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GeoChronos presentation from ElggCamp Boston August 15, 2009

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  1. 1. An Elgg-based Collaborative Platform for Earth Observation Science Roger Curry Grid Research Centre University of Calgary, CANADA Elgg Camp Boston Aug 15, 2009
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>GeoChronos Project </li></ul><ul><li>Plugin: Interactive Application Service </li></ul><ul><li>Plugin: Spectral Libraries </li></ul>
  3. 3. GeoChronos Project <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>GeoChronos portal brings together </li></ul><ul><ul><li>access to data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>scientific applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>collaborative tools </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. GeoChronos Project <ul><li>PIs: </li></ul>Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa John Gamon Benoit Rivard Rob Simmonds domain scientists Funding: Project Coordination: Development Team: GRC
  5. 5. GeoChronos is a VO
  6. 6. Collaboration <ul><li>Earth observation scientists are geographically distributed </li></ul><ul><li>Scientists are often working remotely in the field, having tools that facilitate collaboration becomes very important </li></ul><ul><li>Many domain scientists are unfamiliar with modern tools for collaborating such as wikis, forums, discussion groups, social networks, micro-blogging, social-bookmarking, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email no longer adequate to keep everyone in the loop </li></ul></ul>
  7. 10. Use of Elgg <ul><li>Elgg provides the social context for the GeoChronos platform </li></ul><ul><li>Plugins/Features: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Out of the box: Profiles, Groups, Files, Forums, Bookmarks, Messageboards, Messages, Activity feed, The wire, Blogs, Tags, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customization: Pages / Embed / TinyMCE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>History (diffs) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Page locking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community: Event Calendar (Kevin Jardine) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 11. Interactive Application Service
  9. 12. Applications <ul><li>Scientists are often working out of their ‘home’ base, at remote field stations for weeks or months at a time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Want to be able to use the same tools that they have access to in their labs at home or in the field </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Frustrating / time consuming to install / maintain multiple copies of software on different systems (in the lab, in the field, on a laptop, etc). </li></ul><ul><li>Desire to use the portal to teach and to introduce students to specific scientific applications </li></ul><ul><li>Locus of control. Applications and data co-located </li></ul>
  10. 19. Use of Elgg <ul><li>Each IAS_application and IAS_session correspond to an elgg object </li></ul><ul><li>Provide necessary access controls for applications and sessions. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only users in certain groups may access certain applications (licensing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users can grant read access of their their sessions to other users or groups. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tags (elgg metadata) easily used to search for a particular session or application </li></ul>
  11. 20. Spectral Libraries
  12. 21. Spectral Data <ul><li>Spectral Library: A collection of spectra and associated metadata </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different data formats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different metadata recorded/available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scientists’ fieldnotes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Instrument </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Spectral Libraries often not available online </li></ul><ul><li>No consistent standards adopted </li></ul><ul><li>Each scientist is doing their own thing </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate tools for recording / maintaining metadata </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Metadata is crucial for the use of spectral libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spectra for minerals is fairly consistent, spectra for plants can vary wildly depending on the conditions under which it is observed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it easy for scientists to publish their data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it easy for different scientists to annotate the data with what metadata is relevant to them </li></ul></ul>
  13. 30. Physical directory structure, based on file upload location
  14. 31. Virtual directory structure, based on metadata Ex. 3-level structure based on metadata keys : Type, Class, and Subclass
  15. 32. 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
  16. 33. Use of Elgg <ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Metadata management system based on / inspired by elgg’s data model </li></ul><ul><li>Allowed rapid prototyping of the entire spectral library system (Majority of the system was implemented in one month) </li></ul><ul><li>Using notifications scientists can be kept up to date on new data in the libraries </li></ul>
  17. 34. Technologies / Tools <ul><li>Elgg! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LAMP (Linux/Apache/Mysql/PHP) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IAS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>VNC (Virtual Network Computing / remote desktop) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Java / Java Webstart </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NRC Java VNC viewer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Python / Twisted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Postgres </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ASPEN (Automated Service Provisioning Environment) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Similar to other cloud platforms such as eucalypus / NIMBUS / AWS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Greater emphasis on efficient image management techniques to enable rapid provisioning of resources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamically adapt to demand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Xen-based virtualization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solaris ZFS snapshotting/cloning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Moab/PBS scheduling resource management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Spectral Library Plugin </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jquery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jumploader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Maps API </li></ul></ul>
  18. 35. Other <ul><li>Successful use of the GeoChronos Portal in IAI summer school (~40 participants, researchers and from around the Americas). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowed students to collaboratively develop docs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared data and experiment results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowed instructors to demo use of TimeSAT and Multispec software, and then students to use this software online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plugins we’d like to see / work on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Full featured publications module </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google map of users locations (based on location during registration) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More tools for tracking site usage (statistics), plots over time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Admin tools for mining information from httpd logs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other contributions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identified some security issues in elgg 1.0,1.1,1.2 </li></ul></ul>
  19. 36. Questions? <ul><li>GeoChronos Portal </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Grid Research Centre </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Roger Curry </li></ul><ul><li>twitter:curryr </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>