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Frequently Asked Questions
Does GLOS charge for access to data?

No, access to Great Lakes data and information is free through GLOS.

There could be circumstances where an organization has customized data management needs, atypical data access requirements, or other features requiring engineering development work by GLOS. In those situations, GLOS may charge a cost-recovery fee to help offset expenses to support these requirements.

Access to the new information technology platform is made possible through funding from the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) program and other donor funds.

What kinds of connection points or APIs will Seagull have?

Generally speaking, the first phase of the Seagull development includes supporting APIs for:

  • Authentication and data submission
  • Searching data
  • Querying data
  • Accessing, downloading, and sharing data

Most of these APIs will be open with the authentication system in place, but GLOS is open to supporting partner APIs for specific use cases wherever applicable.

An example would be a custom API between GLOS and an organization like the National Data Buoy Center so that data can be easily shared across the organizations in the right formats as required by the partner organizations.

In addition, we are currently exploring how to support geographic information system (GIS) services to enable visualizing data over maps.

How does data currently get from platforms to your servers? How will Seagull do this?

Currently, most of the buoys in our network use cellular telemetry, while a few use satellite telemetry. However, the path data takes from sensor to our servers really varies. Many buoys send data directly from their datalogger to our server, while others have an in-between server that translates the data and sends it to us.

On our current systems, we ingest the data from the buoys through FTP. Each data provider has their own FTP account that they can use to send the data in a GLOS-required XML format.

However, for Seagull, we developed a completely new architecture to allow the data providers to send data to us using other secure protocols like HTTPs in flexible formats like JSON. Though not preferable, we will be also support our current FTP/XML protocol in 2022, just in case the data providers are unable to send data to us through a secure protocol.

If you have flexibility to select a data logger, we recommend selecting one that is capable of transmitting data over secure protocols like HTTPs. If not, there is also an option to send data, not directly from the datalogger but from a local server, if that is more practical for your system.

If my platform is already sending data to GLOS, will it automatically be added to Seagull?

Yes. If the platform is part of the current system, it will be part of Seagull. In the future, since Seagull will feature enriched metadata, you will likely need to add to or update some information.

When will older GLOS apps stop working?

As functionality from each legacy app is transferred to Seagull, we will begin decommissioning each legacy app. This is dependent on the pace of Seagull development.

After Seagull launches on April 28, 2022, in late April or Early May, we will be shutting down GL Buoys, the HABs Portal, and our THREDDS server. Please reach out to us with any concerns.