result now in data subsets so large that they are incomprehensible, slow (or even impossible) to handle, and impossible to visualize with commodity visualization tools. Astronomy and remote sensing complement each other, as they are on the quest for new Big Data interpretation capabilities: both disciplines have peculiar data, typical data processing and analysis chains, and specific models to be fed with data. However, both disciplines lack the capabilities for easily accessible semantics-oriented browsing (usage of higher level descriptive expressions) in large data archives. Therefore, joint efforts to design and develop innovative Big Data tools should help users in many different fields and set new standards for many communities. This has identified several broad challenges to this line of reasoning that need multidisciplinary approach through international networking of experts and professionals. These challenges are then channelled into Action Objectives:
– Challenge A: Digital curation and data access
– Challenge B: New frontiers in visualisation
– Challenge C: Adaptation to new high performance computing (HPC) technologies
– Challenge D: New generation of scientists in the age of interdisciplinarity
BigSkyEarth is funded by COST framework under Action TD1403. More at:

Conference Dates: December 17-19, 2018

Conference Venue:


Host organisations:

  • Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias is an internationalized research and technology centre for Astrophysics: and one of the main Astrophysics centres of Spain, with close to 400 staff, incl. 120 PhD astronomers and 60 PhD students
  • Universidad de La Laguna ( has more than 200 years of history, with currently more than 25,000 students, academic or research staff, and personnel.

Conference Info Package:

  • Download here as PDF

Travel, accommodation and costs:

  • There is no conference registration fee!
  • Tenerife has 2 international airports – see here how to reach the venue from them:
  • Many direct flights, incl. many low-cost, to around 100 cities in Europe
  • Excellent bus and taxi services from airports to the venue
  • Many decent hotels from 60 euros/night (we recommend staying in La Laguna or Santa Cruz de Tenerife, from where travel to the venue is easy by tram line L1 (, venue is at. the tram stop ‘Campus Guajara‘)
  • Local transport few euros/day (tram)
  • From/to airports of order 10 euros (bus)
  • Lunch 10-15 euros, dinner similar but very wide range
  • Coffee breaks are covered by BigSkyEarth


  • BigSkyEarth provides travel and accommodation reimbursements to invited speakers.
  • BigSkyEarth will provide travel and accommodation reimbursements to a limited number of conference participants who will contribute with short (15min) talks. You can apply for the reimbursement directly at the registration form below. The final number of participants selected for reimbursement will be based on the available budget.
  • NOTE: reimbursements are possible only to the invited speakers and to the participants coming from institutions in BigSkyEarth member countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, fYR Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom. Members of the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory from Armenia are also eligible for grants.
  • There will be special considerations with respect to supporting COST policies on promoting gender balance, enabling Early Career Investigators and broadening geographical inclusiveness.
  • The deadlines for reimbursement applications:
    • 1st round: October 8, 2018
    • 2nd round (NOTE: no funds available any more): November 5, 2018.
    • Note that reimbursements require the applicant to give a short oral presentation.


  • There is no registration fee.
  • Registration (including short abstract) is available here: LINK
  • The deadlines for long abstracts (2 pages or more, including figures, see below) required for oral presentations:
    • 1st deadline (required for reimbursement applicants): October 8, 2018
    • 2nd deadline (required for reimbursement applicants): November 5, 2018
    • 3rd deadline (required for setting up the final program): November 19, 2018
  • The deadline for submitting abstracts for poster presentations:
    • December 3, 2018

Abstract format:

Excursion (weather permitted):

Conference dinner:

Confirmed invited speakers:

  • Annalisa Pillepich (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy)
  • Herbert Haubold (Austrian Federal Environment Agency)
  • Cristina Martínez-Lombilla (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias)
  • Mario Juric (University of Washington)
  • Jean Soubestre (Canary Islands Volcanological Institute)
  • Khadija EL Bouchefry  (South African Radio Astronomy Observatory/HartRAO)
  • Máximo Calvo Ordás (Karten Space)
  • Joachim Denzler (Institute for Informatics, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)
  • Häme Tuomas (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland)
  • Mattia Vaccari (Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy, South Africa)

Registered participants:

Co-chairs of the LOC:

  • Johan Knapen (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias)
  • Olga Zamora (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias)

Program timetable: