OGC Releases Discussion Papers: Uncertainty Markup Language and OGC WCS Extension for netCDF Weather Data

Sam Bacharach Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc tel: +1-703-352-3938 sbacharach@opengeospatial.org
Thursday, 23 April 2009 UTC

April 23, 2009, Wayland, Massachusetts. The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC®) announces the release of two Discussion Papers: Uncertainty Markup Language (UncertML) (http://portal.opengeospatial.org/files/?artifact_id=33234) and the OpenGIS® Web Coverage Service Standard (WCS) Extension for CF-netCDF Encoding (http://portal.opengeospatial.org/files/?artifact_id=32195).

UncertML is a conceptual model and XML encoding designed for encapsulating probabilistic uncertainties and may be used to quantify and exchange complex uncertainties in data. Most data contains uncertainty arising from sources such as measurement error, observation operator error, processing/modeling errors, or corruption. Processing uncertain data propagates and often increases uncertainty. Thus there is a need for a standard way of characterizing uncertainty that is readily interpreted by software systems. UncertML is based on a number of ISO and OGC standards, such as ISO 19138 Data Quality Measures, and addresses the ISO/IEC guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement (GUM). UncertML utilizes the OGC Geography Markup Language (GML) Standard and the OGC Sensor Web Enablement Common (SWE) Standard.

The OGC Web Coverage Service Standard (WCS) Extension for CF-netCDF Encoding provides a way for users of CF-NetCDF (http://cf-pcmdi.llnl.gov/) data to use the OpenGIS Web Coverage Service Interface Standard (WCS). WCS defines a protocol-independent language for the extraction, processing, and analysis of multi-dimensional gridded coverages representing sensor, image, or statistical data. The netCDF (network Common Data Form) interface, library, and format support the creation, access, and sharing of array-oriented scientific data. The CF (climate and forecast) metadata conventions provide definitive descriptions of what the netCDF data in each variable represent, including the data’s spatial and temporal properties.

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 380 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OpenGIS® Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/.