The Ocean Data Interoperability Platform project (ODIP) held a workshop in Hobart 7-10 March 2017.This project brings together marine data experts from the EU, USA and Australia to discuss common data interoperability problems and explore ways to develop common solutions. Over 40 data scientists attended the 4-day workshop, hosted jointly by IMOS-AODN and CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. These workshops are held every 6 months, with the previous two workshops held in Boulder, Colorado, USA and Paris, France.
ODIP is now in its 5th year and, in addition to providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, ODIP takes forward the development of prototypes – targeted activities designed to enable interoperability of particular data-centric processes carried out independently by group members. Current prototypes under development are: interoperability between Data Discovery and Access services using a brokerage service; development of a common Cruise Summary Reporting and publishing service; the application of Sensor Observation Service to deliver research vessel and real-time monitoring data.
The recent rise in the popularity of cloud computing has spawned a new prototype – exploring common tools for the ‘digital playground’ – tools such as Virtual Research Environments and Virtual Desk Tops. AODN interest in this prototype involves the NeCTAR-funded Marine Virtual Laboratory and the Marine Sciences Cloud.
Of course, to develop interoperability requires conformance to standards and the adoption of common data structures, so ODIP engages in a number of ‘cross-cutting’ activities including Data citation and publication, Persistent identifiers (e.g. DOIs, ORCiDs), Controlled Vocabularies and mappings, Big data, data formats and model workflows and Linked data to enable the prototypes to progress.
Workshop participants enjoyed a tour of RV Investigator and at the conference dinner, held at the Hobart Convention Centre on Elizabeth St Pier, diners were treated to the special sight of the arrival of the icebreaker l’Astrolabe at the end of its final scientific voyage.
The meeting was lively and engaging, and participants are looking forward to furthering the prototypes between now and the next workshop in October in Galway, Ireland.