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CLIPC: Constructing Europe's Climate Information Portal

CLIPC provides access to Europe's climate data and information.

Search climate data

Introduction to the search application (access via button on the left)

The image below shows the layout of the search application page.

The left column contains the query filters the user can select. The column on the right contains the infrastructures that are queried and the amount of datasets that match the query. As the user sets more filters the amount of records decreases.

Users can search on the following fields:

  • Geospatial (geographical box)
  • Parameter – via code/index/term list (base is CF standard, or SeaDataNet standard)
  • Date from – to
  • Free search term (on all titles and codes – as far as the originating infrastructure for the data allows).

Data search interface screenshot // data_search_interface.gif (78 K)

Figure 1: layout of the search application page

Note that:

  • It is not necessary to log in to use the search interface.
  • The response per infrastructure is not combined in one list but presented in numbers per infrastructure. This prevents that a service with millions of datasets takes too much exposureexposure
    The presence of people, livelihoods, species or ecosystems, environmental services and resources, infrastructure, or economic, social, or cultural assets in places that could be adversely affected. See also Vulnerability.
    in the results, and sets from other infrastructures cannot be found easily.
  • When clicking the datasets from a certain infrastructure the user is directed to the specific portal where they will find the same results, with more details, and can order and download the data via that portal. 
  • Security is an issue when moving to data download. CLIPC will reuse existing OpenIDOpenID
    OpenID is an open standard that describes how users can be authenicated in a decentralized manner, eliminating the need for services to provide their own ad hoc systems and allowing the users to consolidate their digital identities. [Source: WikiPedia]
    providers (Google, Linkedin, Twitter, EUDAT…) to allow user identification, and assist the CLIPC users on the CLIPC portal, and secure specific datasets. However it will not focus on a Single Sign On experience for the users. When the user finds datasets in the discovery services, they will have to login on the external portal according to the policy of that infrastructure.
  • Free text search is possible on parameters, and auto-complete is built in to use the P02 (parameter category) or CF parameter list of terms used in the resources.
  • It is possible to unfold a tree according to the parameter hierarchy the NERCNERC
    National Environment Research Council
    vocabulary server allows; for example  P08 > P03 > P01/P02 (click here for further information on this)
  • More infrastructures could be added over time.
  • Future updates may include the search field “Data type”, which would indicate a search for: Model output, gridded / points timeseries observation, etc.

Further technical information

The implementation process for the search function involved the following steps:

  • The search API’s (or URL’s of services) of all infrastructures are registered in the CLIPC background catalogue.
  • The metadatametadata
    Information about meteorological and climatological data concerning how and when they were measured, their quality, known problems and other characteristics.
    model of each infrastructure has been analysed and common search fields were extracted to use as the search parameters explained above
  • The semantic model per infrastructure is different, especially for the parameters but the NERC Vocabulary Service supports and harmonises the required mappings.
  • The search query on the portal is translated to the required API (or webservice) call per infrastructure. Where needed the NERC Vocabulary Service (NVS) provides parameter mappings that are used on the fly. The NVS supports the “query harmonisation process” by supporting a mapping of the various controlled code lists into one (the one from NVS). Plus, the NVS provides for parameters a hierarchy of vocabularies to support discovery from discipline level to the detailed parameter term. The metadata layer contains minimum metadata per resource, plus links to the download of files or download system of the resource. 
  • Additional to the dedicated CLIPC search interface, a CLIPC OpenSearch interface will be developed. The CLIPC OpenSearch entry points will be accessible by overarching systems that use OpenSearch (www.opensearch.org) as standard.
  • When the user selects “go to data” (icon on the right), the user is directed to the webpage of the infrastructure with the same pre-selection already applied.