OSCAR: Metadata for Meteorology – Convenient Global Access

MeteoSwiss develops a web application for managing and analysing metadata relating to global meteorological measurements. EBP helps MeteoSwiss realise the project using the HERMES-5 methodology.

Metadata describe other data in terms of when, where and how the data were recorded. This information is essential to ensure the reliable processing and use of all kinds of data, including the meteorological data gathered at tens of thousands of weather stations around the world.

To manage and analyse these metadata, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is setting up what is known as the "Observing Systems Capability And Review tool" (OSCAR). This tool promises to do the following: facilitate the proper use of meteorological measurement data; provide a global overview of the available weather stations; and help facilitate the task the WMO member states have of administering these stations.

Working closely with the WMO, MeteoSwiss is developing and operating the OSCAR surface module, which contains metadata both from land-based systems such as ground stations and weather balloons and from buoys and ships that gather weather data at sea.

This modern web application was realised in a demanding international environment. Various interfaces to different data sources needed to be implemented in order to enable the integration of the metadata. Moreover, it was necessary to design a state-of-the-art security architecture to ensure that only authorised individuals are able to access and process the data.

MeteoSwiss was supported in this endeavour by a project manager from EBP. In addition to assuming responsibility for project management, the our specialist supported MeteoSwiss when it came to drafting project specifications and evaluating the WTO call to tender for a development partner. The project is being carried out using the HERMES-5 project management method.