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 (Registration Closed)

Planning Call

16 October 2018, 13:00 UTC

Zoom meeting id: 961 449 576

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International phone numbers

Dates and Location

28 - 30 November 2018

WMO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland

7bis, avenue de la Paix,
Case postale 2300
CH-1211 Geneva 2


WMO / Building


PRELIMINARY SUMMARY REPORT of Polar Data and Systems Architecture Workshop


  • If you are participating in the Polar Data and Systems Architecture Workshop and are representing an entity that is engaged in data services,  please take the time to complete the workshop survey
  • PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU BRING GOVERNMENT ISSUED PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. THIS WILL BE REQUIRED FOR ENTRY.  Badges will be available for participants at the front desk.  Please be sure to keep this badge for the duration of the workshop and bring it each day as it will be needed to access the building
  • Plenary Meeting Room:  Salle B;  on the ground floor of the building, far side
  • Secondary meeting Room (breakout):  WMO-7-Lake-Lake 7 (capacity 16 people), 7th floor, lake side
  • There is Wi-Fi throughout the building, no password required
  • See "Remote Participation" section of this page for detailed connection information (refer to the menu on the right)
  • Group dinner:  Restaurant Edelweiss. Place de la Navigation 2, Geneva 1201, Switzerland, +41 22 544 51 60
  • Important updates will may be sent to the polardata mailing list. If you are not a subscriber we strongly encourage you to sign up.



A consortium of polar data coordinating bodies has recently hosted a number of useful workshops and events to foster collaboration between individuals, institutions, projects and organisations. These events have built on polar data coordination efforts including progress made during the International Polar Year, and two Polar Data Forum meetings.

More recently, the focus has been on identifying and understanding the specifics of polar data sharing and interoperability through workshops such as the Polar Connections Interoperability Workshop and Assessment Process hosted by the European Space Agency in 2016, and the Arctic Spatial Data Pilot implemented by the Open Geospatial Consortium. In May of 2018, the Polar Data Planning Summit (PDPS) hosted by the University of Colorado focused on specific interoperability priorities and the organizational and community-building aspects of data sharing and interoperability.

These and other polar activities have identified a need for continued, detailed technical collaboration in order to advance Polar Data Management. At PDPS technical discussions centred on achieving federated search through the exchange of standardised, well formatted discovery metadata. This is an important first step towards an interconnected polar data system and important gaps and mitigation have been identified at the levels of standardisation, exchange protocols, semantic annotation etc. Discussions also identified challenges consuming data from different sources and communities. Following the PDPS discussions continued during the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) held in Davos in June of 2018, discussions on how to maintain momentum and facilitate the process towards an interconnected polar data management system resulted in the commitment by the community to a series of more technically oriented workshops focused on developing an architecture for this global system. This is a response to requests from PDPS and AOS participants to coordinate activities between communities. This initiative has been proposed as a deliverable for the upcoming Second Arctic Science Ministerial.

These activities have been and will continue to be organized by a group of coordination bodies including the IASC-SAON Arctic Data Committee, the Southern Ocean Observing System, Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management, GEO Cold Regions Initiative, Polar View, Arctic Portal, ELOKA, Canadian Consortium on Arctic Data Interoperability, U.S. Inter-agency Arctic Research Policy Committee Arctic Data Sub-Team, and the host of this meeting, the WMO Global Cryosphere Watch. A complete list of organizing bodies is provided below.

The primary purpose of this workshop is to solidify the architecture development team and to continue progress on components already under development. Specifically, work undertaken by the polar data community on:

Federated Search for Polar Regions

ADC-IARPC-SCADM Vocabularies and Semantics Working Group


General Background on Status and Requirements of Polar Data Management


Report of IPY Data Management Workshop (2006)

Report on SAON Data Management Workshop

Workshop on Arctic Data Coordination (2012 IPY Conference)

NSF Workshop on Cyberinfrastructure for Polar Sciences

Communiqué of First Polar Data Forum

Communiqué of Second Polar Data Forum

Data Management for Arctic Observing

Response by the Polar Data Community to the OGC Request for Information on Arctic Spatial Data

