Various environmental data resources, particularly time series of data, are freely available through the internet; however, the potential user community is not aware of their existence. The “In Situ and Online Data Toolbox” (ISOD) is developed to easily ingest these data sources. The archived time series data supplement the near real-time data currently disseminated through telecommunication based data dissemination systems, such as GEONETCast. In order to operate the toolbox internet connectivity is required. Some of the data sources extracted have a high data volume, therefore a reasonable bandwidth is necessary to smoothly operate some of the toolbox routines, especially for import of time series data.
The ISOD Toolbox's design is identical to that of the other ILWIS plug-in based toolboxes. The toolbox is open source and can be easily modified and tuned to fit specific user needs, no programming skills necessary. It automatically retrieves and processes various data resources containing near real-time climatological in situ observations, gauge and satellite derived precipitation products, weather and pressure forecasts, potential evapotranspiration, normalized difference vegetation indices and elevation information. Although a large number of these resources have a global dimension, the current focus is on data provision for Africa.
Key features are:
Automated retrieval and processing of (time series) data from various free online archives, related to:
- In situ climatological observations, derived from:
- Global Surface Summary of Day Data
- Global Telecommunication System
- Terminal Aerodrome Forecast
- Gauge and satellite derived rainfall estimates and climatology from various sources
- Weather and pressure forecasts
- Time series of Potential Evapotranspiration
- Time series of Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (from NOAA and eMODIS) for Africa
- Elevation information from GMTED, SRTM and ASTER
All Toolbox functions can be coupled with and / or processed by other generic ILWIS RS and GIS functionality.