Uzhydromet declared that hydrometeorological data preservation and utilization is one of the major directions of the organization’s development and identified the “Uzbekistan Climate Data Restoration Project” as a top priority. The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) provided funding for the project. Together with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO), Uzhydromet embarked on rescuing this valuable hydrometeorological observational data by converting hard copy (paper) observations into digital images.
Data Rescue operations are performed in a system designed and custom built for Uzhydromet. Official papers are converted to images by placing these documents into a “book cradle” and photographing the paper using a two-camera system controlled by software on a computer workstation. Images are processed by student workers and transferred across an in-house network to a master storage device for secure storage and eventual digitization. Project managers are responsible for insuring all digital images meet high quality specifications for clarity and readability. All images are properly inventoried so that any of specific page from the millions of electronic images can be easily located and shared with researchers and decision makers.
As of June 2017 Uzhydromet has converted over 4 million pages hydrometeorological observations into digital images and this operation is on track to complete this first phase of data rescue in 16 months – providing this operation has funding to maintain staff and equipment.
Moving forward Uzhydromet plans to make scientific use of this valuable historic information by digitizing the information contained on these images for importation into database management systems for modeling and analysis by researchers, planners, and decision makers.
4 million pages converted into digital images by June 2017.