In order to provide meaningful information for both scientists and managers, the quality of coastal ocean modeling products must be assessed. This involves finding both the available ocean models and the available physical oceanographic data in a specified geospatial bounding box and time range from multiple sources, and returning the results in a manner that allows immediate access to data in tools that scientists typically use.
Ocean model data comes from national operational centers (NCEP, NAVY, NOAA CO-OPS) as well as from government and academic institutions largely associated with the Integrated Ocean Observing System. Ocean observed data also comes from national centers (NDBC, NODC) as well as other governmental and academic institution. The USGS has both archives of ocean model output, as well as collections of ocean observations, mostly related to sediment transport and coastal change projects. The services are generally OPeNDAP and OGC Sensor Observation Service.
A researcher who is interested in obtaining ocean model data and ocean obserational data will have GUI in their browser that will allow them to select a region and time window, and get back dataset metadata that includes SOS and OPeNDAP data URLs. The GUI will generate a Restful URL that contains the search criteria in either OpenSearch or CSW, and this query will then be importable to Matlab so that a Matlab user can reuse the query, modifying the search parameters. With the metadata results, the Matlab user has a tool that extracts the data URLs, and then allows investigation and retrieval of the data required. Thus we are only handling the search and retrieval of data based on space and time, not on data type.
This approach would greatly streamline the assessment of coastal ocean model data.