Hub'Eau is a long-term service for the Eau France web site and provides APIs promoting access to EIS data in easy-to-use formats.
France has a large database on water (quality, hydrobiology, hydrometry, coastal water monitoring, etc.) made by many actors such as the French Office of Biodiversity, the National Geological Survey and different data producers (public and private) but did not have any tool / interface to use this data. Hub’Eau was therefore created to centralize all this data and make it accessible to developers to use this data in various applications. This practice is based on the creation of API (Application programming interface) which, once used by developers in different applications, makes it possible to make the link between the different databases and the created application. This practice benefits everyone since it makes at least 11 APIs available to everyone (end of 2021) and a number of APIs will still be created in the future.
This project is financed by a French financing program named Future investment program (PIA- Programme d'investissement d'avenir in French). 5 to 10 persons have been required to set up this good practice and the same number to run this project (not in full-time).
Evidence of success
This practice has proved its worth with users, whose numbers increase every year. In fact, the number of requests increases every year and the people in charge of Hub’Eau create new APIs in a sustainable way to follow the growing demand of users.
It is necessary to deal with many data producers and keep the link between many data sources and Hub’Eau, and adapt it in real time if there is any change in the date source structures.
Potential for learning or transfer
This good practice is interesting for other regions because it is very easily transferable and adaptable. It allows cost sharing and API centralization which makes it very easy to use. It requires little staff and little installation. On the other hand, this practice is transferable if the region has large databases. In the case of France, there are the databases on water resources that are managed by Hub’Eau but this could be done on any other type of data as long as the database is large.