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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

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
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
what is a web service
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
health stream overview
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
marine stream overview
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
key technologies
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
  • 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


DEWS marine online visualization

DEWS Web Portal

what does this mean for ncof
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