Access to Buoy Data


Buoy data is generally available in real time to platform operators via telecommunications providers and very quickly distributed on the Global Telecommunications System of the WMO.

Near-real time and Archived data

Data Policy

The DBCP adheres to a data policy:

Data access policy (draft)

The DBCP encourages free and open access to data. Real time data sharing is achieved via the Global Telecommunications System of WMO. At present, all of the archiving agencies and many of the operational and research bodies make provision for the release of drifter data to scientific and other customers. In particular, many data are available via the web, either in the form of trackplots or as data sets. In many cases, the policies relating to the release and use of these data are not immediately clear. The Panel is seeking clarification from these agencies, and from its action groups, with a view to developing a coordinated data access policy for drifter data within the letter and the spirit of the WMO data exchange policy defined in WMO Congress Resolution 40 (Cg-XII).

Data archiving

Drifter data inserted on the GTS are routinely archived by ISDM, the IODE Responsible National Oceanographic Data Centres (RNODC) for Drifting Buoys. The AOML DAC archives all data from the GDP, and any other drifter data that are made available to it. The Panel and its action groups will actively encourage all buoy operators to forward their data to one or other of these responsible global archives.

Instrumental Metadata

There has been an increasing demand for instrumental metadata in recent years to serve a number of applications - and climate studies in particular. The DBCP has established its own metadata collection system at OceanOPS and is participating in the water temperature metadata Pilot Project (META-T).

Quality control

Quality control procedures are in place to ensure the usefulness of real time data and also of data archives. A well-defined feedback mechanism is required to control real time data. This is described under the DBCP QC Guidelines page.

More information :

WMO data policy Resolution 40 »
IODE data policy »
CLIVAR data policy »

Content from the DBCP Implementation Strategy - Data Management, Section 5 (8th Edition, October 2008)