Water Environmental Hub at Geo Alberta - May 8 2012

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  • Cloud-based meaning that it is scalable and can grow and shrink as needed on demand, thereby maximizing user experience while minimizing costs.Open meaning we didn’t build a custom platform, but rather looked around and said what is available in the open source community and how can we latch ourselves to the wider community and benefit from the community of developers and open data advocates.Aggregate and federate is the dream where data owners maintain a single copy as they know the data best.Water and environmental as although there is significant value to unlock within the water sector, even more value resides in the interdisciplinary realm of mashing water and environmental data.API means a standardized plug in where no matter what appliance you have, it can plug into the wall! Harvey Hubble with his 1904 patent standardized the electrical outlet.
  • Google launched app marketplace on Mar 9th (Tuesday 2 weeks earlier)
  • Today, if we need to find a restaurant go to Google or Urban Spoon. If we want to know if it is going to rain, we can check weatheroffice.gc.ca or the weathernetwork. But if we want to know how high the local river is???? Even flood forecasters who want to know whether a $ billion flood damage is imminent…
  • For data consumers who are awash in data, water data is perhaps surprisingly hard to find.Data is not accessible via the web. Data is opaque in that you get all or nothing. And it requires a human. And a human to check back if it has been updated.It is in fact likely that Dr. Rood, who has embarked on some hydrology research problem, has hired 3 grad students…2 of which will spend most their time searching for, acquiring, and manipulating water data into a format that is usable for the research. It is also reasonably likely that down the hallway, Dr. Rasmussen has done largely the same thing. And even if the some of the data is from the same source, we may have multiple grad students duplicating efforts…and this is duplicated across faculties, across institutions..All of this leads to significant waste of effort that could otherwise be focused on solutions and knowledge.
  • Others have tried to build a web catalogue of water data. Few have tried to build an integrated platform. Many have uploaded data. Few are capable of connecting to original data.None to date provide their data via API allowing for the data to be embedded directly into custom applications.
  • Explorus/WEHUB is not building an organization of water experts, we are not trying to replace local water organizations.Instead, we are enabling the existing people on the ground in local watersheds.Two years ago when we started this project, there was significant people on the ground already doing great work, but there was no way to connect watershed activities other than by people in a one to one basis.Explorus/WEHUB enables machine to machine and facilitates one to many communication of information and data, thereby releasing significant amounts of time and resources currently deployed and being duplicated in information and data transfer across these boundaries.
  • Today,
  • Now a 2 year old diagram that still describes the data ecosystem that WEHUB is trying to enable. Virtually none of these interconnections currently exist. No central water data aggregator exists (except in small pockets like Groundwater Information Network).WEHUB has begun to aggregate water data from some of these sources (e.g. academic projects Drought Research Initiative (DRI), IP3).
  • Besides the fact that data is generally inaccessible, efforts in the water sector are frustrated with boundaries. Political: data is collected and available by jurisdiction (i.e. provincially, municipally)Organizational: water quantity data is the responsibility of Environment Canada, water quality data is the responsibility of the provincesPlatform: whether you use Windows or Mac operating systems, or whether you use Esri or Google, you can connect to WEHUBData: using OGC standards, data becomes as interoperable as possible (i.e. WaterML and water quantity data best example)Applications: making data available through a RESTful API allows for anyone or any web-enabled device can connect and access data
  • Is this just an Alberta project? The map on our homepage illustrates the global extent…
  • Search or browse data
  • View the dataset in detailed view. Metadata fields are flexible and allow for standardized meta data reference.
  • Create a user account.Upload your data (.csv, .xls, .shp)Share your data or create a groupIt becomes available through our API
  • Visualization tools being developed.
  • Learn more about developing applications with API builder.Create API calls.
  • http://Apps4water.caAny web enabled device can connect to WEHUB using RESTful API.Flowchart app http://itunes.apple.com/app/wehub-flowchart/id490165934?mt=8https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.explorus.flowchartState of the Watershed Appshttp://www.seawa.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=199&Itemid=168http://wsow.brbc.ab.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=249&Itemid=184
  • Federal: Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) GeoConnections/Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure (CGDI), Groundwater Information Network (GIN)Provincial: ABEnv and Water, BC MOE, Sask Watershed Authority (SWA), International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD), ON MOE, NS EnvMunicipal: Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, VancouverInternational: Global Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS – created from 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Dev/G8) http://www.earthobservations.org/geoss.shtml, OGC, CUAHSI, UNGEMS, Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC) http://www.bafg.de/GRDC, UN, World Bank, USGS, Aus, NZ, EU Inspire Industry: Google (we use their API), Open Layers (open source), Pachube.com (platform for sensors)Academia: Canada Research Data Summit, US National Science Foundation*> DataOne.org, DataConservancy, UK > IEDRO, Aus > TERN
  • WEHUB link http://waterenvironmentalhub.ca/about/news
  • Cloud-based meaning that it is scalable and can grow and shrink as needed on demand, thereby maximizing user experience while minimizing costs.Open meaning we didn’t build a custom platform, but rather looked around and said what is available in the open source community and how can we latch ourselves to the wider community and benefit from the community of developers and open data advocates.Aggregate and federate is the dream where data owners maintain a single copy as they know the data best.Water and environmental as although there is significant value to unlock within the water sector, even more value resides in the interdisciplinary realm of mashing water and environmental data.API means a standardized plug in where no matter what appliance you have, it can plug into the wall! Harvey Hubble with his 1904 patent standardized the electrical outlet.
  • Water Environmental Hub at Geo Alberta - May 8 2012

