The SWITCH-ON workshop brought together developers and end-users of a variety of open data based water information products from all over Europe to test these tools hands-on and to discuss their opportunities and challenges. The goal of the 1.5-day workshop was to identify the potential and operational needs of water-related information tools and services based on open data. SWITCH-ON develops state-of-the-art information products and services for water management and environmental awareness.
The first day focused on knowledge brokering with experts and potential end-users on the opportunities and challenges of open data based products and services. Demands related to result quality and relevance of produced information for water management at various spatial scales were identified.
The second day of the workshop showcased four SWITCH-ON tools in particular, gathering input and perceptions from participants on issues like functionality, clarity, control and flexibility. Four concrete products were tested using the focus group method. The participants were given the following products to test: Water in Europe Today (WET), Forecast Broker, European eutrophication-control (eEutcon), and Mapping Environmental Pollution Risk (wPrisma). The groups identified end-user needs and generated ideas on how to optimise the products based on potential end-user perceptions. Participants discussed the usefulness of these products for their daily work and outlined additional features that might be necessary to make these tools more user-friendly. Through the testing rounds and discussions the SWITCH-ON project received a notable amount of helpful feedback to improve these products and thereby facilitate new solutions on water management challenges.
SWITCH-ON is a 4 year project funded by the 7th Framework Programme for Research of the European Commission. SWITCH-ON collaborates with ongoing technology to frame new operational products and services that can further be used for water-related sciences. The project aims to address environmental and societal challenges by using and repurposing open data for the implementation of a new form of collaborative research for water-related sciences.