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Ensure flexible data services for virtual datasets

Best Practice: 

In order for a large dataset to be effectively used by a variety of end users, the following procedures for preparing a virtual dataset are recommended:

  • Identify data service users
  • Define data access capabilities needed by community(s) of users. For example:
    • Spatial subsetting
    • Temporal subsetting
    • Parameter subsetting
    • Coordinate transformation
    • Statistical characterization
  • Define service interfaces based upon Open Standards. For example:
    • Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC WMS, WFS, WCS)
    • W3C (SOAP)
    • IETF (REST – derived from Hypertext Transfer Protocol [HTTP])
  • Publish service metadata for published services based upon Open Standards. For example:
    • Web Services Definition Language (WSDL)
    • RSS/Atom (see Service Casting reference below for an example of a model for publishing service metadata for a variety of service types)
Description Rationale: 

Some datasets are too large to efficiently deliver in their entirety, or are not directly usable by some users. To enable their effective use by a variety of end users, data collections may be published as "virtual" datasets that are extracted and/or processed based upon source data and pre-defined functions that deliver products derived from the source data.

Additional Information: