Universal, easy access to geotemporal information: FetchClimate

Submitted by editor on 15 June 2016. Get the paper!


By Matthew Smith

We dreamed up FetchClimate in around 2010 after years of painful experience by ourselves and our colleagues. Many Ecography readers will know the experience: you just need a bit of environmental information to go along with your research but barrier after barrier gets in the way of you getting hold of it: the files are hard to find, are in obscure formats, are enormous and you only want a little bit, need further detailed investigation etc…  So we made FetchClimate initially to help us and our research colleagues to “live the dream” of being able to easily identify what you want, and for where and when in space and time and the computer does the rest.


Tutorial to FetchClimate here


We’d been using the tool in our research since around 2011 but felt compelled to share our rationale and technical details behind it with the research community through peer reviewed publication. Over the years we have received a lot of interest from the academic and business communities in the service… in the service itself and in the concept that it represents: of there being a standard pool of data from which users (or devices) can easily find and fetch just the pieces they need. We hope that sharing details of the service will help the global community to build easy to use universal geotemporal data portals, so that we can reduce the unnecessary time we spend being data jockeys and maximise the time we spend gaining insights.
Learn more about FetchClimate