OGC Arctic Spatial Data Pilot Phase I Report

Summary Report of Polar Connections Interoperability Workshop and Assessment Process

Arctic Science Ministerial Deliverable Statement submitted to the Second Arctic Science Ministerial held in Berlin on the 26th of October, 2018 


Associated Organizations


The meeting is being co-led and co-organized by key polar data projects and programs. The meeting follows the Polar Data Planning Summit, Activities of Working Group 4 of the 2018 Arctic Observing Summit and other activities.  As of writing, organizers, partners, and contributors include:

  • IASC/SAON Arctic data Committee
  • SCAR Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management
  • Southern Ocean Observing System
  • Global Cryosphere Watch and related WMO activities (HOST)
  • GEO Cold Regions Initiative
  • Arctic Portal
  • Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure
  • Polar View
  • International Arctic Social Sciences Association and representatives from the Arctic Social Science Community
  • University of the Arctic
  • EU Arctic Cluster including 8 current EU funded projects (APPLICATE, ARICE, BLUE ACTION, EU-PolarNet, ICE-ARC, iCUPE, INTAROS, INTERACT and NUNATARYUK)
  • U.S. Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee (Arctic Data Sub-Team, associated agencies, and projects)
  • Alaska Ocean Observing System and Axiom Inc.
  • Arctic Observing Viewer and Arctic Research Mapping Application
  • NSF Arctic Data Center
  • Canadian Consortium on Arctic Data Interoperability
  • Polar Data Catalogue
  • Canadian Polar Data Workshop Network
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute
  • National Institute of Polar Research, Japan
  • Research Data Alliance
  • Inuit Circumpolar Council.  Efforts are being made to support other Indigenous organizations in engaging
  • IEEE




Participant Affiliation Country
Christopher Arko Polar Knowledge Canada Canada
Gabrielle Alix Polar Data Catalogue Canada
David Arthurs Polar View Denmark/Canada
James Badger Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, CCADI Canada
Carolina Behe Inuit Circumpolar Council USA
Oscar Bermúdez National Polar Data Center - Spanish Geological Survey Spain
Pip Bricher Southern Ocean Observing System, POLDER Australia
Taco de Bruin NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research Netherlands
Shannon Christoffersen Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary Canada
Julia Collins National Snow and Ice Data Center/CIRES/CU USA
Andreas Cziferszky British Antarctic Survey / Polar View United Kingdom
Ruth Duerr Ronin Institute USA
Øystein Godøy MET Norway / WMO GCW / SIOS Norway
Petra Heil University of Tasmania Australia
Alexander Smirnov (Halldor Johannsson) Arctic Portal Iceland
Matthew Jones Arctic Data Center / DataONE USA
Siri Jodha Khalsa U. Colorado/NSIDC/IEEE USA
Peter Kirsch British Antarctic Survey United Kingdom
Jan Rene Larsen Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks (SAON) Denmark
William Manley University of Colorado INSTAAR USA
Alessandro Marin ESA / Solenix Italy
Maribeth Murray Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary, CCADI
Rodica Nitu World Meteorological Organization Switzerland
Mark Parsons Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute USA
Helen Peat British Antarctic Survey United Kingdom
Fredrik Persäter Arctic SDI (Swedish Mapping, Cadastre and Land Registration authority) Sweden
Giri Prakash ARM Data Center, ORNL USA
Jenn Parrott Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Canada
Peter L. Pulsifer National Snow and Ice Data Center/CIRES/CU, Arctic Data Committee USA
Simon Riopel Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation, Natural Resources Canada Canada
Alberto Salvati National Research Council - CNR Italy
Sampo Savolainen Spatineo Inc. Finland
Stefanie Schumacher Alfred Wegener Institute - PANGAEA Germany
Serge Scory Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, EU Arctic Cluster Belgium
Ingo Simonis Open Geospatial Consortium Germany
Mikko Strahlendorff Finnish Met Institute Finland
Colleen Strawhacker National Science Foundation USA
Marten Tacoma NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research Netherlands
Alex Tate British Antarctic Survey United Kingdom
Thomas Vandenberghe Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences Belgium
Xin Li Institute of Tibetan Plateau, Chinese Academy of Sciences China
   Additional registrants who have asked not to be listed here  


Agenda and presentations

Links in the agenda give the slides of the presentation.

