62nd OGC Technical Committee Meeting – Boulder, Colorado

I attended 62nd OGC Technical Committee meeting in Boulder, Colorado with my colleague Stuart Hamilton in September. As most of you probably know, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international industry consortium of 438 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards for geospatial data exchange protocol and web services. OGC standards are technical documents that detail interfaces or encodings and software developers use these documents to build these interfaces and encodings into their products and services. Aquatic Informatics is participating in the Hydrology OGC Domain Working Group (DWG or WG).

This working group is responsible for providing a forum for discussion of key interoperability requirements and issues, discussion and review of implementation specifications, and presentations on key technology areas relevant to solving geospatial interoperability issues for the water industry. At the moment, there is an active OGC Standard Working Group (SWG) for hydrological observation data exchange protocol called WaterML 2.0 SWG. WaterML 2.0 is the candidate OGC encoding standard for the representation of in-situ hydrological observations data. WaterML 2.0 will support encoding of hydrological and hydrogeological observation data in a variety of exchange scenarios.

Example areas of usage are:

  • exchange of data for operational monitoring and forecasting programs
  • supporting operation of infrastructure (e.g. dams, supply systems)
  • exchange of observational and forecast data for surface water and groundwater
  • release of data for public dissemination; enhancing disaster management through data exchange
  • and exchange in support of national reporting

The OGC technical meeting this year had many interesting Hydrology sessions and talks. There were two Hydrology DWGs and one WaterML2.0 SWG session plus a kick-off meeting for the new Forecasting Interoperability Experiment (IE). In Hydrology DWG sessions different participants presented the surface water and ground water Interoperability Experiment (IE) results. The WaterML2.0 SWG session was mostly focused on usability and encoding issues and future plans for WaterML2.0 development. The hot topic during the session was the issue raised by USGS and Aquatic Informatics around the encoding of metadata such as quality, event flags and approval levels in an efficient way.

The Forecasting IE is designed to advance the development of WaterML2.0 and test its use in a forecasting context with various OGC service interface standards. In other words, the objectives for the Hydrologic Forecasting IE are to implement and test WaterML2.0 and OGC services within a real-time forecasting context. This IE will address the time and ensemble dimensions of a forecast, as well as the ability of the services to facilitate incremental data updates, and notifications to trigger data exchange capabilities. The work will focus on testing information models and service delivery mechanisms, and in addition, participants are expected to use new and upgraded web services. The ultimate goal is to improve the overall availability of water data and the interoperability of water information systems for hydrologic research and water resource management. Many government agencies such as USGS, EC-WSC, NOAA/NWS and CSIRO are participating in this IE. Aquatic Informatics would also actively participate by serving data across the Canada-US border.

There was also the OGC Oceans, Meteorology, and Hydrology Water Cycle Summit all day Wednesday where two Hydrology and Meteorology domain working groups provided a venue and a mechanism for seeking technical and institutional solutions to the challenge of describing and exchanging data about the state and location of water resources and atmospheric and oceanographic phenomena. The groups work to ensure that OGC standards allow the hydrological, meteorological, and ocean observation communities to achieve effective interoperability across the world’s information technology infrastructure. Many government agencies such as USGS, EPA, NOAA/NWS, WSC, BoM and NIWA participated and discussed data sharing exploration, achievements and current issues. The presentations can be found here.

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