Earth and Space Science Informatics [IN]

 CC:716A  Wednesday  0800h

Standards-Based Interoperability Among Tools and Data Services in the Earth and Geographic Information Sciences

Presiding:  B Domenico, Unidata Program Center / UCAR; O Wilhelmi , NCAR


CODATA, and International Activities

* Graves, S J (, CODATA Executive Committee, Committee on Data for Science and Technology, 5 Rue Auguste Vacquerie, Paris, FR 75016, France
* Graves, S J (, University of Alabama-Huntsville, 301 Sparkman Drive Technology Hall, S339, Huntsville, AL 35899, United States

The mission of the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), established by the International Council for Science (ICSU), is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use. An overview of CODATA and its international activities in promoting informatics collaborations and projects will be presented, as well as some highlights from the 21st International CODATA conference, held in Kyiv, Ukraine in October 2008.


overage Access Services for Earth and Space Sciences: Requirements Analysis

* Nativi, S (, University of Florence at Prato, Piazza Ciardi 25, Prato, 59100, Italy
* Nativi, S (, Italian National Rsearch Council (CNR-IMAA), Piazza Ciardi 25, Prato, 59100, Italy
Domenico, B (, UCAR/UNIDATA, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000, United States

This presentation will briefly discuss the different perspectives that characterize the main geo-spatial Communities as far as the coverage data model is concerned. Then, it will present the results of a user requirements analysis for an effective coverage access service conceived to serve the use scenarios of the Earth and Space Science Community. Eventually, possible new categories of access services are described comparing them with the existing service implementations. The coverage concept was defined by the ISO 19123 to summarise the different conceptual and physical representations of an image, going further by enlarging the variety of geospatial information that can be represented this way. In fact, a coverage is a feature that has multiple values for each attribute type, where each direct position within the geometric representation of the feature has a single value for each attribute type. The coverage concept generalizes and extends the raster structure type by referring to any data representation that assigns values directly to spatial positions -regularly and non-regularly distributed. In fact, a coverage associates a position within a domain (commonly, spatial-temporal domain) to a value of a defined data type. Hence, it realizes a function (namely, coverage function) from a domain to an attribute domain -i.e. the co- domain or coverage range. Just as the concepts of discrete and continuous phenomena are not mutually exclusive, their representations as discrete features or coverages are not mutually exclusive. The same phenomenon may be represented as either a discrete feature or a coverage. However, coverages are the prevailing data structures in Earth and Space Science community. The analysis of software requirements for coverage access services was made adopting two methods concurrently the Critical Success Factor (CSF) analysis method, which was supplemented by the Usage Cases analysis. This methodology was chosen by the W3C for the Web Services Architecture analysis. The CSF Analysis methodology is a top-down means of determining requirements based on the needs of the organization while the Use Case approach implements a bottom-up methodology collecting users' requirements. The respective results were cross-referenced to ensure consistency. The vast majority of use cases are taken from the work of the OGC GALEON Working Group in the coverage domain. Mainly, GALEON use cases are stemming from the meteo-ocean community, or Fluid Earth Science (FES); however, they appear to cover most of the requirements characterizing the overall Earth and Space Science community.


Serving Collections of Non-gridded Data as Coverages

* Domenico, B (, Unidata, UCAR P.O. Box 3000, Bouler, CO 80307-3000, United States
Weber, J (, Unidata, UCAR P.O. Box 3000, Bouler, CO 80307-3000, United States
Nativi, S (, CNR/IMAA and University of Florence, Piazza Ciardi, 25 59100 Prato, Prato, 59100, Italy