   Wednesday, November 28th, 2018   
 08:30 - 12:00 Arctic Data Committee Business Meeting ADC members, open to all
08:30 Welcome and introductions All
08:45 ADC Executive report Peter Pulsifer, Marten Tacoma, Stein Tronstad

National reports

10:30 Break  
10:45  Report by a representative of SAON Committee on Observing Networks Jan Rene Larsen
11:15 Review of Terms of Reference, leadership review ADC Executive, All
11:40 Open forum All
12:00  Adjourn  
  Polar Data and Systems Architecture Workshop Main Program  
Time  Topic/Item  Lead, Participants
13:00   Arrival, Refreshments 
13:30 Welcome, logistics Meeting organizers
13:45 Introductions All participants
14:00 Review of recent activities and outcomes Peter Pulsifer, Øystein Godøy, Pip Bricher, others
14:30 Detailed presentations on existing polar data and system architectures (~ 15:00 / talk including questions)
  Overview of the PDSAW Methodology (5 minutes) Peter Pulsifer
  Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure Fredrik Persäter
  NSF Arctic Data Center / DataONE Matt Jones
  Polar Thematic Exploitation Platform David Arthurs
  Arctic Portal Data Services Alexander Smirnov
15:30 Break All
15:45 Lightning talks presentations on architectures  
  CAS Poles big data platform architecture Xin Li (Remote)
  Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability Shannon Christopherson
  GEOSS platform Peter Pulsifer
  Southern Ocean Observing System Southern Ocean Observing System
  Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management Taco de Bruin
  Arctic Research Mapping Application and Arctic Observing Viewer Bill Manley

Synthesis discussion.  Identify elements of  architectural synergy and divergence for discussion on Day 2

17:30  Adjourn  
Evening 1)  Dinner on your own - recommendations will be provided and the coordination of group dining facilitated 
  2)  Working dinner for Arctic Data Committee members 
   Day 2: Thursday, November 29th, 2018   
08:00 Arrival, Refreshments 

Review of Day 1 and Overview of Working Sessions  (All)


Presentation: Global Cryosphere Watch Data Management,  Øystein Gødøy

Presentation: Considerations on the ArcticSDI Architecture, Ingo Simonis

Presentation: GEOCRI – GEO Cold Regions Initiative, Yubao Qiu, Peter Pulsifer, presented by Peter Pulsifer

Presentation: Overview of PDSAW Methodology, Peter Pulsifer


Work Session 1: Comprehensive architecture design (all elements of architecture)

Working Session 2:  Architecture design with a focus on Federated Search  

A broad review of all aspects of architecture. Including but not limited to discussion of:

  • Community building, coordination, and governance,
  • Physical infrastructure,
  • Discovery and federated search
  • Implementation software
  • Standards and specifications
  • Exchange protocols for data
  • Semantic annotation and modeling for data

Open discussion to set priorities for this working group.
All members to share their two most pressing metadata challenges that limit inclusion in an overall metadata architecture. (Pip Bricher)

Potential topics include:

  • Discovery vs use metadata
  • Metadata granularity
  • Exchange protocols
  • Semantics/vocabularies for metadata
10:30 Break Break
10:50 Working Session 1 continued.  Identifying key components of the architecture

Working Session 2 continued: Open discussion (on topic(s) selected before the break)


Opportunities to collaborate between POLDER and WIGOS

Presentation: GCW, the Scientific Community and WIGOS, Øystein Godøy

Presentation: WIGOS & OSCAR, … Where Observational Requirements Meet Observational Capabilities, J. Klausen et al.

12:30 Lunch  Lunch
13:30 Work Session 1 Work Session 2
  Summary of morning Working Sessions (presented by a representative of each session; 15 minutes per session.

