Observations & Data Technology

The department R&D Observations and Data technology optimizes the quality and effectivity of geophysical observing systems and data ( from sensor to services) and is focal point for the knowledge and innovation in this field.

The department is divided into the following three clusters:

Netherlands monitoring network and CESAR-Cabauw observation tower
This cluster aims to acquire knowledge on observations and to innovate meteorological observation techniques and products that are essential for the operational services and atmospheric research of KNMI.  In addition, observations are used to study topics such as atmospheric procceses and recent climate variability and change, and to validate satellite observations. For these activities a development laboratory and test field in De Bilt and atmospheric research facilities around the KNMI measurement mast in Cabauw are used. The Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research (CESAR) is a collaboration of three universities and five major research institutes.  

Data technology
The cluster Data Technology contributes to the developments of an optimal infrastructure for acquiring, processing, retrieving, and visualizing data that are essential for KNMI. Products are developed that facilitate the use of the big amount of data that KNMI receives and processes daily, with a focus on quality, availability and applicability. In recent years considerable experience has been gained with web services for visualizing and enriching mainly meteorological data, and other domains, using international standards.
Examples of DT achievements are the KNMI Data Centre (KDC) which is the portal for all KNMI data access to third parties, the internal data distribution system VIVID that provides all operational data routing to internal applications, and the experimental 3D Weather Exchange (3DWX) Visualization system. Within the KNMI, the current weather room is being renewed where DT contemplates on the information facilities that can be used, such as the application of the internally developed ADAGUC framework for OGC- (Open Geospatial Consortium) based visualization.

International services
This cluster focuses on collecting, processing and analysing surface climate observations in Europe and beyond.  Based on observations, advanced climate services are developed. The most important example is the European Climate Assessment & Dataset (ECA&D).  For other parts of the world where the availability of regional climate information is still limited, the same concept is applied in the International Climate Assessment & Dataset (ICA&D). The spatial and temporal coverage of these regional datasets is improved by engaging in digitizing projects of historical climate records. In this cluster also the so-called KNMI DataLab (for big data analysis) resides. This DataLab makes use of innovative data science techniques to combine weather and climate data from KNMI and data from other sectors of society into new products and services.


  • Internationale samenwerking ontwikkelingslanden (Foto: WMO)

    KNMI Global boosts collaboration with developing countries

    The majority of all disasters worldwide are related to (extreme) weather conditions, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). This affects less developed countries most. KNMI has been working with dozens of international partners since its establishment more that 160 years ago. In current times, climate change makes global cooperation even more important. That is why a three-year program, called ‘KNMI-global’, is started in collaboration with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

    Improving climate services in West Africa

    Setting up a West Africa Climate Assessment & Dataset
Show all news


Show all projects


Show all publications