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GeoChronos presentation from ElggCamp Boston August 15, 2009

GeoChronos presentation from ElggCamp Boston August 15, 2009



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GeoChronos GeoChronos Presentation Transcript

  • An Elgg-based Collaborative Platform for Earth Observation Science Roger Curry Grid Research Centre University of Calgary, CANADA Elgg Camp Boston Aug 15, 2009
  • Overview
    • GeoChronos Project
    • Plugin: Interactive Application Service
    • Plugin: Spectral Libraries
  • GeoChronos Project
    • Leverage concepts/tools from social networking, web 2.0, and cloud computing to create an environment that facilitates scientific research and collaboration in the earth observation sciences
    • GeoChronos portal brings together
      • access to data
      • scientific applications
      • collaborative tools
  • GeoChronos Project
    • PIs:
    Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa John Gamon Benoit Rivard Rob Simmonds domain scientists Funding: Project Coordination: Development Team: GRC
  • GeoChronos is a VO
  • Collaboration
    • Earth observation scientists are geographically distributed
    • Scientists are often working remotely in the field, having tools that facilitate collaboration becomes very important
    • Many domain scientists are unfamiliar with modern tools for collaborating such as wikis, forums, discussion groups, social networks, micro-blogging, social-bookmarking, etc.
      • Email no longer adequate to keep everyone in the loop
  • Use of Elgg
    • Elgg provides the social context for the GeoChronos platform
    • Plugins/Features:
      • Out of the box: Profiles, Groups, Files, Forums, Bookmarks, Messageboards, Messages, Activity feed, The wire, Blogs, Tags, etc.
      • Customization: Pages / Embed / TinyMCE
        • History (diffs)
        • Page locking
      • Community: Event Calendar (Kevin Jardine)
  • Interactive Application Service
  • Applications
    • Scientists are often working out of their ‘home’ base, at remote field stations for weeks or months at a time
      • Want to be able to use the same tools that they have access to in their labs at home or in the field
    • Frustrating / time consuming to install / maintain multiple copies of software on different systems (in the lab, in the field, on a laptop, etc).
    • Desire to use the portal to teach and to introduce students to specific scientific applications
    • Locus of control. Applications and data co-located
  • Use of Elgg
    • Each IAS_application and IAS_session correspond to an elgg object
    • Provide necessary access controls for applications and sessions.
      • Only users in certain groups may access certain applications (licensing)
      • Users can grant read access of their their sessions to other users or groups.
    • Tags (elgg metadata) easily used to search for a particular session or application
  • Spectral Libraries
  • Spectral Data
    • Spectral Library: A collection of spectra and associated metadata
      • Different data formats
      • Different metadata recorded/available
        • Scientists’ fieldnotes
        • Instrument
    • Spectral Libraries often not available online
    • No consistent standards adopted
    • Each scientist is doing their own thing
    • Inadequate tools for recording / maintaining metadata
      • Metadata is crucial for the use of spectral libraries
        • Spectra for minerals is fairly consistent, spectra for plants can vary wildly depending on the conditions under which it is observed
    • Goals:
      • Make it easy for scientists to publish their data
      • Make it easy for different scientists to annotate the data with what metadata is relevant to them
  • Physical directory structure, based on file upload location
  • Virtual directory structure, based on metadata Ex. 3-level structure based on metadata keys : Type, Class, and Subclass
  • Virtual directory structure, based on metadata Ex. 4-level structure based on metadata keys : Owner, Type, Particle Size, and Sample No. VDS could be applied to any set of elgg objects as a way of browsing. It is particularly useful when there are many objects with a semi-consistent set of metadata
  • Use of Elgg
    • Each SL_library, SL_schema, and SL_file corresponds to an elgg object. Each SL_file’s container guid is set to the guid of the SL_library in which it is contained
    • Metadata management system based on / inspired by elgg’s data model
    • Allowed rapid prototyping of the entire spectral library system (Majority of the system was implemented in one month)
    • Using notifications scientists can be kept up to date on new data in the libraries
  • Technologies / Tools
    • Elgg!
      • LAMP (Linux/Apache/Mysql/PHP)
    • IAS
      • VNC (Virtual Network Computing / remote desktop)
      • Java / Java Webstart
      • NRC Java VNC viewer
      • Python / Twisted
      • Postgres
      • ASPEN (Automated Service Provisioning Environment)
        • Similar to other cloud platforms such as eucalypus / NIMBUS / AWS
        • Greater emphasis on efficient image management techniques to enable rapid provisioning of resources
        • Dynamically adapt to demand
        • Xen-based virtualization
        • Solaris ZFS snapshotting/cloning
        • Moab/PBS scheduling resource management
    • Spectral Library Plugin
      • Jquery
      • Flot
      • Jumploader
      • Google Maps API
  • Other
    • Successful use of the GeoChronos Portal in IAI summer school (~40 participants, researchers and from around the Americas).
      • Allowed students to collaboratively develop docs
      • Shared data and experiment results
      • Allowed instructors to demo use of TimeSAT and Multispec software, and then students to use this software online
    • Plugins we’d like to see / work on:
      • Full featured publications module
      • Google map of users locations (based on location during registration)
      • More tools for tracking site usage (statistics), plots over time
      • Admin tools for mining information from httpd logs
    • Other contributions
      • Identified some security issues in elgg 1.0,1.1,1.2
  • Questions?
    • GeoChronos Portal
    • http://geochronos.org
    • Grid Research Centre
    • http://grid.ucalgary.ca
    • Roger Curry
    • twitter:curryr
    • [email_address]