GLOS is a nonprofit that exists to provide end-to-end data services that support science, policy, management, and industry in the Great Lakes. Part of the NOAA-funded Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), GLOS, puts high-value Great Lakes environmental data in peoples’ hands.

The Issue(s)


For decades a massive, region-wide community, or “observing system,” of people, technologies, and organizations have been collecting and analyzing terabytes of data about the water and the lake environment.

Prior to Seagull Development, GLOS had a diverse suite of applications, services, databases, and portals where users accessed data via web and mobile browsers, services, and endpoints. The technology supporting these systems was largely based on in-house servers, scripts, web services, data storage, and delivery mechanisms that were functional but built on outdated technology. This made maintenance and improvement of the system cumbersome and did not position GLOS well to support new types of modern IoT connectivity, data processing, and scale in the future.

GLOS was looking to replace its existing system with a unified cloud-based marine IoT platform that would give real-time access to a wider audience and support hundreds or thousands of streaming devices, large data volumes, a variety of data types, customizable alerts & notifications, metadata indexing, search, processing, governance, and user management. GLOS wanted a simple and automated way for raw data to be contextualized and actionable for the diverse types of stakeholders to understand and interpret quickly.

The Solve


SpinDance worked with GLOS to develop a 5-year roadmap for its next-gen IoT/marine data platform, Seagull. Our Roadmap developed a clear, long-range product vision and prioritized short-term goals to achieve product success.

Our System Design phase further clarified who the users were, how they would use the data, and what was needed to bring the two together.


The Success


By using both our Roadmap and System Design, we created a Software Architecture incorporating leading-edge technology making Seagull a powerful and extensible platform for the future.

SpinDance also built out cloud infrastructures and a user-facing web application for a beta launch in 2021 which provided invaluable initial feedback. Building on that feedback, we further developed the backend (cloud) process to refine and extend features for a seamless user experience.