Open data gives water apps

Apps and web services for forecasting and decision support in the event of flooding, water contamination, irrigation and dam control. This is the aim of a European research project coordinated by SMHI.

“This is a pilot project that can make European water data more accessible to the general public and water management more mobile. In the future, we will see support systems closer to the users, whether they are in the office or moving around the community,” says Berit Arheimer, researcher at SMHI and who will coordinate the European project.

European network enables collaboration

The SWITCH-ON project involves 15 organisations from seven countries.

The research project will build up a common e-infrastructure for both research and production. A pan-European virtual water research laboratory will be based on open data, where scientists can do joint experiments and compare results. At the same time they will develop apps and web services related to forecasting and decision support systems for flooding, contamination and action program, or operational applications for different sectors, such as irrigation and regulation of dams.

“We will be able to release some products almost immediately. There are already many embryos and we will be able to refine the products in the meantime, as the quality of information increases and customer contacts improve,” says Berit Arheimer.

Open data is key to implementation

The SWITCH-ON research project is based on EU strategies concerning open data and the INSPIRE directive.

“Open data is at the forefront and development is currently moving forward quickly,” says Berit Arheimer.

The project will run over 4 years starting on November 1, 2013. A total of 15 organisations from seven countries, both European universities and small and medium sized companies will participate and commercialize the products. It is part of the Seventh framework programme of the European Community for research and technological development, FP7.

In the last call within FP7, SMHI is represented as the coordinator of two projects: SWITCH-ON for the development of apps and web services based on open data and UERRA, a project to improve the analysis of older meteorological data. SMHI will also participate in four additional new FP7 projects, DNI Cast, CLIPC, GLOB AQUA and HELIX.