2010



OpenMI Wrapping of the HR Wallingford Standard Time Series Data Source

HR Wallingford has recently developed a new point-based time-series data collection, storage, retrieval and portrayal mechanism called the Future Service Chain Platform (FSCP). Service chains are built offering to the internet standardised OGC Web Features containing point timeseries data.

The Future Service Chain Platform in action, portraying mapped and graphed time-series data on a web page

The feature types available through the FSCP are made accessible to the internet via HTTP strings from Geoserver, an open source spatial data engine, in a form that is compliant with OGC Web Feature Services (WFS) and Web Map Services (WMS). It is therefore possible to build OpenMI components that have the capability to access these data services. In this way FSCP architectures can integrate pre-prepared or real time data into model compositions acting as boundary conditions or calibration for the rest of the composition.

FSCP feature type components do not run models in a way that traditional OpenMI components would operate; when triggered, the data service simply accesses the next available data value, at the date and time supplied, from the feature type. These components are only active when triggered by another component in the composition, although they do need to remain in sync with the trigger component in the composition in order for them to retrieve the appropriate data value. This is achieved through the information entered in the steering xml and omi files in that both the FSCP feature type and the trigger components in the composition need to possess the same time horizon and time delta. The feature type component can be configured to work in one of two ways:
  • through a single WFS retrieval at initialisation;
  • through a WFS retrieval at each computation.
The OpenMI composition shown below has been adapted to include an additional OpenMI component linking to a FSCP feature type supplying measured data from an instrument directly into the composition. These measured data would then provide boundary conditions for the SWAN model. Whenever the SWAN model asks the feature type component for data, the component supplies the most appropriate data value at the given date and time, either from the array held in memory or from a WFS request, depending on how the component has been configured. The relevant returned value is then used by the SWAN model.

Demonstration of how an OpenMI composition could incorporate data services from FSCP Feature Types







The KISTERS time series management server (KiTSM) from the WISKI 7 software package has become OpenMI compliant

WISKI 7 and KiTSM is the result of more than 20 years experiences collected in the global water industry. The requirements on data acquisition, storage, organization, validation, analysis and integration and dissemination from the international market have been included in a reliable, scalable and controlled open multi-tier architecture. KiTSM is developed in JAVA and is designed to organize, compute and share time series mass data.

WISKI7 -as the specialist application on top of KiTSM- provides flexible frameworks to integrate time series data for all types of parameter (such as groundwater, surface water levels, flows, precipitation, temperatures, pressures, etc). The WISKI7 Meta Data Management set the time series into any relational context so that the Data-Navigation can be configured at system integration time.

WISKI7/KiTSM is implemented as turnkey solution if the fields of meteorology, groundwater monitoring, flood forecasting, alarming, water quality control, urban hydrology, reservoir operation or dam safety.

More than 300 authorities and companies worldwide use the KISTERS' WISKI Solution. Read more about WISKI

With the OpenMI extension it is now possible to link OpenMI compliant models or modules to WISKI. Compliant Models can retrieve any source of time series data (processed or raw data) through the local area network or even through the Internet.

Users simply install a small WISKI linkable component on the local computer after which this component can be included in OpenMI configurations on the local computer. When the configuration is running, the local WISKI LinkableComponent will communicate remotely through the Internet with the WISKI database located on a remote server. One example could be a flood forecast system (e.g. rainfall-runoff models and river models) running at the premises of the local authorities and pulling the most recent metrological data through OpenMI from a remote WISKI server.

Apart from providing new opportunities for WISKI users, this development also serves as a proof of concept for new ways of using OpenMI. The ambition for OpenMI was from the very beginning to dynamically connect anything to anything anywhere. The OpenMI standard has always supported such applications, but so far most applications have been model to model linkages, running locally. The migration of WISKI has demonstrated the applicability of OpenMI for remote linking and standardized access to databases.

The migration was done using a proxy design pattern.


The KiTSM proxy is responsible for remote communication with the KiTSM server. The OpenMI wrapper implements the ILinkableComponent interface and is accessed from the local model through OpenMI methods. The benefit of this approach is that the communication through the internet is using the private protocol, which is optimized for the communication between the Proxy and the server, whereas the wrapper can be accessed by any OpenMI compliant component/model.

