Tsunami Warning Markup Language (TWML) - Draft

Tsunami Warning Markup Language (TWML) is a Standards-based language for Tsunami Bulletins. The following is extracted from the XML Coverpages editorial on TWML.

Currently, the tsunami warning centres [Hawaii PTWC; Alaska WC/ATWC; Japan (NWPTAC] issue tsunami bulletins in a textual format. There are some variations in the content and format of the bulletins issued by the three centres. For example, the WC/ATWC issues separate public and standard tsunami bulletins, unlike the PTWC and NWPTAC, while the NWPTAC provides more detailed wave activity predictions than the PTWC and WC/ATWC. The bulletins are currently disseminated using a heterogenous set of communications services, including dedicated data and voice lines, satellite broadcast, email, fax and telex. The recipients of the bulletins include meteorological service offices and weather forecast offices, airfield facilities, weather forecast subscribers, emergency service agencies, government agencies and academic institutions. This document seeks to establish structured semantic data models for tsunami bulletins. The benefits of structured semantic data models include: (1) less ambiguity of tsunami bulletin contents than with purely textual bulletins, as elements of structured documents can have well-defined semantics; (2) improved consistency of bulletins across the different tsunami warning centres; (3) improved opportunities for machine processing of bulletins, allowing bulletins to be generated, checked/validated, disseminated, combined/aggregated with related information, and mapped to visual (or other) presentations suitable for decision makers and the public in a more efficient manner, allowing crucial information to reach the affected public faster.  In the draft, selected concepts are incorporated using Geography Markup Language specification such as GML Points for describing locations, to facilitate integration with mapping and geospatial systems (so that, for example, the observations and predictions contained in a bulletin can be automatically plotted on a map). The TWML XML schema imports the namespace [RDDL namespace document] for GML.