THE WORLD METEOROLOGICAL OGANIZATION INFORMATION SYSTEM
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a United Nations specialized agency. It is the UN system's authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources. WMO is developing the WMO Information System (WIS), to continue ensuring the international exchange of meteorological, climatological and hydrological data and products.
The core network of WIS is a wide area network based on links between Member countries, supplemented by satellite-based data distribution systems. This global telecommunication system ensures the timely and accurate collection and dissemination of WMO Members observation data and products. WIS also maintains a global catalogue of metadata describing available data and products. Being accessible via the Internet, it is available to a wider public, increasing the data provider's relevance, while retaining access control to the actual products.
Open standards and open source software play a significant role in the implementation of the WIS. Members of WMO have a range of largely independent technologies that are interoperable through a services oriented architecture (SOA). This architecture relies on the use of standards to define the interfaces only where necessary. A core interface requirement is that the metadata about data and products has to be in compliance with ISO19115 and ISO19139. Another is the adaptation of ISO23950/SRU as search interface to allow discovery beyond WMO’s catalogue.
Geonetwork is an example of WMO’s community centered approach. Already supporting Metadata creation and management as well as synchronization with OAI, the community has provided WMO members with a powerful tool to kick-start WIS centers. By implementing ISO23950/SRU in Geonetwork, WMO makes the software WIS compatible, giving the software back to the community for improvement, distribution and maintenance, and making available more data sources for inclusion in WIS.
Timo Proescholdt - World Meteorological Organization