The Blue-Cloud Data Discovery and Access service is one of the two main components of the Blue-Cloud technical framework, next to the Blue-Cloud Virtual Research Environment (VRE).
It facilitates discovery and retrieval of data sets and data products for external users in stand-alone mode, also interoperable with the Blue-Cloud VRE. The Blue-Cloud data sets are managed in blue data infrastructures (BDIs) that are connected to the Blue-Cloud service to serve federated discovery and access.
A common interface is provided for discovery and retrieval of data sets and data products from each of the federated BDIs. The interface also includes facilities for mapping and viewing the locations of data sets, as this is part of the query dialogue. Moreover, the interface has a shopping mechanism, facilitating users to compose and submit mixed shopping baskets with requests for data sets from multiple BDIs.
The Blue-Cloud Data Discovery and Access service makes use of web services and APIs, following protocols such as CSW, OAI-PMH, ERDDAP, or otherwise, as provided and maintained by the BDIs. These are used to deploy machine-to-machine interactions for harvesting metadata, submitting queries, and retrieving resulting metadata, data sets and data products.
The query mechanism has a two-step approach:
- The first step enables users to identify interesting data collections, with free search, geographic and temporal criteria as main query operators on a common catalogue including entries from all federated BDIs;
- The second step enables users to drill down per interesting BDI to get more specific data sets at granule level, using again free search, geographic and temporal criteria, but this time at granule level, and including additional search criteria, specific for a selected BDI;
- Finally, users are able to compose and submit shopping requests at the granule level and after processing by the Blue-Cloud data broker to retrieve the data sets by downloading from their MyBlueCloud dashboard.
The Blue-Cloud Data Discovery and Access service will help marine data users:
- to search and discover relevant data sets
- to complete and submit a shopping basket with the required data sets
- to stay informed about the progress of the shopping requests
- to download the data sets once ready for downloading
- to ingest data sets into the VRE data pool for use in VRE applications
It will also support managers of blue data infrastructures in:
- staying informed about the shopping requests and associated users for their repository
- preparing periodic management reports