Data Services Newsletter

Volume 17 : No 2 : Winter 2015

Introducing the IRIS Federator: Time-series data search across global data centers

Seattle, WA (IRIS) – The IRIS DMC is pleased to announce a new tool for seismological data discovery and access. The IRIS Federator is a data catalog and web service designed to ease the task of searching and filtering distributed time-series metadata holdings offered at FDSN data centers around the world. The catalog is updated daily and users will find the web service easy to use and ready for integration into their data access.

“Our software design model is one of ‘streamlined federated data access’,” said Chad Trabant, Deputy Director, DMC Projects at IRIS. “The federator service interface queries the catalog and then quickly returns the relevant data for each data center.”

By default the IRIS Federator results are returned in a format suitable for direct submission to targeted web services such as the fdsnws-dataselect (time series) service or the fdsnws-station (metadata) service. However the results may also be requested in a subset of the regular “text” format for general purposes. By default, our system will remove any duplication of time series channels between data centers according to a set of business rules. A user can also request results with all duplicate time series entries included.

“This new service is a great success for IRIS and its FDSN partners, but more importantly, a great success for researchers around the world”, said Tim Ahern, Data Services Director at IRIS.

Already, client­-side federation is being incorporated into some of the DMC’s data access tools. For instance, the command-line FetchData tool offers a new option to extend a fetch request into the results returned by the IRIS Federator.

Get started today by incorporating “federated” results into your existing data mining tools! The IRIS Federator Help page and URL Builder should get you started. The Web Service team at IRIS is designing further enhancements of this service to improve data discovery in various scenarios, and to broaden its application to communities beyond seismology.

by Mick Van Fossen (IRIS Data Management Center)