    1. 1. byA cloud-based, open, web platform that aggregates and federates water and environmental data and makes that data accessible through an API A non-profit project funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada, Natural Resources Canada GeoConnections program, Cybera and the University of Lethbridge Alex Joseph - Executive Director – alex.joseph@explorus.org www.waterenvironmentalhub.ca
    2. 2. Jim Prentice announcesWater Hub on World Water DayMarch 22, 2010
    3. 3. 1st region under water stress
    4. 4. Diverse geography
    5. 5. $Trillions water infrastructure
    6. 6. “…wouldn’t it be nice to have one (web) platform for climate and hydrometric data” – J. Allen (SFU) @ CWRA2011
    7. 7. 2/3Phone Dave for data 2043 MB -Subject: Out of Office Auto Reply – on vacation… Download Full Dataset
    8. 8. Problem with Water Data• Local - majority of water data is stored on paper, local computers, controlled organizational databases -> restricted by storage medium 1• Stranded - little water data is available online, what is 0 available is piecemeal -> not web connected 1 0 0• Hidden, Dispersed - most of what is available is on many 1 1 1 different websites, often obscured within those websites -> 0 1 0 0 dispersed widely 10 1• Opaque - most of what is available is only in downloadable 1 01 0 1 format -> all or nothing 1 1 1• Custom Format - most are not standardized -> custom 0 1 0 0 structures 1 0• Human Required - virtually none are available as an API -> 1 1 requires human intervention
    9. 9. The Dream• All water data is available through web services - including historical, new data can be found automatically• (at least) One great node where one can efficiently search 1 and find water data one is looking for 0 1 0• Data can be converted/transformed on the fly 1 0 1 1• User can easily mash together datasets 0 1 0 0• Users have access to great tools and can custom build 1 10 1 tools 1 0 1 1 0• Users can integrate water data with other types of data 1 1 0 1 from other sources through API 0 0 1 0 1 1
    10. 10. LESS DUPLICATION AND WASTEMORE RESEARCH, MORE SOLUTIONS, BETTER MANAGEMENT APPLICATIONS DATA WEB PLATFORM
    11. 11. Enabling Infostructure1101000100101111010101100100010101001001010000101011101
    12. 12. Dissolving Boundaries political  organizational  platform  data  applications
    13. 13. 1 01 0 01 1 10 1 00 1011 01 0 11 1 10 10 01 0 1 1
    14. 14. 1 01 0 01 1 10 1 00 1011 01 0 11 1 10 10 01 0 1 1
    15. 15. Browse data 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 10 1 1 01 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1
    16. 16. Metadata 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 10 1 1 01 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1
    17. 17. Share data 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 10 1 1 01 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1
    18. 18. Visualize data 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 10 1 1 01 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1
    19. 19. Develop Apps with API 1 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 10 1 1 01 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1
    20. 20. A great platform with no data is…Is like a plate with no food.When the Water and EnvironmentalHub launched the cup was only halffull…
    21. 21. On the Right Path?• Federal: NRCan GeoConnections/CGDI, GIN• Provincial: AENV, BC MOE, SWA, IISD, ON MOE, NS• Municipal: Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver• International: GEOSS, OGC, CUAHSI, UNGEMS, GRDC, UN, World Bank, USGS, Aus, NZ, EU Inspire• Industry: Google, Open Layers, Pachube• Academia: Canada Research Data Summit, US NSF*> DataOne, DataConservancy, UK > IEDRO, Aus > TERN*US NSF mandates data management for funding
    22. 22. RecognitionApril, 2012 – “Report on Water Forum”, National Roundtable on Energy and EnvironmentMarch 2012 – “Summary of Water Info Resources”, BC Ministry of EnvironmentFebruary 7, 2012 - "Evaluating the Water Hackathon: What’s Your Problem?", World BankWater HackathonFebruary 2, 2012 - "App Savy", Water Canada MagazineJanuary 10, 2012 - "Democratizing Data", Water’s Next (an annual publication from WaterCanada magazine), p24January 6, 2012 - "Join Cybera and WEHUB at Metropolis", Cybera NewsJanuary 5, 2012 - "WEHUB Flowchart App", GeogNews, Canadian Association of GeographersDecember 15, 2011 - "Website serves water data for public consumption", The WesternProducerOctober 26, 2011 - Liberating Water Data - Guest Post by Alex Joseph - WEHUB", DataLibre.caOctober 24, 2011 - The Water and Environmental Hub - Making Water and EnvironmentalData More Accessible", H2O: Ideas & Actions for Canada’s Water - A blog about the LakeWinnipeg WatershedSeptember 2011 - A Flood of APIs Just Waiting to Happen", API EvangelistSeptember 2011 - "IP3 Data Archive", IP3 Network, University of SaskatchewanJanuary/February 2011 - Water Canada Magazine, "Tools for the Trade"March 22, 2010 - "U of L pegged as Water Hub", The Legend, University of Lethbridge
    23. 23. What’s Next?• Organization – Explorus, Phase 2 funding, New partners• Platform 1 0 – Additional API capability, visualization features, processing capability, 1 0 0 file conversion on the fly, sensors 1 1 1 0 1• Data 0 10 0 1 – Federal: Env Can, Parks Canada – Provincial: BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NS 1 01 0 1 1 – Other sectors: eBird 1 1 0 1• Apps 0 1 0 0 – Scalable applications (i.e. State of the…) 1 1
    24. 24. Easy to search and discover Hard to find water data water data Lower cost to publish water dataExpensive to publish water data including real timeDifficult to distribute water data ~$0 distribution of water data Costly to use water data Easy to mashup and integrate water data into applications
    25. 25. byA cloud-based, open, web platform that aggregates and federates water and environmental data and makes that data accessible through an API A non-profit project funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada, Natural Resources Canada GeoConnections program, Cybera and the University of Lethbridge Alex Joseph - Executive Director – alex.joseph@explorus.org www.waterenvironmentalhub.ca

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