Always Take the Weather With You

June 28, 2013. At a meeting hosted by NASA, foundation was laid for Big Data support in the field of Meteorology, Oceanography, and Aviation. Rasdaman CEO Peter Baumann, being editor of the Web Coverage Service (WCS) standard, was invited to moderate the meeting from a standardization perspective. The rasdaman system will serve as an experimental platform for verifying concepts during development.

There are many reasons why pilots need to know the weather along their flight route, such as to avoid thunderstorms and minimize fuel consumption. However, this information is not always easy to obtain routinely. Similarly, international exchange of information between meteorological institutions is not a standard routine today.

In a sizzling hot New Orleans, an initiative of NASA, UK MetOffice, the French National Geographic Institute, and rasdaman GmbH / Jacobs University met this week at NASA Stennis to establish the core concepts of the so-called "WCS Application Profile - MetOcean" candidate OGC standard. Goal is to establish simple, yet powerful ways for accessing that specific part from the huge reservoir of weather forecast data which is of interest to a particular user. One example is obtaining the weather along an aircraft's flight path in space and time.

The underlying data range from two-dimensional to five-dimensional. Most systems today cannot serve such data, therefore the rasdaman Big Data Analytics engine was selected for trying out and varying concepts prior to their standardization. This will maximize practical usability of the forthcoming standard.

Peter Baumann, CEO of rasdaman and Professor of Computer Science at Jacobs University, was invited to moderate the meeting from an OGC standards perspective. He is chair of the raster-relevant working groups in OGC and editor of the Web Coverage Service (WCS) standards suite which was unanimously chosen as the trial platform for developing the specification.