FAIR data and metadata: GNSS precise positioning user perspective
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The FAIR principles of Wilkinson et al.  are finding their way from research into application domains, one of which is the precise positioning with global satellite navigation systems (GNSS). Current GNSS users demand that data and services are findable online, accessible via open protocols (by both, machines and humans), interoperable with their legacy systems and reusable in various settings. Comprehensive metadata are essential in seamless communication between GNSS data and service providers and their users, and, for decades, geodetic and geospatial standards are efficiently implemented to support this. However, GNSS user community is transforming from precise positioning by highly specialised use by geodetic professionals to every-day precise positioning by autonomous vehicles or wellness obsessed citizens. Moreover, rapid technological developments allow alternative ways of offering data and services to their users. These transforming circumstances warrant a review whether metadata defined in generic geospatial and geodetic standards in use still support FAIR use of modern GNSS data and services across its novel user spectrum. This paper reports the results of current GNSS users’ requirements in various application sectors on the way data, metadata and services are provided. We engaged with GNSS stakeholders to validate our findings and to gain understanding on their perception of the FAIR principles. Our results confirm that offering FAIR GNSS data and services is fundamental, but for a confident use of these, there is a need to review the way metadata are offered to the community. Defining standard compliant GNSS community metadata profile and providing relevant metadata with data on-demand, the approach outlined in this paper, is a way to manage current GNSS users’ expectations and the way to improve FAIR GNSS data and service delivery for both humans and the machines.
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