A consortium of polar data coordinating bodies have recently hosted a number of useful workshops and events to foster collaboration between individuals, institutions, projects and organisations. These events have built on polar data coordination efforts including progress made during the International Polar Year, and two Polar Data Forum meetings.
More recently, the focus has been on identifying and understanding the specifics of polar data sharing and interoperability through workshops such as the Polar Connections Interoperability Workshop and Assessment Process hosted by the European Space Agency in 2016, and the Arctic Spatial Data Pilot implemented by the Open Geospatial Consortium. In May of 2018, the Polar Data Planning Summit (PDPS) hosted by the University of Colorado focused on specific interoperability priorities and the organizational and community-building aspects of data sharing and interoperability.
These and other polar activities have identified a need for continued, detailed technical collaboration in order to advance Polar Data Management. At PDPS technical discussions centred on achieving federated search through exchange of standardised, well formatted discovery metadata. This is an important first step towards an interconnected polar data system and important gaps and mitigation have been identified at the levels of standardisation, exchange protocols, semantic annotation etc. Discussions also identified challenges consuming data from different sources and communities. Following the PDPS discussions continued during the Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) held in Davos in June of 2018, discussions on how to maintain momentum and facilitate the process towards an interconnected polar data management system resulted in the commitment by the community to a series of more technically oriented workshops focused on developing an architecture for this global system. This is a response to requests from PDPS and AOS participants to coordinate activities between communities. This initiative has been proposed as a deliverable for the upcoming Second Arctic Science Ministerial.