BODC Web Services

Web services can be used to aid the synchronisation of data management systems
Web services can be used to aid the synchronisation of data management systems ©


Our Web Services open a window to the information and data holdings at BODC. Web Services distribute information across the internet in such a way that users can control exactly how and when the information is processed. This flexibility is made possible by the provision of computational methods that can be incorporated into software systems and implemented however the end user wants to implement them.

Currently deployed Web Services

  • NERC Vocabulary Server  — Provides instant access to lists of standard terms for populating fields in oceanographic metadata including descriptions of data, platforms, instruments and geographic locations.
  • Marsden Square translator service — Converts lists of Marsden Square numbers into spatial coordinates for identifying the geographical origin of meteorological and oceanographic data.
  • Access the GEBCO Web Map Service (WMS) — Providing an image of global bathymetry data from the GEBCO Grid in the form of a WMS.


Accessing Web Services does require some experience of software development but once they are in place, user friendly interfaces can readily be created as required.

Web Services can be run on any platform. Two main open source software packages for communicating with Web Services are SOAP::Lite for Perl and Apache Axis for Java. There are others out there but this is beyond the scope of this page.

For accessing and creating Web Services using Axis, there is an easy to follow tutorial by Jon Blower at the Reading eScience Centre.