MMI Workshop Goals

-- Goals -- Agenda -- Materials --

-- Logistics -- Registration -- Flyer --

-- Participants -- Presentations -- Results --


The ability of scientists to find and use data is increasingly dependent on the availability of well-described, searchable references to the data and its provenance. In ocean observing systems, the availability of meaningful sensor metadata -- indicating instrument models, configurations, and calibrations, among many other parameters -- is a key criterion for scientific usefulness of the data. These descriptions must be sufficiently interoperable that they persistently accompany representations of the data, particularly as it is indexed for search and access in national and international data clearinghouses.

Our goal is to increase the interoperability of sensor descriptions, as an important component in the data stream description. All systems in the chain of oceanographic data must support some level of sensor information, whether it is just a sensor type (e.g., 'CTD') or a fully characterized sensor processing chain. We intend that this workshop influence sensor metadata choices made by ocean observing system developers, as well as by the developers of standards and clearinghouses that must interoperate for effective, systematic data systems development.

All the outcomes of the workshop will be communicated on the MMI web site, by publicizing the process and products, and by creating a dedicated workshop report. (See the first MMI workshop web site for an example of the outcomes.)

Track 1 Goals

The primary goal of track 1 is to establish as much consensus as possible on a content standard to use for describing sensors in ocean observing systems. If a common content standard can be identified, interoperability between different ocean observing systems will be greatly facilitated.

Other goals of this track include:

  • identifying good practices for content standards of this type,
  • characterizing strengths and weaknesses of specific content standards,
  • increasing understanding of the details of each content standard,
  • addressing issues raised by Track 2 participants, and
  • communicating key conclusions to interested Track 2 participants.

Track 2 Goals

The primary goal of Track 2 is to maximize participants' insight into sensor metadata practices and options. Participants should be able to leave with a reasonable understanding of the current state of development of sensor metadata practices in the context of ocean observing systems, and some ability to create sensor metadata that could be used in their data system, and to register data from their sensors in national clearinghouses.

Other goals of this track include:

  • identifying problems when submitting sensor information to specific clearinghouses,
  • evaluating guidance and training materials used in the workshop,
  • providing questions and input to the content standard discussions in Track 1, and
  • understanding the issues involved in defining and agreeing on content standards for observatories.

Why now?

This seemed a particularly good time to arrange such a workshop, because it precedes major development on two major ocean observing systems (ORION/OOI and IOOS). At the same time, some sensor metadata approaches have been tried, and so lessons can be learned and practices can be shared.