The project started on 1 October 2018 thanks to the INEA/CEF contribution, under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – Telecommunication Sector Programme of the European Union, with the grant agreement number: INEA/CEF/ICT/A2017/1567101 – Action No: 2017 IT IA-0144.
The goal of the MISTRAL portal is to facilitate and foster the re-use of the datasets by the weather community, as well as by its cross-area communities, to provide added value services through the use of HPC resources, turning it into the level of new business opportunities.
The data will be available in terms of gridded fields, probabilistic products (as rainfall forecasts for flash flood prediction) or point time-series coming from the Italian operational forecast modelling chain and post-processing fields (as thunderstorm probability).
Ten specific project’s objectives lead the activity implementation:
- to improve the access to large datasets of the weather public institutions
- to unleash a large scale weather datasets creative exploitation using supercomputers
- to create a new service at the Italian national level, that address the scalable exploitation of the massive amount of public open data available and accessible (Big Data Challenge)
- to exploit supercomputing facilities to analyze complex combinations of large public weather datasets to make the forecasts more valuable
- to improve the interoperability of weather regional data providers thank to adoption of international standards
- to provide the direct upload of the data generated by the supercomputers onto the Italian National Data Open Portal and into EU Open Data Portal, assuring trans-European access, interoperability and services linking the weather sector to the core service platform of EU Open Data Portal
- to provide official and certified data and services to foster data re-use in accordance with Public Sector Information and open government initiatives
- to provide citizens with free access to the weather observational and forecast data and visualizations
- to design and implement new ways of displaying and visualizing datasets and metadata, tailored on the user’s needs
- to identify viable business models that can support a sustainable usage of weather datasets and the valorization of Italian weather public institutions resources in European repositories, in a trans-national perspective
Different interfaces, user experiences, services and functionalities, clear and public data licensing, will be tailored to serve professional users, economic actors and the general public. Both citizens, stakeholders and decision makers will be able to access datasets and metadata, both through the use of open services and also thanks to the availability of visualization tools. Advanced,interactive and innovative visualization solutions will be implemented in order to display the datasets both for scientific and institutional use of data and for non-expert users.
Innovative technology for HPC (High performance Computer) facilities and big data storage will be used to support the MISTRAL portal implementation. The open portal will be designed for datasets and metadata interoperability, sharing and re-use and will be supported by a large repository for data (gridded data, images, maps, etc.) and metadata. The repository will have in-built functionalities for highly innovative and advanced data and metadata management and will integrate visual analysis components for data visualisation.
Big data storage and HPC facilities will be made available to the project in order to perform post-processing and visualisation of the observed and forecast data, in order to make the forecasts more useful and usable, tailoring the output to the need of the intended audience.