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GALENE: Online prediction of sea state and risk assessment for small boats as an open lightweight web SaaS

Petros Petrou; John Kontoulis; Harris Georgiou

GALENE: Online prediction of sea state and risk assessment for small boats as an open lightweight web SaaS

Sea state prediction is usually part of typical weather forecasts and provide valuable information for small boats and people near coastal areas. However, these forecasts refer to look-ahead time frames of 6-48 hours and cannot be updated continuously and with on-the-spot wind measurements, due to the highly complex computer simulations that produce these forecasts beforehand. On the other hand, if such wind data are available and current in real time for a specific spot, it would be extremely useful if the predictions could be updated accordingly on demand. Galene is the first such software which is provided as an open lightweight web software-as-a-service (SaaS), open to both the end-users and the developers who wish to exploit it as API. The platform implements a simplified variant of the standard sea wave spectral models, including not only wind factors but also sea depth, acceleration distance (fetch) and duration of the wind, adapted here for lightweight processing localized for a specific point of reference and focused on mobile-enabled thin clients. The main input is the user's GPS position and the average wind measurement around that spot, as well as the local coast line and sea depth profile that the platform retrieves automatically from open sources. In order to develop the Galene software, we take advantage of open data provided by public and private hubs, including Geodata and OpenStreetMap. Open data is a crucial factor in software development, especially when the scale & value of data is “Big” and data providers are governments or public sector organizations. Galene not only consumes open data sources, but also produces open data (localized maps of sea state) and delivers them through an API. Galene is based on the MVC design pattern. All there are static data, i.e., sea depth, coastal areas, etc, are stored in the database; furthermore, the main service uses these data and wind speed to produce local sea state and exports them as a RESTful service. Galene API is currently under development, along with a HTML5 (AngularJS) technology that can be used either in web servers or mobile apps (cordova). It is expected that such “personalized” weather information will be extremely helpful in preemptive risk mitigation that is related to numerous S.O.S. calls and drownings every year near the coasts due to small boat accidents. Galene is being developed by researchers from InfoLab (Harris Georgiou, Petros Petrou, John Kontoulis), Dept. of Informatics, University of Piraeus, Greece.

Presented at FOSSCOMM 2017 @ 4-5 Nov. 2017, Athens, Greece
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