85th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 12 January 2005: 9:00 AM
Using Open GIS web services to serve environmental data
Daryl Herzmann, Iowa State University, Ames, IA; and R. Arritt
The classic internet web model of providing static HTML content is quickly becoming antiquated with the rapid implementation of web services. The classic model is flawed due to the fact that the provider is, in effect, providing the enduser interface to their data, which then limits the capability of the user. For instance, a data user is not able to take information from one HTML page and then programmatically compare it with data from another HTML page. The HTML markup defines presentation and not content.

The Open GIS Consortium (OGC) is a voluntary standards organization that has adopted specifications to help foster open application interfaces for the delivery of GIS based products. Two such specifications are the Web Feature Service (WFS) and Web Map Service (WMS). WFS allows servers and clients to communicate at the feature level, while WMS allows communication at the map level.

The Iowa Environmental Mesonet (IEM), a multi-agency collaboration based at Iowa State University, has worked from its inception to provide its data in open and standards-based protocols. The addition of WFS and WMS web services to the IEM has greatly enhanced our ability to quickly and seamlessly provide environmental data to a diverse userbase.

This paper presents our successes and failures of implementing OGC web services as well as an overview of our current service instances.

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