Focus on semantic aspects of data sharing and implications for architecture design

Opportunities to collaborate with ASDI/Spatineo: Remote presentation by Sampo Savolainen

Open discussion

15:30 Break
  Comprehensive Architecture Design:  develop a data sharing architecture diagram/design and related narrative that describes a system that could serve one or more use cases. Wherever possible, this architecture will address challenges identified and utilize solutions identified in the previous sessions. Finalise the polar metadata catalogue survey and paper started at the Polar Data Planning Summit
17:30 and Google Data Search, Remote presentation by Natasha Noy, Google

  • The launch announcement gives a high-level overview of the product
  • This article helps you learn more about the technology behind Google Dataset Search
  • This blog post provides motivation and discussion of our approach
18:15 Adjourn
19:00 Group dinner.  Restaurant Les Brasseurs. Place Cornavin 20, 1201 Genèveation 2, Geneva
Friday, November 30th, 2018
08:00 Arrival, Refreshments 
08:30 Review of Day 1 and Overview of Working Sessions
09:00 Working Session 1: Preparation for plenary presentation; consideration of Day 2 results of federated search working session  Working Session 2: Preparation for plenary presentation; consideration of Day 2 results of the comprehensive architecture working session 
10:30 Break 
10:50 Presentation and discussion of architecture-related designs by both groups
12:30 Lunch 
13:30 Synthesis and the Future Peter Pulsifer & other facilitators
  Establishing the next steps.  How do we continue to coordination of architectures design efforts across the increasing number of polar data initiatives? Specific funding or development opportunities. Discussion by all
14:30 Adjourn 


Registration / Transportation

Registration for in-person attendance is now closed. If you would like to participate remotely, please contact us using the contact information provided below.


WMO is located next to station Geneva-Sechèron (this is NOT the main station Cornavin). From Geneva Airport (GVA) it takes a couple of minutes by taxi/uber, or around half an hour by either bus or train to get to WMO or the center of Geneva. More information on public transport is available on In the baggage hall of Geneva Airport are machines where you can get a free 80-minute ticket for public transport to get to your hotel. Several hotels provide free public transport cards to use during your stay in Geneva, otherwise, a single ticket is CHF 3.

Geneva is also well reachable by train from several directions allowing flights to other airports as well or full train rides to Geneva.

WMO, train stations and airport

Picture by WMO, go to their website for more information on specific lines of bus/tram to take to WMO


Bus Access to WMO:

Buses 1, 25, stop Jardin Botanique and 11, 28 (stops
Secheron or Jardin Botanique).
United Nations building is at about 500 m.


There are several hotels close to WMO, and many more around Cornavin station and in other parts of Geneva. Besides using public transport you can also walk from hotels in near Cornavin station to WMO, this takes around 20 minutes and it is a very nice walk along the lake.

Hotels close to WMO headquarters:

Or look at (direct link for Geneva, adjust dates to your own travel schedule) or any other booking site of your liking for hotels

Visa information

On this website, you can check the requirements to enter Switzerland. If you need an invitation letter to obtain a visa to attend the Polar Data Architecture Workshop, please contact Peter Pulsifer and Marten Tacoma.

Remote participation

We are providing an option for remote participation using the Zoom web conference system. We will do our best to provide reasonable quality audio, however due to resrouce limitations, we cannot guarantee this.  The connection links are posted here, however, note that for technical reasons the meeting information can change from day to day (or even within a day). We will update the links below as needed. Also, please take the time to test before joining the meeting.  We will not be able to provide technical support to participants.

For those using dial-in, please refer to the following link to find your local number:


Time: Nov 28, 2018 8:00 AM Zurich

Join Zoom Meeting

Dial by your location

Meeting ID: 947 008 097
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Time: Nov 29, 2018 8:00 AM Zurich

Join Zoom Meeting (for plenary and session 1) (for session 2)

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Meeting ID: 189 708 599 (plenary / session 1) / 665 745 1500 (session 2)
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Peter Pulsifer is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Time: Nov 30, 2018 8:00 AM Zurich

For plenary and Session 1 (Comprehensive Architecture)

Join Zoom Meeting

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Meeting ID: 622 051 876
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For Session 2 (Discovery and Federated Search)

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Meeting ID: 655 745 1500
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Agenda: Peter Pulsifer
Logistics: Marten Tacoma
If your message is urgent, please send it to both Peter and Marten. If one of us is away the other will try to help you.

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