Putting meteorological data into the context of the community:
The advent of new technologies based on the Web has raised both awareness and expectation amongst a large section of traditional users of meteorological data. No longer the passive display of a few meteorological parameters such as rainfall, but increasingly key decision makers are expecting a range of services from simple visualisation to full integration with command and control systems hosted by the end user. This has led to a need to understand the new requirements and make radical changes in the way in which we interact with our customers by intelligently exploiting the newly available technologies. Recent flooding events have shown how important the local environment is in terms of understanding the impact of severe weather and increasingly our clients expect more than just simple file transfers or pictures but the ability to integrate with other sources of information such as “Geographical Information Systems” (GIS). This need for information “in context” is increasing, especially as our traditional users are much more aware of technologies such as GIS.
This talk presents a description of the work the Met Office has been doing over the last year and in particular the use of the Met Office's public web site (see the Invent tab) to greatly improve the delivery of free public weather services. This work is based on the new architecture using SOA (Service Orientated Architecture) founded on a number of standards, especially those developed by the OGC, ISO and W3C. These standards allow but do not guarantee interoperability; there are number of reasons for this and the lessons learned will be described. The talk will conclude with an outline of objectives for the next year including an explanation of the candidate technologies.