Ocean Data Interoperability Platform


USA developments 

In the USA similar initiatives are taking place as in Europe for developing and operating a national integrated ocean and marine data management infrastructure. These initiatives are implemented by the research sector, often funded by NSF, and by USA governmental institutions, often in cooperation and synergy. As a result there are several initiatives in the USA that, although not all funded by the NSF, have similar aims and goals to those of SeaDataNet, Geo-Seas and associated EU funded projects.

Research sector:
In the US scientific community several projects are undertaken for improving the flow of data from oceanographic cruises and observatories to the national data management infrastructure as well as refining standards for marine data management.

R2R - Rolling Deck to Repository program aims to develop comprehensive fleet-wide management of underway data for the U.S. academic research fleet to ensure preservation of and access to these national oceanographic research data resources. The R2R program is funded through NSF and is undertaken by a team of the University of California - San Diego Supercomputer Centre (SDSC), the Scripps Institution of Oceanography - Geological Data Centre (SOI-GDC), the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and the Florida State University (FSU). The US research fleet is an essential platform for supporting ocean science. Data collected on every expedition are of high value, especially given the high costs and increasingly limited resources for ocean exploration. The R2R Portal is a central shore-side gateway through which underway data from oceanographic expeditions are routinely catalogued and securely transmitted to the national long-term archives including the National Geophysical Data Centre (NGDC) and National Oceanographic Data Centre (NODC). Data submission is achieved through vessel operators rather than individual science parties, ensuring routine preservation of the full underway data distribution. During the two years since inception, R2R has captured data from more than 2000 cruises on 26 vessels, amounting to more than 7 million data files (9 TB). R2R is developing new data documentation tools for the wide array of shipboard data collection activities typical of modern expeditions. Protocols are developed for post-cruise quality assessment. The R2R program plan is to leverage and augment the existing centralized information resources of the UNOLS office, vessel operators, and National Data Centres to facilitate the documentation and delivery of data from ?rolling deck? to ?repository.

MMI - Marine Metadata Interoperability project is lead by the University of California, San Diego, and there are participants from major marine science agencies and institutions around the world. Its goal is to promote collaborative research in the marine science domain, by simplifying the incredibly complex world of metadata into specific, straightforward guidance. MMI hopes to encourage scientists and data managers at all levels to apply good metadata practices from the start of a project, by providing the best advice and resources for data management. MMI maintains a website to foster communication and collaboration among its hundreds of members, and provides forums for discussion of diverse topics related to marine data management. MMI is also developing web applications and stand-alone tools to enable sophisticated interactions across marine data systems.

Quality Assurance of Real-Time Oceanographic Data (QARTOD) is a continuing multi-agency effort formed to address the quality assurance and quality control issues of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) community. The primary objective of the initiative is the development of standards for operational oceanography including equipment calibration, quality assurance/control methods and metadata standards. QARTOD is composed of oceanographers, data managers and data providers from agencies interested in addressing the quality assurance and quality control issues of evolving integrated ocean observing systems, such as the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) community.

UNIDATA - is a diverse community of education and research institutions vested in the common goal of sharing data, tools to access the data, and software to analyze and visualize the data. For 25 years Unidata has been providing data, tools, and support to enhance earth-system education and research. In an era of increasing data complexity, accessibility, and multidisciplinary integration, UNIDATA provides a rich set of services and tools. These include UNIDATA THREDDS Data Server (TDS) and NetCDF (CF). TDS is a web server that provides metadata and data access for scientific datasets, using OPeNDAP, OGC WMS and WCS, HTTP, and other remote data access protocols. The TDS is developed and supported by UNIDATA, a division of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. NetCDF (CF) is a set of software libraries and self-describing, machine-independent data formats that support the creation, access, and sharing of array-oriented scientific data. It is widely adopted in the global ocean and meteorological research community to exchange gridded data sets such as numerical model outputs and observations such as multibeam surveys. NASA and NOAA have endorsed the netCDF as standards and the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), through joint work of UNIDATA and CNR (Italy), has recently adopted netCDF as an international standard for encoding binary data. At present netCDF is the only OGC binary encoding standards.

Governmental sector:
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce is leading the development and implementation of the US IOOS - Integrated Ocean Observing System. It broadly consists of contributions from both Federal and non-Federal assets and capabilities to advance the utility of marine observations by creating a system to rapidly and systematically acquire and disseminate ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes data and data products to meet critical societal needs.

Central to the success of IOOS is the presence of a DMAC - Data Management and Communication system capable of delivering real-time, delayed-mode, and historical data for insitu and remotely-sensed physical, chemical and biological observations. The system should provide model-generated outputs, including forecasts, to IOOS users and be able to deliver all forms of information to and from secure archive facilities. The DMAC design must also be responsive to user needs. Regional IOOS partners are working with the U.S. IOOS Program Office to develop this system, to make data and products discoverable and accessible, and to provide essential metadata regarding information sources, methods and quality.

US NODC - the National Oceanographic Data Centre is one of the national environmental data centres operated by NOAA. It maintains and updates a national ocean archive with environmental data acquired from domestic and foreign activities and produces products and research from these data which help monitor global environmental changes. These data include physical, biological and chemical measurements derived from in situ oceanographic observations, satellite remote sensing of the oceans, and ocean model simulations. NODC personnel directly interact with Federal, state, academic, and industrial oceanographic activities, represent NOAA on various interagency domestic panels, committees and councils, and represent the USA in various international organizations, such as the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

The NGDC - the National Geophysical Data Centre is also operated by NOAA. This disciplineoriented centre serves as national repository and dissemination facility for global geological and geophysical data. The data archives amassed by the NODC and the other NOAA centres provide a record of Earth's changing environment, and support numerous research and operational applications. Working cooperatively, the centres provide data products and services to scientists, engineers, resource managers, policy makers, and other users in the United States and around the world.

Just like in Europe, all these developments result in establishing US standards, protocols, services and tools for ocean and marine data management. Also many developments are underway, because new basic standards such as from ISO and OGC are coming up, demanding customisation for the ocean domain.



This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no [312492] and continued funding from the European Union's HORIZON 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under grant agreement no [654310].