In 2013, the International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks (FDSN) approved a specification for web service interfaces for accessing seismological station metadata, time series and event parameters. Since then, fifteen seismological data centers have implemented FDSN service interfaces, with more in development. We have developed the IRIS Federator to leverage this standardization and provide the scientific community with a tool for easy discovery and access of seismological data across FDSN data centers. The IRIS Federator represents one model for data collection that spans geographic and political boundaries.
The main components of the IRIS Federator are a catalog of time series metadata holdings at each data center and a web service interface for searching the catalog. The service interface is designed to support client-side federated data access, a model in which the software client queries the catalog and then collects the data from each identified data center. Results are returned in a format suitable for direct submission to web services hosted by that datacenter, but could also be formatted in a simple text format for general data discovery purposes. By default, the interface will remove any duplication of time series channels between data centers according to a set of business rules by default, however a user may request that all duplicate time series entries be included. Client-side federation has already been incorporated into some of the DMC’s data access tools, with more currently in development. We anticipate further enhancements of the IRIS Federator will improve data discovery by elevating the visibility of global FDSN data center holdings and prove useful to communities beyond seismology.
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