This is the associated documentation for PO.DAAC’s Feature Translation Service. The goal of this service is to provide hydrologists with a tool that abstracts away unfamiliar NASA dataset terminology and allows them to query NASA information through a more hydrology-specific language.

    The Feature Translation Service provides an API for end users to query NASA’s Common Metadata Repository (CMR) through SWOT Feature IDs and terminology in USGS’s Watershed Boundary Dataset (namely the HUC, or the hydrologic unit code, and the region identifiers). It does so through a single, centralized resource in the cloud that first converts these identifiers to geometries and uses this conversion to then query CMR. Thus, in a way, this service acts as a proxy between CMR and end users, removing the need for specific dataset and spatial knowledge. This can be seen in the Examples section of the documentation below. With the launch of the SWOT satellite in the coming years (and PO.DAAC’s ongoing effort to branch into the hydrology sector) it is essential to create a tool that facilitates the ease and efficiency at which the expected influx of hydrologists can query NASA datasets.

    In this tutorial, we will go over how to create this Feature Translation Service in its entirety. We’ll start with creating the database locally, then go over all steps required to upload this data to Amazon’s Web Services (AWS). We’ll finish by querying this data through Python scripts and from the command line, where I’ll provide some examples of how to do so. My hopes are this documentation can not only help those within PO.DAAC continue to serve the hydrology community, but also provide guidance to those who just want to use the service in the first place.