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Web Services USGS/EPA Collaboration. Overview. EPA and USGS are working together to develop a commons suite of web services These services will allow for sharing of water monitoring data via a common format and common terminology

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Web ServicesUSGS/EPA Collaboration


  • EPA and USGS are working together to develop a commons suite of web services

  • These services will allow for sharing of water monitoring data via a common format and common terminology

  • The initial project is underway, and the new web services are expected to be completed by November 2007

What is a Web Service?

  • A web service is a computer-to-computer protocol that allows for the direct sharing of information.

  • Web services allow for data from multiple sources to be packaged together in one layout, web presentation, or application.

  • Typically, a web service has input parameters, and pre-defined output format

  • These are the basic principles under which the Exchange Network functions

A common web service example

  • Weather bug:

    • The weather bug software is something that many are familiar with. It runs on a very basic web service.

    • It has basic input parameters: zip code

    • It has a defined output format (xml file)

    • The actual weather data does not need to be stored on your computer, it just pulls the data via a web service, and then displays that information in a user friendly format.

What Web Services are being planned?

  • Four core services are being developed:

    • Watershed/Station Catalog service (Already available) – provides summary information on what data are available

    • Project Catalog service (Jul 07) – provides summary information by projects based on an input of min/max latitude/longitude

    • Stations service (Jul 07) – provides specific station information

    • Results service (Jul 07) – provides results for modeling, analysis, and decision making

Web Services – an Example

  • STORET’s Watershed Catalog Web Service: http://iaspub.epa.gov/webservices/WatershedSummaryService/

  • This service is used as part of the following applications:

    • Watershed Summary reports: http://www.epa.gov/storet/wtshd_summary.html

    • New Enviromapper for Water (currently in development):

So What?

  • Web Services allow for more accessibility to the data. You are no longer limited to EPA or USGS interfaces for interacting with the data.

  • Without Web Services, a STORET/NWIS collaboration would be impossible.

A Theoretical Application

A user zooms into an area of interest

The Stations Web Service returns the list of

stations with lat/longs for that area of interest

The Application draws the stations on the map and then calls

the catalog web service to get summary information

The Application also calls the Projects catalog web service so

that it can display project summary information

The user can then interact with the data, retrieving data by:



Date Range

Chemical Name


STORET/NWIS Collaboration

  • A USGS/EPA workgroup has been formed to work through collaboration issues:

    • Mapping the Parameter Codes to EPA’s Substance Registry System

    • Identifying a common schema (would be based on WQX)

    • Developing common web services with common input parameters

What’s Next?

  • A common portal for interacting with these services will need to be developed

  • Expanding the net:

    • These methodologies could grow beyond the current collaboration, and potentially include:

      • Sharing data with other countries (Canada, Mexico)

      • NOAA

      • Army Corps of Engineers

      • National Science Foundation

      • Other EPA offices running monitoring operations (Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay)