With the remarkable development and progress of earth-observation techniques, remote sensing data keep growing rapidly and their volume has reached exabyte scale. However, it’s still a big challenge to manage and process such huge amounts of remote sensing data with complex and diverse structures. This paper designs and realizes a distributed storage system for large-scale remote sensing data storage, access, and retrieval, called RSIMS (remote sensing images management system), which is composed of three sub-modules: RSIAPI, RSIMeta, RSIData. Structured text metadata of different remote sensing images are all stored in RSIMeta based on a set of uniform models, and then indexed by the distributed multi-level Hilbert grids for high spatiotemporal retrieval performance. Unstructured binary image files are stored in RSIData, which provides large scalable storage capacity and efficient GDAL (Geospatial Data Abstraction Library) compatible I/O interfaces. Popular GIS software and tools (e.g., QGIS, ArcGIS, rasterio) can access data stored in RSIData directly. RSIAPI provides users a set of uniform interfaces for data access and retrieval, hiding the complex inner structures of RSIMS. The test results show that RSIMS can store and manage large amounts of remote sensing images from various sources with high and stable performance, and is easy to deploy and use.
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