A Geographic Information System (GIS) search engine for data retrieval (https://climate.usurf.usu.edu/mapGUI/mapGUI.php) is provided to facilitate the access of climate data. The governing philosophy of the UCC is to provide all levels of climate data starting with basic observations coupled with flexibility for data output. Presently, the GIS search engine can access three climate datasets / data types: those of the Cooperative Observer Program (COOP), the Global Summary of Day (GSOD),and the Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS). The COOP and GSOD datasets are static in the sense that staff at the UCC download the data at regular intervals when made available by government institutions, e.g., the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The third dataset (AWOS) is dynamic; i.e., data is automatically ingested into the database in near real-time from the UNIDATA Internet Data Distribution system.
USU's climate database was designed from the ground up to support the instantaneous dissemination of COOP, GSOD and AWOS climate data. Specialized schemas were designed to support each data type, and implemented compression algorithms, using relations, significantly reduce the data cluster size and also increase the speed at which data is accessed. Running on a PostgreSQL engine allowed us to implement clustering with various indices that helps provide a query return time of less than 3 seconds for 95% of queries expected by visitors to the system. This is a significant improvement over the past system design and gives users instant access to climate data from the mid 1800's to just a few hours ago with only a few mouse clicks.