Should I take my umbrella or rather put on some sunscreen? What might be the environmental risks of a new building next to this lovely river? And what climate challenges will cities face in some years?

Data, and especially meteorological data, is of crucial importance for our society and economy. Making it easily accessible for anyone, in a regular and standardized way, is a key point for innovation and economic growth. Open Data is now not only a dream, but it has become a necessity. In this context, MeteoSwiss partnered with swisstopo and Camptocamp to study the feasibility of publishing their data via a OGC standardized access, opening it up for use by the public and external organizations. 

Camptocamp implemented the proof of concept and did consulting regarding the combination of different standards for a single data flow tool.

Good weather predictions means a lot of data - but how can that serve society?

 

Anyone living in Switzerland is familiar with MeteoSwiss’s high quality products, however, they might not be aware that many professionals also rely on their predictions and services. 

In order to offer the most precise and timely weather information, their models are almost constantly updating, which generates a staggering amount of data. 

Until now, MeteoSwiss stored this data internally, using it only for their own products. But as a public service, they wondered if there was a way to transform it into open data that could be shared and used by the public, and eventually, even read by machines. 

Cloud services and standards: how STAC and OGC API Features on the cloud thrive

 

MeteoSwiss and swisstopo mandated Camptocamp to set up a test system to upload and publish their data in an open data format and as a bulk download. There are world wide standards for such bulk downloads, facilitating the detection and access to such data: SpatioTemporal Asset Catalogs (STAC) makes the data searchable, lists all data in a catalog of assets and allows users to easily download, so that the data can be used for different applications. STAC is one of the most important recent standards and might in the future become a Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standard.

In addition to  the bulk download of data via STAC, the project features another important OGC standard: OGC API Features. This standard replaces the Web Feature Service (WFS), leveraging REST principles and a resource oriented approach.  

With both standards implemented via the ogcapi project, Camptocamp set up the data publication system quickly  on the AWS cloud. The project estimated the potential cloud costs in a scenario of 1000 downloads / months.

 

Open data with open standards -  the new way to go

 

The case study has proved to swisstopo and MeteoSwiss that fast, cost efficient and easily accessible data is possible. What’s more, the value taken from such open data can be a real game changer in data related industries.

Complying with standards is crucial in the complex world we are living in, and Camptocamp has the hands-on experience and knowledge to help our clients guide through the different possibilities in order to publish and promote their data to their target audience.

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