Southern Ocean Decade & Polar Data Forum Week 2021

Online, 20 - 24 September 2021 An Ocean Of Opportunities

Interoperability for polar observing networks and logistical resources - Hackathon

Within the polar and oceanographic communities there is an increasing interest to integrate databases of observing assets, networks, and logistical resources, including research stations, vessels, and expeditions. Integrating these databases requires cross walks of metadata models and the agreement of best practice methods for sharing the information between catalogues in order to achieve a unified view within and beyond the polar regions.

This session will include discussions on: 1) an EU-PolarNet 2 initiative for a “procedure for ongoing collection and collation of European Polar observing capacities and activities”, and 2) use cases and a metadata model for a task by the SAON Polar Observing Assets Working Group: a registry of Polar observing networks focusing on interoperability parameters.

1. Introduction (10 min).
Efforts to organise information about polar observing assets faces several challenges. These are technical as well as political, social, and psychological.

This first presentation is an example of a project that demonstrates some of these challenges:
● Joseph Nolan: Polardex, a European Polar infrastructure database
Ongoing initiatives are working to overcome some of these challenges:
● Bill Manley and Allison Gaylord: Arctic Observing Viewer
● Jan Rene Larsen: "Procedure for ongoing collection and collation of European Polar observing capacities and activities". Deliverable for EU-PolarNet

2. Recommendations for EU-PolarNet deliverables (Jan Rene Larsen) (30 min)
● Technical
● Political and social
● The survey on "Polar Observing Assets" The survey ended 1st September, and a summary of the outcome is found here:
● Social sciences and humanities
● Link to presentation:

3. A registry of Polar observing (POAWG) (Bill Manley) (30 min)
● How to implement this technically? What are the challenges?
● Discussing use cases

4. Next steps (20 min)
● Invitation to a follow-up session in October 2021. Invitation to contribute to the work:
○ Data dictionary comparison (Pip Bricher):
○ Cross-walk of site level fields (Bill Manley):


  • Joseph Nolan
    Joseph Nolan is the policy officer for the European Polar Board and is coordinating the development of an interoperable database of information about polar observing infrastructure and logistical resources.
  • Bill Manley
    Bill Manley works at the University of Colorado Boulder and co-leads the SAON Polar Observing Assets Working Group, which provides technical guidance for sharing information about observing activities.
  • Jan Rene Larsen
    Jan Rene Larsen, from the secretariat for the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, is coordinating an EU-PolarNet 2 initiative for a procedure for ongoing collection and collation of European Polar observing capacities and activities.