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Use Case

The following defines the sequence of events that a user might follow to obtain a single climate index. The purpose of this use case is to provide a specific focus for the development of technical capabilities and translational information.

Assumptions: This pilot project focuses on the development of standard templates, the generation of translational information (which conforms to those templates), and fostering distributed interactions between agencies and institutions in order to provide regional and local climate information. This pilot makes many simplifying assumptions that will later be relaxed in the development of NCPP web services. For this pilot, NCPP may not provide either datasets or indices calculation services itself, but access them from external providers. The pilot assumes that additional information about the retrieved data (narratives, subjective translational information, guidance, etc.) will be produced through NCPP's tools and services. It assumes that only a single dataset is chosen.

Choice of region: The North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC) region was chosen in order to facilitate the production of necessary translational information related to the index of choice for a region that is the focus of another of the pilot projects of NCPP. This is an opportunity to enhnace the cooperation and leverage of products between the two projects.


Sequence of events for the use case:


  1. NCPP participants create a user entry point for this use case in COG, which describes its current capabilities and limitations.
  2. The user registers for COG and applies to join the project, if needed. As part of this process, the user provides information about themselves including email contact, and accepts any terms of use, etc. The project administrator approves their request and the user accesses the project space.
  3. The user defines desired output; this is constrained by a number of facets (the following is a suggested order):
    • Region:  Geographical region; for this Pilot Project we will support the user choosing the North Central Climate Science Center Region (NC CSC region).
    • Index:  Index (or indices) from a list of indices by variable; for this Pilot Project we will support the user choosing annual temperature indices (calculated from daily Tmax data), specifically annual number of days with Tmax > 100°F.
    • Choice of Aggregation:  Grid point indices or aggregated by region indices; for this Pilot Project, we will support the user choosing to retrieve/generate NCA indices by grid point for the NC CSC Region.
    • Period:  Period length; for this Pilot Project, we will support indices calculated for 1 year.
    • Observed dataset:  One or more datasets from a list of available observed datasets; for this Pilot Project, we will support the Maurer et. al. 2002 observed gridded data set.
    • Output format:  Final product output format;   for this Pilot Project we will support summary results in NetCDF format along with translational information describing each of the previous steps of output definition.
    • Supporting information:  Choice of additional types of translational information (such as explanatory text regarding the methods used to generate the results or guidance on how to interpret them) to be included.  This may contain information about the selected region, methods to calculate the index, methods of aggregation and their impacts for interpretation of results, period length and its impact on interpretation of final results, information about the intended usage of datasets, and narrative based on results;  for this Pilot Project we will focus on translational information related to the results from the chosen index for grid points over the NC CSC Region, for a 1 year period calculated from the Maurer et al. 2002 dataset.
  4. Having selected all options above, the user is provided with a summary detailing their choices; the user can either revise their choices or accept the summary and submit the request.
  5. The user submits the request and the request is processed; it is sent to the appropriate USGS service
    • Using the invoked USGS service the requested indices are calculated based on the historical data set.
    • The supporting translational information is generated by NCPP and is associated with the results
    • These outputs (the requested indices and associated translational information) are saved.
  6. The user is sent an email when the request completes which includes how to retrieve the results
  7. The user navigates to the COG site to retrieve the result.
Last Update: Nov. 8, 2012, 10:18 p.m. by Allyn Treshansky