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DEWS: Delivering Environmental Web Services. Jon Blower Reading e-Science Centre Environmental Systems Science Centre University of Reading on behalf of DEWS partners. DEWS overview. £2.2M DTI Inter-Enterprise Computing Project

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Dews delivering environmental web services l.jpg

DEWS: Delivering Environmental Web Services

Jon Blower

Reading e-Science Centre

Environmental Systems Science Centre

University of Reading

on behalf of DEWS partners

Dews overview l.jpg
DEWS overview

  • £2.2M DTI Inter-Enterprise Computing Project

  • Aims: to build a functional demonstrator of a system that delivers time-critical, high-volume environmental information to consumers

    • Two disparate case studies: marine and healthcare

  • To evaluate the suitability of a Web Services architecture for interoperability, scalability, high-volume data exchange, security and reliability

  • To bring together technologists, data producers, service providers and end users

  • To promote early adoption

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What is a Web Service?

  • Platform-independent means for machine-to-machine communication

  • Roughly equivalent to a subroutine in traditional programming

    • distributed applications are made by composing Web Services

  • Widely adopted in industry

    • Most of Amazon’s business is through Web Services interface, not website

  • But standards are still in flux

    • and tooling is not always as good as it could be

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Health stream overview

  • Aim is to support NHS decision-makers by providing information for predicting occurrences of COPD

    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

    • Mainly affects smokers and is incurable

    • WHO estimates that COPD kills as many people as AIDS

    • Exacerbated by weather conditions, e.g. low temperatures

  • DEWS collects data from many sources (inc. NHS Direct, GPs, NWP models) and exposes data via Web Services

  • Web Portal interface displays tailored graphical data to decision-makers

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Marine stream overview

  • DEWS delivers NCOF data for search-and-rescue, oil spill mitigation etc

  • Much higher volume than the health stream

  • BMT are the “test client”

    • SARIS model driven by current and wind forecasts

  • Many other clients can connect too

    • e.g. via the DEWS Portal

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Key technologies

  • Interoperability is guaranteed through adoption of international standards for geospatial data

    • Server designs from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)

    • Marine data provided in CF-compliant NetCDF

  • Marine stream uses:

    • Web Coverage Server for marine data

    • Web Map Server for marine images

  • Health stream uses Web Feature Server

  • Allows overlaying and intercomparison of DEWS data with other data sources

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  • DEWS uses the security model of the NERC Data Grid

    • DEWS will adapt for WS-Security standard

  • Clients only allowed to access data if their role is recognised

    • more scalable (and legal!) than identity-based security

  • All access to DEWS systems will be logged and audited

    • allowing for easy production of monthly invoices

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DEWS marine online visualization

DEWS Web Portal

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What does this mean for NCOF?

  • DEWS will provide:

    • a software stack that can be used to serve NCOF data securely to clients

    • An interactive online visualization system

  • But:

    • DEWS will not produce an operational system

    • DEWS focuses on server-side systems, not customer-facing systems

  • NCOF PSRE project will enable customer-facing components (esp. website) to be further developed