WIS Timelines

1960s and 1970s
WMO puts in place the policies and systems necessary to support the free and unrestricted international exchange of meteorological and related data. 
It becomes apparent  that various WMO Programmes either had or were in the process of developing their own information systems.  The resulting multiplicity of systems and practices has since then generated incompatibilities, inefficiencies, duplication of effort and higher overall costs for Members.  Continuing uncoordinated development would exacerbate these problems and further isolate the WMO Programmes, hindering the information exchange of a wider international user community, when the fundamental goals of WMO (i.e. Resolutions 25 and 40) were for better sharing of information.
Commencement of the Improved MTN (IMTN).

November 1999: Inter-Commission Task Team (ITT-FWIS) – Develops the fundamental design of WIS and several key pilot projects are initiated to test and develop some of the principles of WIS.
4-12 December 2002
CBS Extraordinary Session, Cairns (Australia): Reviews the future of the WMO information systems (FWIS):

The demand for accessing information across WMO programs was becoming increasingly desirable.  It was time to either expand the GTS to match, or to review the future of WMO information systems. After extensive review, it was found that rather than viewing WMO’s components individually, it was necessary to take a holistic view of WMO’s information systems:

Either upgrade the World Weather Watch (WWW) systems (most particularly the GTS) incrementally, using internet technologies OR

Design and implement a next-generation system and stage a migration

Either way, it was necessary to design the next-generation system that could meet the requirements of all WMO Programmes, affiliated international organizations, programmes and centres, as well as relevant national non-NMHS users such as disaster risk reduction agencies and research facilities named the Future WMO Information System and then evaluate the best strategy for achieving its realization.

Therefore, the Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) developed the concept of an overarching, integrated WMO Information System (WIS) that would meet the requirements for data exchange of all WMO Programmes, affiliated international organizations and programmes, as well as relevant national non-NMHS users such as disaster risk reduction agencies and research facilities.
May 2003 - Fourteenth World Meteorological Congress (Cg-XIV) (WMO-No. 960): formally adopts the concept developed by CBS of building WIS on the existing Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and the need to use the international industry standards for protocols, hardware and software for solving the data management problems for all WMO and related international programme. 


EC 56th (EC- LVI) session (WMO-No. 977) Resolution 2 - sets up the organisational structure of WIS, with the formation of the Inter-Commission Coordination Group for WIS (ICG/WIS) as a high-level coordination mechanism involving all WMO technical commissions to ensure the orderly, coordinated evolution of WIS.

In the aftermath of the December 2004 Tsunami catastrophe, relevant international organizations and Governments underpinned the importance of WIS (and its current precursor, WMO Global Telecommunication System (GTS)). The WIS was seen as the 24/7 operational backbone network for the exchange of information in support of multi-hazard, multi-purpose natural disaster early warning systems.
January 2005: The Inter Commission Coordination Group on WIS meets for the first time.

21 June-1 July 2005 - EC 57th (EC-LVII) session (WMO-No. 988) Part I / Part II: recognizes that the role, credibility and visibility of WMO were closely interlinked with the provision of a global, modern, cost-effective and comprehensive information and communication technology (ICT) service through the WIS.  It urges Members to accelerate development and implementation of its key components. It identifies WIS as a major contribution of WMO to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) with respect to data-exchange and management services and expedited the development of key components of WIS with a view to beginning implementation, in some countries, in 2006 instead of 2008, as originally planned.
November 2006
CBS, Republic of Korea, discussed the action plan on enhancing WIS development and implementation, monitor the progress achieved and make recommendations on necessary activities and related means to bring WIS to fruition.
May 2007 - Fifteenth World Meteorological Congress - Cg XV (WMO-No. 1026): reinforces the need for WIS and for accelerated implementation and emphasised a requirement for WIS to work closely with and facilitate the communications and information management needs of a WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS).

July 2007 - IGDDS implementation group (IGDDS-IG) meet for the first time, reviewing the requirements and interdependencies of WIS for IGDDS. IGDDS has evolved from systems that have their own data management infrastructure and practices. Two key elements were identified for ensuring IGDDS remains compatible with WIS standards:
  • Ensure bulletin headers and unique file naming conventions were taken into consideration in the implementation of IGDDS.
  • Enable the registration of products and services utilising the WMO profile of the ISO 19115 metadata standard.
June 2008
60th session of WMO Executive Council Part I / Part II: noted that significant progress had been made toward implementation of WIS. Particular appreciation was expressed to the group of Europe’s largest centres, with the participation of ECMWF and EUMETSAT, for their joint efforts and investment in the first operational GISC and associated DCPCs, planned to be operational in early 2009. The Council also expressed great appreciation for the development efforts made by other Members through participation in national and/or international pilot projects.

Significant progress is also being made in various components of the overall WIS, including:
WIS Centres technical specifications; metadata specifications, crucial for interoperability of data and WIS services; requirements-driven  migration to table-driven code forms; assessment of new data-representation systems; improved GTS procedures for high-priority exchange of warnings and related data; upgraded and more cost-effective WIS/GTS data-communication infrastructure.

Recognizing the progress in development of key technical components, and anticipating the first operational WIS Centres, procedures are being drawn up for the official designation of WIS GISCs and DCPCs. Approved procedures and a list of candidate WIS Centres are to be in place in time for submission to the Executive Council at its sixty-first session in June 2009.
It was in this environment that the WMO information system model (WIS) was developed.