FluidEarth (formerly known as OpenWEB) is an HR Wallingford initiative bringing together a community of specialists with the aim of researching and implementing integrated computer modelling approaches to environmental systems.
In order to understand how pressures such as climate change and developments impact the environment we need model not just physical, chemical and biological parameters, but how these parameters interact to affect the whole system. Environmental systems couple many natural processes and simulating them accurately demands modelling them in a similar fashion.
Modelling such systems more accurately can be done in two ways : either simulate everything in one large model or link smaller models together. FluidEarth focuses on the second approach : linking existing computer models together to form integrated compositions.
This is done by utilising the OpenMI standard for integrated modelling. In addition, FluidEarth has delivered two important tools to aid this process :
The FluidEarth Software Development Kit allows model developers to adapt their models for linking to other models and data services. It takes most of the complexity out of this process allowing easy creation of a new generation of environmental models which can be combined into compositions.
Pipistrelle is a tool giving modellers the ability to easily create and run compositions of linked models. Everything is controlled through a simple user interface showing models as OpenMI components with data exchange along links.
Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) and the OpenMI Association signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate in standards development and promotion of open standards related to computer modelling.
A first priority is the facilitation of OpenMI 2.0 as an open international consensus standard under the OGC process framework. In doing so, the OpenMI Association seeks to make the OpenMI standard available and accessible to the worldwide modelling community. The OpenMI Association Technical Committee is currently rewriting the OpenMI 2.0 technical documentation to make it compliant with the OGC specifications.
"Given the pervasive nature of location in issues related to environment and earth system processes, the OGC has been working closely with the international community to advance standards that make it easier to share critically important environmental information and apply it to important education, research and decision making activities," said Mark Reichardt, President and CEO of the OGC. “Progress toward a sustainable future depends on our improved understanding of these complex systems and our collective ability to act from the local to global levels. This partnership with the OpenMI Association enables our organizations to work more closely to assure that open standards-based modeling capabilities can be seamlessly and rapidly integrated into processing environments. This will improve our collective understanding and ability to respond to environmental challenges."
The agreement between the OGC and the OpenMI Association exemplifies the trend among global standards organizations to form partnerships that make their standards more useful and useful to larger populations of users.
The OGC is an international consortium of more than 415 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC Standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, sensors and mainstream IT. OGC Standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled.
Key contact person between the OGC and the OpenMI Association is David Lemon (CSIRO, AU) who is leading the OGC's Hydrology Domain Working Group, and who is also representing CSIRO in the OpenMI Association Executive Committee.