The KiTSM can contain thousands of time series and exposing all these as OpenMI exchange items. This could potentially make the OpenMI configuration process very slow. To overcome this problem, the KiTSM site, station, and parameter of interest are defined in the OMI file, so only time series for this combination are exposed. Moreover, the OMI file also contains the information needed for the proxy to connect to the server (IP-adresss and credentials). In this way the user can simply select the KiTSM OMI file, stored on the local computer, configure and run, without worrying about, that this component actually gets its data from a remote server. Everything runs as if all components were installed locally.

HydroInform assisted the KISTERS developers in the OpenMI migration of KiTSM. Also here the proxy design pattern turned out to be beneficial. The developers from KISTERS created the proxy, which then was installed on a local computer at the premises of HydroInfom in Denmark. After that HydroInfom could develop and test the OpenMI wrapper as if the KiTSM was locally installed.


Michael Natschke, Product Manager, KISTERS Water Solutions (Michael.Natschke@kisters.de)
Jan Gregersen, HydroInform, Denmark (Gregersen@HydroInform.com)






HR Wallingford research project

HR Wallingford has recently undertaken a joint research project with the British geological Survey (BGS) to explore the benefits of using OpenMI (Open Modelling Interface) technology for linking existing surface water and groundwater models in order to develop an improved understanding of groundwater flooding processes. OpenMI technology has been used for linking an existing Infoworks RS river flow model of Oxford with an existing groundwater model (ZOOM). The main objectives of this project were to deliver:
  • An increased understanding of the benefits/difficulties of using OpenMI technology for undertaking integrated modelling studies, focusing particularly on surface water/groundwater interactions.
  • An assessment of the benefits of integrated modelling versus undertaking separate surface water and groundwater modelling studies with a focus on groundwater flooding issues.
  • A preliminary linked surface water/groundwater modelling system using Infoworks RS and ZOOM for Oxford which could be developed further for application in a variety of flood, water resource and environmental studies.
BGS have developed the ZOOMQ3D groundwater model of the Oxford floodplain in order to facilitate the linkage to the InfoWorksRS river model and have further developed the ZOOM code to enable handling of different spatial scales in the two models as required. HR Wallingford set up the linked model, which currently covers the northern part of Oxford with particular focus on the Port Meadow area; the OpenMI composition currently includes over 2000 links allowing exchange of river stages and flows. The integrated model has so far been tested successfully on the recent major flood event in 2007 in order to explore groundwater flooding issues. The groundwater model representation is however currently very simple and further work is required on the ZOOM model to investigate the effects of the Oxford alluvium on flood processes.

The study supports the Environment Agency's research strategy on integrated modelling and will provide new versatile modelling tools for developing an improved understanding of groundwater flooding. The tools have been applied to the Oxford catchment, but can be applied to any other location where complex surface water-groundwater interactions are of interest. The work was funded by BGS Science Budget and HR Wallingford research funds and was linked to the collaborative BGS-Environment Agency "Oxford Flooding" project managed by David MacDonald on behalf of BGS and William Chan on behalf of the Environment Agency.






International summit on integrated environmental modelling

International Summit on Integrated Environmental Modeling
December 7-9, 2010, Washington, USA
Sponsored by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Geological Survey, the Community for Integrated Environmental Modelling and the OpenMI Association.
The US launch of the OpenMI V2.0 was held in Washington, USA on 8th December, 2010 during this international summit.






OpenWeb wins BCS award

OpenWeb, an integrated modelling platform developed by HR Wallingford and which is based on the OpenMI, has won a British Computer Society Technology Excellence Award for 2009. The award is presented for new hardware, software and IT services products that make the biggest contribution to business technology.
Read more at BCS and Openweb Portal






USA take-up of OpenMI.

USEPA staff announced at the OpenMI-Life Workshop in Brussels (11-12th January 2010) that the EPA will use the the OpenMI standard in their integrated modelling activities. Already the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) have decided to use OpenMI, so the confirmation by EPA is a major reinforcement for the international recognition and take-up of OpenMI.