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Extending the Ocean Data Interoperability Platform

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ODIP 2 (Extending the Ocean Data Interoperability Platform)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2018-03-31

The increasing trend towards ecosystem level marine research, which is driven both by policy e.g. Galway Statement (2013), and science addressing grand societal challenges such as ocean acidification, demands large volumes of good quality, interoperable marine data that is readily available to users.
Thousands of institutes and organizations around the world collect ocean data using different types of sensors mounted on a variety of platforms. This data is acquired in various formats using a range of standards and best practices, with different policies adopted to govern its stewardship at both the national and regional level. These different factors contribute to marine data being highly heterogeneous, and inconsistent in its availability for re-use.
Regional e-infrastructures have been established to address specific ‘local’ requirements for data discovery and access to support large-scale marine research, but they have been developed in response to the needs of their user community, and in line with the funding agency’s policy and guidelines e.g. European SeaDataNet; Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) in Australia.
Ecosystem level ocean research requires a common approach to marine data management on a global scale that allows users to discover, access and integrate data from these regional systems in a coherent and consistent manner.
Objectives and Achievements
• In an effort to establish a common global framework for marine data management, ODIP II aimed to develop interoperability across large-scale regional marine data infrastructures in Europe, the USA and Australia, and with relevant global systems, such as GEOSS, the IODE Ocean Data Portal (ODP), and the Partnership for the Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) portal.
Four workshops were organised at regular intervals throughout ODIP II, which brought together representatives from the regional and global marine data infrastructures participating in the project as well as other relevant technical experts from the marine domain. The objective of these workshops was to conduct a comparative analysis of existing regional and global marine data systems, and to formulate potential solutions for establishing interoperability between them.
• To demonstrate this coordinated approach across the participating regions, the ODIP II partners planned to co-develop a number of prototype interoperability solutions that facilitate effective sharing of data and metadata across scientific domains, organisations and national boundaries.

As a result of the discussions during the ODIP II workshops and subsequent feedback from partners, it was agreed to expand the scope and further develop the three prototype interoperability solutions that were initiated as part of the previous ODIP project. Two additional prototype interoperability solutions were also formulated and subsequently developed as part of the current ODIP II project.
Using a similar approach to that taken in the earlier ODIP project, these prototypes partly leveraged the on-going development activities of selected regional data infrastructures, including SeaDataNet (Europe), NCEI (USA) and IMOS (Australia), as well as those of global systems e.g. GEOSS
• To further the development of a global framework for marine data management, ODIP II has also promoted use of common standards and best practices for specific elements of marine data management e.g. vocabularies, sensor web enablement (SWE) etc. This approach is a fundamental aspect of the five prototype development tasks, and also been addressed through a number of ‘cross-cutting topics’ (vocabularies, data citation and publication, persistent identifiers and issues relating to big data) that were selected because of their direct relevance to the ODIP II development activities, and the wider marine community.

• A key objective of ODIP II has been to expand the scope of the Ocean Data Interoperability Platform, established during the previous project, to include additional fields of ocean research, e.g. marine biology and bathymetry, as well as other geographical regions.

To ensure that these new communities were fully integrated into the ODIP II development activities, their specific user requirements were identified during the project workshops. These were then used to expand the prototype development tasks to ensure that they were relevant and applicable for all ODIP II partners.

• ODIP II has also addressed the challenges for marine data management of new and emerging technologies, such as netCDF-Climate and Forecast (CF) standardization, utilizing Linked Open Data services, accessing HPC and/or cloud computing resources, and using web based tools and services for collaborative working. The prototype development tasks and the associated crosscutting themes have been extended and updated to take into account these technological advances, ensuring that the ODIP II solutions and outcomes remain fully aligned with stakeholder requirements and current practices.
The ODIP II project has made significant progress in achieving its stated objectives since the start of the project on 1 April 2015. The four ODIP II workshops have provided the input required for expanding and further developing the three pre-existing prototypes, initiated during the previous project, and the formulation of two additional interoperability solutions realised as part of ODIP II.
In addition to the five prototypes, ODIP II has continued to address the crosscutting topics that were also identified in the previous project i.e. vocabularies, data publication/citation, persistent identifiers, and issues around big data. Partners involved in these fields have contributed their expertise and provided updates on the state-of-the-art in these topic areas.
ODIP II has successfully achieved its objectives in large part due to the highly coherent project community, and the level of integration that has been achieved with other relevant initiatives. Many of the ODIP II development activities directly leverage those of these related projects, which has also led to a number of collaborative activities across the participating regions.
It should also be noted that, despite a number of the ODIP II partners in both the USA and Australia having faced significant funding issues at different stages of the project, there has been an ongoing commitment to the project by partners in these regions.
ODIP II has made significant progress towards removing the barriers that hinder sharing of ocean data across scientific domains and international boundaries. The development and adoption of agreed common standards and interoperability solutions has improved the integration of the regional and global ocean data systems. This has in turn enabled wider exchange of ocean data, and improved its discovery and availability, including for those addressing the societal grand challenges, such as global climate change.
The project has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of integrating regional and global marine data infrastructures to allow researchers to discover and access ocean data from multiple distributed data systems via a single point of entry.
The prototype solutions, including the agreed standards and best practices for marine data management, have been widely adopted by stakeholders in the participating regions to progress the development of a common global framework for marine data management.
ODIP II workshop, Boulder, Colorado: May 2016