In order to make the resulting portals truly interoperable, NETMAR requires a detailed definition of the services being called and the data requested.
This will be achieved through the development of multi-domain and multilingual semantic web ontologies for environmental information systems, to allow searches across human language and scientific domains. These ontologies will describe concepts and the relationships between the concepts.
BODC, building on the experience of the Enabling Parameter Discovery and NERC DataGrid projects, will be involved in the development of these semantic web ontologies.
This will allow 'smart discovery' when searching for data. For example, searching on the word 'precipitation' or 'précipitation' in a data portal could return all data labelled with, say 'rain', 'pluie', 'snow' or 'neige'.