A particularly interesting outcome of Phase 1 of the OGC (Open Geospatial Consortium) GALEON (Geo- interface for Air Land Environment Oceans NetCDF) Interoperability Experiment is that a relatively simple scenario proves to be remarkably useful in a number of settings. From a user perspective, this fundamental use case consists of the following interaction for requesting data: specify 3D bounding box centered on an area of interest, specify time frame of interest (e.g., a periods of severe storms, request observed and/or forecast atmospheric parameter values in the specified space time bounding box. In GALEON 1, the WCS (Web Coverage Service) specification worked well for serving gridded data from forecast model output and some satellite imagery -- encoded as netCDF conforming to CF (Climate and Forecast) conventions. But there is a wealth of data that falls outside the realm of the regularly gridded coverages type that WCS supports at this time. Station observations and radar scans are just two of the many common examples of non-gridded collections that can't be served by the current WCS specification. This situation begs the question of what protocol should be used to deliver collections of non-gridded data. The OGC WFS (Web Feature Service) is specifically set up for access to traditional "features" that included non-gridded forms of data. The SOS (Sensor Observation Service) on the other hand is geared toward serving streams of observational data from a wide variety of sensors. But neither WFS nor SOS has a straightforward mechanism that enables the basic request for collections of data within a space-time bounding box. In contrast to the current restricted WCS coverage definition, the ISO concept of a coverage (defined in ISO 19123) is very general and includes both continuous and discrete coverages. So, at this abstract level, collections of data of the sort discussed here fit into the general concept of a coverage. Likewise, the OGC O&M (Observations and Measurements) specification includes collections of observational data as coverages. This presentation examines these issues in terms of a few specific meteorological data types, cites literature that maps these types to the abstract coverage data models of ISO and O&M, and develops a strategy for expanding the coverage types served via WCS as a means of satisfying the simple space-time bounding box request for collections of non-gridded data. With a little luck by the time of the presentation, there will be working examples of the delivery of such non-gridded data collections as CF-netCDF objects via a slightly augmented WCS specification.


NASA's Standards Process for Earth Science Data Systems

* Ullman, R (, NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, United States
Enloe, Y (, SGT Inc, 7701 Greenbelt Rd, Suite 400, Greenbelt, MD 20770, United States

NASA's Standards Process Group (SPG) facilitates the approval of proposed standards that have proven implementation and operational benefit for use in NASA's Earth science data systems. After some initial experience in approving proposed standards, the SPG has tailored its Standards Process to remove redundant reviews to shorten the review process. We will discuss real examples of the different types of candidate standards that have been proposed and endorsed (i.e. OPeNDAP's Data Access Protocol, Open Geospatial Consortium's Web Map Server, the Hierarchical Data Format, the netCDF Classic Model, Global Change Master Directory's Directory Interchange Format). The Standards Process can accelerate the evolution of practices through better communication from successful practice in a specific community to broader community adoption to community-recognized standards. For each endorsed standard, the availability of high quality documentation for the standard, available reusable software, and information about successful operational experience with the use of the standard will help bridge the chasm from innovative use by visionary practitioners to more popular use by pragmatic users. As an internal working group, the SPG has a NASA agency centered focus. At the same time, there is growing awareness that interagency and international standards are extremely relevant to addressing the regional and global science and decision support applications. The Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS) Architecture and Data Management (AMD) Standards Interoperability Forum (SIF) is designed to encourage the use of standards in contributed components. It is clear that some of the standards endorsed by the NASA SPG could be important contributions to the GEOSS. The GEOSS recognized standards can also be reviewed as 'defacto' standards by the SPG. NASA stakeholders are often also NOAA stakeholders. Members of the NASA SPG have been working with members of the NOAA standards endorsement process to provide mutual benefit. We will also discuss the role of the NASA SPG participation with these and other cross-agency and international standards initiatives.


