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Learn about UAF

  • NOAA's environmental data management systems are insufficiently integrated. This situation is a reflection of technology and management and decision-making strategies of the past that have tended to fragment data management, rather than to unify it. Data management has been considered to be "owned" by the observing system element or the function. Each observing system element has therefore developed individualized approaches to data management, often involving the development of unique (and non-interoperable) data formats and protocols. Real-time data management strategies were devised with little thought to analysis or archive, and so on.
  • Communities of interest within data management are most naturally organized by structural type of data. The lines between these communities are drawn from the answers to key data management questions such as, what techniques are appropriate for searching for these data? For transporting (interchanging) these data? For visualizing or analyzing these data? For storing or archiving these data?
  • The goal of the Unified Access Framework project is to build momentum for implementing NOAA Global Earth Observation - Integrated Data Environment (GEO-IDE) through a phased approach to data interoperability that:

What is being done

  • NOAA is focusing initially on developing a dataset integration capability that leverages several de facto standards: netCDF, which provides the abstract data model, software libraries and a persistent binary format; the Climate and Forecast (CF) metadata conventions; the OPeNDAP protocol for web transport of data subsets; THREDDS XML catalogs which provide a distributed topology connecting data suppliers; and an OGC compatibility layer that provides access to the grids through WMS and WCS.
  • The initial focus has been to develop a NOAA-wide THREDDS catalog of CF-compliant datasets (e.g. model outputs, satellite products, HF radar observations, etc.) and to enable the preceding web services (DAP, WMS, WCS).
  • A parallel activity to harvest, repair, and extend metadata for the datasets will improve users' ability to discover and make use of these datasets.

What are some of the benefits of this effort

  • Direct access to a variety of datasets through a single top-level URL
  • The ability to view/explore/analyze a variety of datasets in a variety of clients (e.g. LAS, Matlab, ERRDAP, etc.)

Who is doing this

How to get involved