Weather, climate and air quality case statement

14 Jun 2016

Weather, climate and air quality case statement

In a field where the amount and the data sources increase exponentially, it becomes critical to find efficient solutions at a community level to address problems such as storage, indexing, metadata, sharing, or analysis. The global objectives of this Interest Group will be to explore and discuss the challenges for management, efficient analysis and dissemination of large and diverse datasets generated by the weather, climate and air quality communities. These communities follow one of the main ideas of data sharing of RDA as most of the datasets used are completely open and freely available. Most of the concepts and problems that this IG aims to address correspond to classic RDA issues (metadata, data standards, efficient sharing, etc...) but as these communities already have rules and policies structured in terms of standards and data portals, they need some advanced community specific solution to these issues. These communities, which are not (yet) adequately represented in RDA, are one of the biggest data producers in terms of volumes stored (for example, the CMIP6 project is planned to generate 5PB of data and this is only one example of a project for one community), have a range of users well identified and, therefore, can bring an important added value to the work of the RDA community.

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Review period start: 
Tuesday, 14 June, 2016
  • Lance McKee's picture

    Author: Lance McKee

    Date: 27 Jul, 2016

    I served on the staff of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) for 22 years, I retired in March, and now I'm an OGC member. I've subscribed to the new RDA Weather, climate and air quality Interest Group listserv and I Iook forward to learning more about the RDA and participating in discussions.

    I think OGC standards (e.g. netCDF, Web Coverage Service, Observations & Measurements, GML) and atmospheric standards that depend on OGC standards (such as WXXM) are relevant not only for system-to-system communication of atmospheric data but also for "problems such as storage, indexing, metadata, sharing, or analysis" (as stated in the RDA Weather, climate and air quality IG charter). Data system interfaces based on these standard data models can enable best-possible aggregation, comparison and analysis of similar-but-different atmospheric data sets that conform to somewhat different data models and that are served from different types of data systems.

    An OGC white paper I wrote with Prof. Mike Jackson (an OGC board member) and Bart De Lathouwer (an OGC staff colleague) --"OGC Information Technology Standards for Sustainable Development" ( -- provides a rationale for environmental data data model standards that share a common spatial data model.

    I'm also the author of the draft charter for a proposed OGC Spectrum Model Language Domain Working Group ( that will investigate the feasibility of developing an environmental electromagnetic field abstract data model and derived encoding(s). Proposed use cases include remote sensing use cases related to terrestrial communication signals' 1) interference with atmospheric observations and 2) interference with satellite / ground station communications. This charter will soon (September) be available for public comment.

    I look forward to joining in the RDA Weather, climate and air quality Interest Group discussions. Perhaps I will find opportunities to introduce requirements from RDA groups into the OGC standards process.

    Lance McKee

    lmckee76 [at] gmail {dot} com

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