NEWS

Argo vocabulary server

The NVS

The NERC Vocabulary Server (NVS) provides access to lists of standardised terms that cover a broad spectrum of the oceanographic domain and associated communities. The NVS is technically-managed and hosted by the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC), a national facility part of the UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC). Key funding sources for the NVS include the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) as well as European Union’s initiatives such as the Open Network for Marine Environmental Data (NETMAR) programme, the SeaDataNet / SeaDataCloud projects and the Horizons 2020 ENVRI-FAIR project.

The NVS conforms to a set of standards designed to be compatible with Semantic Web tools and technologies, allowing its content to support the interoperability of datasets on the Web known as Linked Data. The NVS can be accessed via content negotiation (as RDF/XML), SPARQL endpoint or SOAP web services, upon which browser access is built.

 

VocPrez

The NVS web user interface is called VocPrez, and can be accessed through the link vocab.nerc.ac.uk. VocPrez hosts general information on controlled vocabularies, a complete list of NVS collections (under ‘Vocabularies’) and Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) concept schemes (under ‘Thesauri’), an interactive SPARQL endpoint to allow for machine-readable NVS query responses, and link to other tools hosted on the BODC website.

One of the most useful features of VocPrez is the NVS Search interface. This allows a user to search for a term (aka ‘concept’) in a vocabulary collection; search for a term across vocabulary collections; search for vocabulary collections; and explore mappings (i.e. relationships) of terms linking different collections. Search results may be downloaded in tab-delimited (tsv) as well as comma-delimited (csv) formats; moreover, search queries produce search results links that may be bookmarked and shared.

 

Argo vocabularies

Argo vocabularies, originally known as reference tables, are used extensively to constrain the contents of the Argo NetCDF files, and to enhance the interoperability of the Argo data system. The transfer of existing reference tables to NVS collections, as well as the creation of new ones, is an ongoing effort managed by the Argo Vocabulary Task Team and supported by BODC.

Argo vocabularies on the NVS can be extracted in the VocPrez NVS Search interface by typing ‘argo’ in the vocabulary collections search bar and ticking ‘Governance’ only. The search result can be accessed through this link: vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/cvl/?searchstr=argo&options=governance, and will display a list of all the Argo collections created to date.

Please see below a list of all original Argo reference tables extracted from the Argo User Manual (‘No.’), their corresponding NVS collection IDs (‘Vocab’) and links to the NVS collections themselves as VocPrez search results (‘Search URL’):

 

No.

Name

Vocab

Search URL

1

Data type

R01

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R01/

2 RT

Real-time measurement flag scale

RR2

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/RR2/

2 DM

Delayed-mode measurement flag scale

RD2

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/RD2/

2a

Profile quality control flags

RP2

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/RP2/

3

Parameter codes

R03

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R03/

4

Data centres and institutions

R04

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R04/

5

Location classes

R05

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R05/

6

Data state indicators

R06

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R06/

7

History action codes

R07

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R07/

8

Instrument types

R08

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R08/

9

Positioning system

R09

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R09/

10

Transmission system

R10

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R10/

11

QC test binary IDs

R11

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R11/

12

History steps codes

R12

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R12/

13

Ocean codes

R13

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R13/

14

Technical parameter names

R14

Not yet available

15a

Trajectory cycle timing codes

TBC

Not yet available

15b

Trajectory measurement codes

TBC

Not yet available

16

Vertical sampling schemes

R16

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R16/

17

Obsolete

n/a

n/a

18

Configuration parameter names

R18

Not yet available

19

STATUS flags

R19

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R19/

20

GROUNDED flags

R20

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R20/

21

REPRESENTATIVE_PARK_PRESSURE_STATUS

R21

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R21/

22

PLATFORM_FAMILY

R22

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R22/

23

PLATFORM_TYPE

R23

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R23/

24

PLATFORM_MAKER

R24

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R24/

25

SENSOR

R25

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R25/

26

SENSOR_MAKER

R26

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R26/

27

SENSOR_MODEL

R27

vocab.nerc.ac.uk/search_nvs/R27/

28

CONTROLLER_BOARD_TYPE_PRIMARY

R28

Not yet available

29

BATTERY_TYPE (a and b?)

TBC

Not yet available

30

BATTERY_PACKS

R30

Not yet available

 

Please note that each collection also has a static URL, linked in the ‘Vocabularies’ page on VocPrez: vocab.nerc.ac.uk/collection/?filter=argo.

 

Argo Vocabulary Task Team (AVTT)

The Argo NVS collections are overseen by a sub-group of the Argo Data Management Team called the Argo Vocabulary Task Team (AVTT). Each AVTT member is responsible for a subset of Argo tables/collections, based on their interest and contributions.

The AVTT team is organised in sub-teams, reflecting the thematic groupings of collections for which sub-team members are responsible. Each sub-team is linked to a list of NVS collection-specific repositories, called after collection IDs (e.g. ‘R01’, ‘RR2’, ‘R03’, etc.). This organisation is reflected in the AVTT GitHub space (see below).

 

Vocabs discussions & submitting new terms

Anyone can initiate a discussion about an existing concept or collection, or submit the case for the creation of new ones.

The best platform for doing so is the AVTT GitHub space. This is set up so that AVTT members are notified of discussions pertaining the groupings of collections they are responsible for, while transparency, traceability and visibility is maintained due to the public nature of the web platform. Anyone may follow and contribute to a discussion by subscribing to the issue of interest to receive notifications.

  • For collection-specific queries, discussions, updates etc., please contribute to an existing issue or open a new one in the appropriate collection-specific repository. The complete list of GitHub repositories is hosted in the AVTT parent organization, the ‘nvs-vocabs’ page, and can be viewed by searching for ‘argo’.
  • For general Argo vocabularies discussions, or those pertaining more than one collection, please use the ArgoVocabs repository, which is linked to the whole AVTT.

If the discussion concerns a specific sub-team, the tagging GitHub functionality may be used (e.g. ‘@nvs-vocabs/reference-tables’)

To ensure that the discussion is picked up, the Argo data management mailing list may be contacted, providing the link to the GitHub issue in question. Alternatively, a GitHub ticket should be created to ensure discussions that take place via email are kept public and visible.

It is advisable to observe a two-week time limit to progress a discussion; if no comments or feedback ensue in that time frame, the decision can be considered approved by the AVTT and may brought to the attention of the ADMT executive committee.

 

Updating the NVS

It is important to receive final approval by the ADMT executive committee before carrying out edits to existing Argo NVS terms and collections. Once that has been granted, AVTT members can update the Argo NVS collections they are responsible for by using the NVS Vocab Editor. This is currently still hosted on the ‘Vocabularies’ section of the BODC website. Please contact the BODC Vocabulary Management team at vocab.services@bodc.ac.uk for support if needed.

Argo linked data and SPARQL endpoint