Global Ocean Observing System - Framework for Ocean Observing (FOO)
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GOOS is a key player in the Framework for Ocean Observing (PDF) that provides a system-level view of effective practices for setting requirements (e.g., common language, consistent handling), coordinating observation networks, and delivering sustained information products. The Framework is organized around Essential Ocean Variables (EOVs), rather than any specific observing system, platform, program, or region. Through broad community collaboration, the Framework helps to improve communications and data sharing, resulting in faster and better-coordinated information to support research and societal needs.


The Framework has these high-level objectives:

  • Use Best Practices. Take advantage of existing infrastructure and lessons learned from other observing efforts.
  • Maintain High Standards. Deliver an observing system that can, and will, adjust to meet user requirements.
  • Coordinate Data. Develop coordinated and interoperable data management streams.
  • Provide Guidance. Help the ocean observing community as a whole to sustain and expand its capabilities.
  • Promote Collaboration.┬áPromote the alignment of independent groups, communities, and networks.

Simplified Systems Model

Input and output diagram

Ocean observing is complex but the Framework helps it to be looked at in a simple yet systematic way:

  • Requirements in the Framework, which are driven by science and societal needs, are inputs
  • Observations, which adhere to Framework standards and are coordinated by GOOS, are the processes
  • Data and data-derived products are the outputs
  • A key element is the Feedback Loop, allowing for continuous improvement of the overall system