Using Open Source Software to Deliver Weather Data and Products to NOAA Users

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Thursday, 6 February 2014: 11:30 AM
Room C105 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Micah J. Wengren, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD; and M. L. Austin
Manuscript (741.0 kB)

In 2011, NOAA funded a research proposal titled “An Enterprise GIS Web Services Hosting Environment for NOAA” as part of the High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) program. The project led to the creation of an Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)-compliant web services hosting platform that NOAA data providers can leverage to publish their spatial data without the need to maintain the underlying infrastructure themselves.

The OGC service hosting system came online in June 2012. During the past year of availability as a prototype, experimental services have been created for several of NOAA's critical weather forecast products, including National Hurricane Center tropical cyclone forecasts, and National Weather Service short-duration warnings, among others. Although the system was designed to accommodate NOAA spatial data regardless of domain, it is particularly useful for publishing weather-related data that is constantly changing and requires responsive and reliable update mechanisms.

In particular, the system offers the ability to script data publishing processes with no commercial software required on the client-side. It is enterprise-ready, as it is self-contained with its own spatial database for storage of user-uploaded data sets and runs on standard HTTP and HTTPS protocols, requiring no firewall exceptions for both data providers or public users. It also integrates with NOAA's LDAP-based sign on for user authentication and permission management.

Because the hosting system is based entirely on open source software, it can also scale without restriction due to vendor software licenses. This means that NOAA has the power to implement the system as broadly as needed to meet future demand.

The OGC service hosting system is in an ongoing prototype evaluation phase and will be assessed for operational deployment in FY 2014. It is one effective option NOAA can turn to to provide its suite of critical weather information in standards-compliant web services increasingly in demand by Federal partners and the public.

Supplementary URL: http://services.ogc.noaa.gov/geoserver/wms?request=GetCapabilities