The main components on the Ocean Data Portal are:
- The IODE National Oceanographic Data Centres and related partners, who will make their data holdings available;
- A software component installed at the Data Centre (called Data Provider);
- A software component installed at the IOC Project Office for IODE in Oostende, Belgium (called Integration Server);
- A public web-based portal (called the OceanDataPortal accessible through http://data.oceandataportal.org ) which is also installed at the IOC Project Office for iODE in Oostende, Belgium;
- ... and of course the Internet (which can also be an Intranet or VPN) which will transport data and metadata
The diagram below shows the various components as well as the processes. Let's look at the diagram a bit closer. The first task undertaken by the ODP data provider partners is the description of their data holdings. They do this using the "Data Provider" software installed in their data centre. These "resource descriptions" are then exposed to a harvester, which is part of the Integration Server. This software will regularly (this can be hourly, daily, weekly or at any frequency) check all data centres for new resource descriptions and download these as necessary. These descriptions are added to a central repository (metadatabase) that covers all data centres connected to ODP.
A user will access ODP through the Portal. He/she will enter a query in the online form specifying eg geographic scope, parameters, time period, etc. A query is then made in the Integration Server's metadata catalog and the user is presented with a list of data sets that comply with his/her query. The user can now select the data sets that need to be downloaded and this results in another query to the Integration Server. This time the Integration Server will identify the actual server where the data are held and will provide the user with a link (URL) from where the data can be downloaded in the format needed.
The way the system is built making a query and obtaining data is now a matter of seconds.
How do I use ODP?