About the web service

From CryoClim

The aim of developing a demonstrator is to set the project in a position to clarify functionality of the web service and contents of the products at an early stage. The actual web service and products could then be developed more rapidly with fewer trial-and-error iterations with the users leading to the final web service and products.

The Demonstrator Web Service (DWS) includes the most essential functionality and have an appearance like the operational system, but much of the support system behind the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is missing. Therefore, the DWS is only able to demonstrate the general functionality for a limited set of cases based on data processed in advance by other means. The DWS is as far as possible built using full-grade web tools (in contrast to mock-up tools) in order to be able to apply the DWS software directly as a starting point when implementing the full system in the main project.

Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC http://visibleearth.nasa.gov

The development process is guided by feedback from the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) and key user organizations involved in the project. The user evaluation is based on sample products, tests of the web service and documentation.

The future operational system will offer searching, previewing and ordering of cryospheric data. The portal will allow users who have logged on to preview cryospheric data in a map window. Corresponding metadata are displayed textually. In order to locate data for previewing, search queries may be formulated by selecting from lists specific values for individual search criteria. Search results are collected in a list, and may be expanded, allowing individual products to be selected for preview or download.

In order to present our vision of the future portal, a flash demo has been created in Adobe Flash. The demonstrator shows how the desired functionality may be integrated in one single portal. However, our vision goes beyond the portal. Cryospheric data is but only one of several datasets that one may wish to combine to analyse climate change. This vision becomes true when the cryospheric data infrastructure becomes an integrated part of GEOSS.

Since the demonstrator is focused on a few limited examples, and with no backend, an additional pilot portal has been set up. The pilot portal builds on two backend servers at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. One server demonstrates searching for data in a metadata catalogue. The other server demonstrates previewing of cryospheric data in a map of the northern hemisphere. The two servers are not integrated at the moment. Still, the pilot portal demonstrates the usefulness of some existing technologies that could be used in the future portal.