Frequently asked questions

General FAQ

What is OpenCDMS?

OpenCDMS is predominantly a Reference Implementation of the WMO Climate Data Model standard.

In addition, it provides a framework for working together to improve Earth system data management by: 

  • Improving interoperability among existing CDMSs  

  • Supporting and collaborating with existing projects with the intention of ensuring CDMS users continue to benefit from their existing support structures and services

  • Creating a next-generation CDMS that is fully compliant with the WMO Climate Data Management System Specifications, adhering to the wider WMO data management approach and modern IT standards and practices, with guidance from WMO expert teams and a broad range of implementers

What types of data will OpenCDMS enable collection of?

OpenCDMS will be suitable for collection of all ‘earth system data’ including climate, hydrological, and other important environmental data.

Why is this development also of interest to the hydrological community?

Hydrological data are managed in a similar way as climatological, or any environmental data/times series, with some specificities such as the generation of rating curves (H-Q). OpenCDMS will allow hydrologists to use freely available solutions integrated and/or connected to the OpenCDMS.

Furthermore, hydrological models and/or warnings need several types of variables fed in e.g. precipitation, wind direction, evaporation, and OpenCDMS will allow those variables to be gathered in a unique place which facilitates data ingestion for those models. During extreme events, proper and quickly accessible data can save lives. For example, if an heavy rain episode is expected in a mountainous region, the combination of information such as expected fast snow melting due to high temperatures during winter, and information on wind direction, in addition to heavy precipitation, will inform hydrologists that there is a high probability for floods, or flash floods events, to occur.

I have a CDMS that meets my needs currently. Will I have to use OpenCDMS?

OpenCDMS will be an installable software package available for those Members of WMO, and other organisations, who wish to use; as well as acting as a reference system incorporating best-practice standards. The OpenCDMS project will work to support, and collaborate with, existing projects with the intention of ensuring CDMS users continue to benefit from existing support structures and services.

Our country has developed a CDMS. Can we collaborate with OpenCDMS?

Yes! The OpenCDMS project already has input from a number of colleagues involved with CDMS developments across the world, and we are keen to engage with those who have developed software to see how we can collaborate with, and support, existing developments.

I would like to get involved in the OpenCDMS development – how can I do this?

The OpenCDMS project positively welcomes contributions from individuals/organisations with interest/expertise (see ‘Getting Involved’). As well as CDMS or coding expertise, we are also keen to get input in helping to identify the main priorities on a regionally-specific basis for data management functionality and design required by National Met. and Hydrological Services (NMHSs). So please do get in contact if you would like to learn more about getting involved.

Do I have to work for a NMHS to get involved in the development?

No. Whilst we encourage contributions from those involved in NMHSs we would also like to encourage expertise from all backgrounds (particularly with database experience/interest, including universities. So please do get in contact if you would like to learn more.

How is the OpenCDMS development being funded?

Currently OpenCDMS has some funding for development work, but a lot of work is also provided in-kind through WMO Members and in collaboration with Expert Teams. The project will be continuing to seek funding from development partners to further support the development and implementation in-country over the next 3-5 years and welcomes both funded and in-kind contributions to support this important work.

How can I get in contact?
For further information about OpenCDMS, or contributing into the project, please see the contact page.