Messages from the Director
From: David Maidment
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 10:51 PM
To: Dave Goodrich
Subject: Progress with CUAHSI HIS
In response to your request for an update on CUAHSI HIS for the ACWI Subcommittee on Hydrology, I have queried my colleagues on the HIS team and we have come up with the following items:
- HIS Central -- HIS has made progress towards the establishment of a Water Data Federation as a collection of Water Data Services published using WaterML. The website HIS Central ( http://hiscentral.cuahsi.org/) has been established as a place where data providers can register and provide metadata about their WaterOneFlow water data services. These data are then indexed and catalogued in the HIS metadata catalogue at SDSC and become searchable through Hydroseek.
- Australian Water Resources Information System (AWRIS) adopts CUAHSI HIS – Tony Boston from the Bureau of Meteorology writes “ We've now just about completed our evaluation of CUAHSI HIS. We considered three options for use of HIS within AWRIS: (1) Use of Windows HIS out of the box as is; (2) Migration of HIS to a Linux/Postgres environment; (3) Building an interface to AWRIS that will deliver WateOneFlow web services. Our decision is to use HIS as is in the short-term (option 1) and in the medium-term to go with option 3 which provides the maximum flexibility allowing us to develop the AWRIS database for our own purposes with the ability to deliver WaterOneFlow web services (and potentially other web services) as well.”
- Fall AGU Meeting – This provided an excellent opportunity to meet with colleagues and discuss HIS. AGU has formed an Earth and Space Sciences Informatics focus group http://www.agu.org/focus_group/essi/index.html and it is the fastest growing group within AGU. There are now many sessions related to informatics topics at AGU. The growth in activity even since the Fall 2007 AGU meeting was noticeable. The CUAHSI booth provided a further opportunity for 1 on 1 demonstration of HIS functionality to the hydrology community. A CD providing HIS software and illustrative use cases was prepared for and distributed at the AGU fall meeting. The material from this CD is available on the website http://his.cuahsi.org
- Forecast Metadata for WaterML – At Fall AGU, the CUAHSI HIS team met with Don Cline and John Halquist from the NOAA NOHRSC in Chanhassen, MN, who are interested in extending WaterML to include a forecast metadata component, necessary if WaterML is to be adopted within the hydrology branch of NWS. It appears that this is a separable set of time series metadata that can be included in the WaterML Get Values function call relatively simply. Discussions are ongoing between the CUAHSI WaterML team in San Diego and NOHRSC about how to accomplish this.
- HIS Desktop -- We have begun the design, prototyping, and development of a new HIS tool to run as a client side desktop application consuming HIS web services and presenting a map based graphical user interface for querying and mining HIS data. This tool, HIS Desktop, will be developed using a shared community participation approach that is common in the open source software world and will be based largely on free and open source tools including the MapWindow GIS components http://www.mapwindow.org/. MapWindow development is managed at Idaho State University by Dan Ames and is used by the EPA Basins team for the publication of the open source version of EPA Basins 4.0. Dan Ames has joined the CUAHSI HIS team to manage the software production of HIS Desktop in a similar way. The design of the functionality of HIS Desktop will be led by David Tarboton firstname.lastname@example.org of Utah State University, and participation in establishing design requirements is welcomed.
- New Paper Published -- The paper "An integrated system for publishing environmental observations data" by Jeffery S. Horsburgh et al., detailing the CUAHSI Water data publication system has been published in Environmental Modeling and Software (doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2009.01.002), http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13648152. This paper presents the method for publishing research datasets consisting of point observations that employs a standard observations data model populated using controlled vocabularies for environmental and water resources data along with web services for transmitting data to consumers. This paper describes how these components have reduced the syntactic and semantic heterogeneity in the data assembled within a national network of environmental observatory test beds and how this data publication system has been used to create a federated network of consistent research data out of a set of geographically decentralized and autonomous test bed databases.
- Progress with the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) – Significant progress has been made in strengthening the relationship of CUAHSI HIS with the OGC, whose Web Map Service, Web Coverage Service and Web Feature service are standards becoming widely used in the GIS community for exchange of GIS data using web services. A draft charter has been established for a Hydrology Domain Working Group within OGC, and it is possible that this working group will be jointly established with the Commission for Hydrology of the World Meteorological Organization so that data standards work from the hydrology services of other nations can be factored into the process of standardization of WaterML.
I hope that this update is helpful to the ACWI Subcommittee on Hydrology. It may be useful if Rick Hooper or somebody else representing CUAHSI HIS were to speak in person to the next SoH meeting. I think that we are reaching the point where we can outline more precisely what is involved in federal agencies joining the CUAHSI Water Data Federation.
With best regards