NOAA's NPOESS Data Exploitation Project

* Goodrum, G (, U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Satellite Operations Facility 4231 Suitland Road, Suitland, MD 20746, United States
Silva, J (, U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Satellite Operations Facility 4231 Suitland Road, Suitland, MD 20746, United States
Yoe, J (, U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Satellite Operations Facility 4231 Suitland Road, Suitland, MD 20746, United States
Schott, T (, U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Satellite Operations Facility 4231 Suitland Road, Suitland, MD 20746, United States
McHugh, M (, I. M. Systems Group, Inc., 6309 Executive Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20852, United States
Roth, G (, Perot Systems Government Services, National Satellite Operations Facility 4231 Suitland Road, Suitland, MD 20746, United States
MacHarrie, P (, Perot Systems Government Services, National Satellite Operations Facility 4231 Suitland Road, Suitland, MD 20746, United States

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's NPOESS Data Exploitation (NDE) Project is building a near-real time processing and distribution system for data from the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) and its forerunner, NASA's NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP). The NDE Project has diverse user requirements for atmospheric, oceanographic, and land surface data products with strict operational timeliness. The NDE Project worked with stakeholders to promote and adopt widely used scientific data formats consistent with interoperability objectives for the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The NDE system was designed to meet these user requirements in a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) with product algorithms and product tailoring tools presented as internal service components. This approach provides scalability and high availability for mission critical operations, while maintaining flexibility for future products and satellite data processing and distribution requirements.


Report on GIS in Weather, Climate and Impacts Community Workshop

* Wilhelmi, O (, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307, United States

Society and climate are coevolving in a manner that could place more vulnerable populations at risk from exposure to weather and climate stresses. Understanding risks and vulnerabilities to weather hazards and climate change requires interdisciplinary approach, that includes information about weather, climate, natural and built environment and social processes and characteristics. In October 2008, NCAR hosted 3rd Community Workshop on GIS in Weather, Climate and Impacts. The workshop brought together leading researchers and practitioners from multiple disciplines to discuss visions, challenges, and research needs in spatial integration of information from social, atmospheric and related sciences. Workshop discussions focused on 1) atmospheric data needs for spatial societal research and applications, 2) social science data needs for integrative assessments and Earth System modeling and 3) research directions and methodologies for integration of natural and social sciences for weather hazards preparedness and climate change adaptation. In this presentation, key workshop outcomes and future directions in GIS in Weather, Climate and Impacts will be discussed.


Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars CRISM Data Analysis

* Frink, K (

Hayden, D (

Lecompte, D ( AB: The Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars CRISM (CRISM) carried aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), is the first visible-infrared spectrometer to fly on a NASA Mars mission. CRISM scientists are using the instrument to look for the residue of minerals that form in the presence of water: the 'fingerprints' left by evaporated hot springs, thermal vents, lakes or ponds. With unprecedented clarity, CRISM is mapping regions on the Martian surface at scales as small as 60 feet (about 18 meters) across, when the spacecraft is 186 miles (300 kilometers) above the planet. CRISM is reading 544 'colors' in reflected sunlight to detect certain minerals on the surface, including signature traces of past water. CRISM alone will generate more than 10 terabytes of data, enough to fill more than 15,000 compact discs. Given that quantity of data being returned by MRO-CRISM, this project partners with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) scientists of the CRISM team to assist in the data analysis process. The CRISM operations team has prototyped and will provide the necessary software analysis tools. In addition, the CRISM operations team will provide reduced data volume representations of the data as PNG files, accessible via a web interface without recourse to specialized user tools. The web interface allows me to recommend repeating certain of the CRISM observations as survey results indicate, and to enter notes on the features present in the images. After analysis of a small percentage of CRISM observations, APL scientists concluded that their efforts would be greatly facilitated by adding a preliminary survey to evaluate the overall characteristics and quality of the CRISM data. The first-look should increase the efficiency and speed of their data analysis efforts. This project provides first-look assessments of the data quality while noting features of interest likely to need further study or additional CRISM observations. The project includes looking at CRISM images to determine if any were corrupted by transient environmental or instrumental perturbations or whether the Martian surface was obscured by haze, clouds, dust or dust storms preventing further study. In such cases, the project report will recommend conducting additional observations of a specific site. The project will also identify images containing interesting features that are candidates for more detailed investigation. For example, images of rock outcrops with evidence of water-containing minerals may be quickly recognized and marked for special treatment. In many cases, the project will be the first eyes on the data coming down from the spacecraft.