A hydrological network for open source codes under development

How can researchers contribute in cooperation towards developing hydrological models? Open source codes are one solution. European researchers have met to develop this cooperation.

Considerable interest is being shown in hydrological models with open source codes, which users are free to continue developing. The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute’s (SMHI) hydrological model HYPE is being developed with open source codes so that researchers all over the world will be able to develop models in cooperation. A network has also been built around the source codes, and is referred to as the HYPE Open Source Community. The network is unique in that it provides access to program codes that are also used in operational status.

“We feel that working with open source codes is extremely valuable. It indicates a willingness to cooperate, and a common code base is provided for the further development of hydrological modelling in general,” says Berit Arheimer, Head of the Hydrological Research Unit at SMHI.

Considerable interest being shown in joint model development

“We want to create an active form of cooperation in which researchers from a number of different groups can help to develop the HYPE model,” says Lena Strömbäck. She is a researcher and she is one of the driving forces in the HYPE Open Source Community network.

The latest international workshop on HYPE codes was held in Brussels in conjunction with the Open Water Symposium, which is a forum for discussing open data and open program codes within hydrology.

Individuals who took part in the workshop included both researchers who use HYPE today as well as those who are interested in learning more. Other participants included representatives of other Open Source solutions within hydrology. The interest shown in constructing a forum for joint model development was considerable.

Discussion leads to improvements

An important part of the workshop entailed discussing how the HYPE Open Source Community forum can be developed in the future, and how we can make things easier for new users.

“Among other things, we intend to publish material that makes it easier to start working with HYPE, and we want to create a reference group in order to encourage the members to become more involved in the future development of the forum. We will also follow up with courses and a new workshop,” says Lena Strömbäck.

During the workshop, the HYPE model was presented from both a hydrological and a more technical point of view. Users from different countries were given the opportunity to present their work and results. They were also given the chance to take part in discussions, and received hints and advice on how the model can be used.

The HYPE model is open under GNU Lesser General Public License. Further information on the Hype Open Source Community network is available at http://hype.sourceforge.net/