You are hereAn introduction to the DOPA
An introduction to the DOPA
Developing web services for biodiversity
Given the huge amount of information potentially available, information systems need to be developed to ease the processes of collecting, preparing and integrating the data required for the computation of the indicators. DOPA is currently relying on a set of web services (most are currently under development) allowing data and models to be easily exchanged with a large variety of end-users, ranging from park managers to scientists and decision-makers. Designed to be open and flexible, DOPA can be installed and used anywhere and encourages customisation and reuse by larger user communities.
Figure 1 illustrates a typical design of the information flow required for an information portal.
Fig. 1. From ground based and remote sensing observations to environmental indicators: data need to be collected, prepared to allow their combined use, and integrated for the preparation of indicators. Example of African Protected Areas Assessment Tool (APAAT)
From environmental monitoring to ecological forecasting
The development of means for biodiversity monitoring and forecasting requires some significant changes in the way data are collected and processed. The frequent absence of syntactic and semantic interoperability of the data as well as of the systems serving these data is an issue that is well known. A number of international initiatives, the largest one being GEOSS, the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, have therefore been put in place to better coordinate the efforts to improve and streamline information systems. Among the main recommendations made by these initiatives, one will find that data should be
1) managed as close as possible to its source;
2) collected once and documented to allow their use for many purposes;
3) easily retrievable and accessible by others;
4) interoperable at the syntactic and semantic level to allow their combination for multiple purposes;
5) scalable, when applicable, to match other scales;
6) shared and, possibly, processed through common, free open-source software tools.
Fig.2. Information flow between main actors involved in the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA). Interoperable data are exchanged between web services and web modelling services for ecological monitoring and forecasting
Applied to Figure 1, the above recommendations are leading to the architecture illustrated in Figure 2 and adopted by DOPA. Interoperable data are exchanged between web services allowing for the automatic update of the various information systems. The use of open standards for spatial data and of open source programming languages for the development of the core functionalities of the system are further expected to encourage the participation of the scientific community beyond the current partnerships and to favour the sharing of such an observatory which could be installed at any other location.