WaterML stands for Water Markup Language. It is a standardized dialect of XML designed for transmitting hydrological data over the internet via web services. The schema is defined by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI), which also built WaterOneFlow, a family of web services optimized for querying hydrologic data. With CUAHSI’s help, a number of federal agencies have implemented this system, including USGS NWIS. The Canadian and Australian governments are planning to follow suit. By standardizing the way that hydrological data is queried, it becomes easy to access data from all across the world. And, because the data returned is encoded in a standardized format, a single web map can easily ingest the data from any number of sources.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have created a Hydrology Domain Working Group to help steward the process of designing WaterML 2.0, which will be the official OGC standard for encoding hydrological data. A draft of WaterML 2.0 was released last July, and another version will be complete at the end of this month, which means we should have a new WaterML 2.0 OGC Standard in 2012!
WaterML 2.0 will carry on the legacy of WaterML, which is the sharing of hydrologic observations data for the betterment of the global community. As it continues to gain international acceptance, including OGC certification, more governments will begin using it to publish their data. One day, we hope that the entire world’s hydro data will be accessible in a standard language. Check back to the Hydro Blog in January for news about the WaterML 2.0 OGC Standard.
Thanks to Daniel Siegel and Caitlin Scopel for providing this post. Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org