GSIS: A Conceptual model for Web-based Integration of Information Technology with Geo-scientific Instrumentation


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Since a long time leading organisations have been advocating the need of implementation of IT in a centralised manner on the distributed geological data monitoring centres. In the era of IT, it is highly important to access, share and analyse related data on a common platform for fast retrieval of information in centralised as well as in distributed mode. In this article a concept to integrate Geo-Scientific Instrumentation systems to Information Technology has been highlighted. The vision to create a Geo-Scientific Information System (GSIS) would be an approach where a centralised web-enabled database of the data acquired & transmitted by geographically distributed but networked observatories will be maintained and accessible over the WAN. GSIS couples together the virtually independent domains of instrumentation, web-based data acquisition, database, IT, networking, telecommunication & internet together to enable uses to access and retrieve information from sophisticated over the internet.

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GSIS: A Conceptual model for Web-based Integration of Information Technology with Geo-scientific Instrumentation

  1. 1. R Attri, Instrumentation Design Series (Seismic), Paper No. 1, June 1999Copyright © 1999- Raman K. Attri1GSIS: A Conceptual model for Web-based Integration ofInformation Technology with Geo-scientific InstrumentationRAMAN K. ATTRIEx-Scientist, Central Scientific Instruments Organization, Chandigarh, Indiarkattri@rediffmail.comAbstract: Since a long time leading organisations have beenadvocating the need of implementation of IT in a centralisedmanner on the distributed geological data monitoring centres. Inthe era of IT, it is highly important to access, share and analyserelated data on a common platform for fast retrieval ofinformation in centralised as well as in distributed mode. In thisarticle a concept to integrate Geo-Scientific Instrumentationsystems to Information Technology has been highlighted. Thevision to create a Geo-Scientific Information System (GSIS)would be an approach where a centralised web-enabled databaseof the data acquired & transmitted by geographically distributedbut networked observatories will be maintained and accessibleover the WAN. GSIS couples together the virtually independentdomains of instrumentation, web-based data acquisition,database, IT, networking, telecommunication & internet togetherto enable uses to access and retrieve information fromsophisticated over the internet.I. INTRODUCTIONThe field of instrumentation mainly deals with measurementof physical parameters in terms of some variables, which arefinally converted into data and information is extracted fromthis data. Instrumentation Technology has reached to a levelwhere great reliability in measurements of highly complexgeo-logical parameters can be expected. Geological & geo-technical instrumentation is a key area concerned with man-kind safety. It ranges from earth-quake prediction to glacierlandslides forecasting. Geo-logical observatories equippedwith latest state of the art instrumentation system are often theonly way to obtain the needed information to understandindividual geo-logical manifestations like earthquake, volcano,snow hydrological and oceanographic changes. Thesegeographically distributed observatories measure the rawparameters and the after processing; final data gives therelated geophysical variables, which helps in the study,forecast and assessment of possible effects caused by thesenatural phenomenon.Generally, each observatory transmits raw/processed data to acentral station and a database is maintained there. Real Timemonitoring systems as well as centralised data collectionplatform integrating distributed observatories measuring fewparameters do exists in some countries, which provide onlineaccess to measured data only to restricted user segments only.This diversely distributed, but highly important dataconcerning resource and mankind safety must be madeavailable to the users in other part of the world for onlinesharing and instant analysis via universally accepted mode ofinformation presentation such as Internet. Most importantaspect of data (recorded by these geo-scientificInstrumentation systems) is the extraction of usefulinformation and making it available to users all over theworld, of course in under some protocol of understanding.In this view, a system concept has been proposed here toimplement information technology revolution into the field ofgeo-scientific measurements resulting into a new area of Geo-Scientific Information System (GSIS). The concept is toestablish a network of distributed geo-instrumentationplatforms, which produces the requisite observational data.Then this data is logged onto a Main Server through local,regional and national telemetry stations. Main server centrallyintegrates, share and analyse the distributed data, and presentthe processed information for on-line access via Internet tousers & experts. The aim of the system is to assist scientistsand users with both data and information solutions.GSIS can be applied into different geological and geo-scientific studies such as earthquake studies, oceanographicstudies, climatic studies, volcano eruption assessment andsnow hydrological studies. Individual phenomenon will haveit own dedicated GSIS system serving altogether different usercommunity. Here we shall take an example of seismicdistributed instrumentation, the one of the important sciencesmeant for human safety. It calls upon heavily the need tointegrate sophisticated Information, computer andcommunication technologies together.In this paper, the design concept, vision & methodology tointegrate existing Seismic Instrumentation systems to theInformation Technology is discussed. Further, thedependencies of various sub-systems have been highlighted.II. EXISTING SEISMIC MONITORING SYSTEMExisting distributed seismic monitoring system consists of“nodes” and one or all of the “local seismic station”, “regionalseismic station”, “national or central seismic station”. Theconfiguration is dependent upon the area being covered andscope of the instrumentation. For example for dam safetyinstrumentation, only one “local seismic station” is sufficewhereas earthquake mitigation plan may require “nationalseismic station” along with many local and regional stations.To accommodate everything, we will make our study on thelater scenario.
  2. 2. R Attri, Instrumentation Design Series (Seismic), Paper No. 1, June 1999Copyright © 1999- Raman K. Attri2Processor controlled configurable data acquisition systems inconjunction with the seismic sensors have been used in theseismic observatories all over the world for monitoring ofseismic activities. Most of these instruments are supported byhigh performance in-built operating software for control andrecording purposes. In most of the observatories round theworld, data is being stored in its solid state memories. Thesesystems usually support on-demand data download onto PChard disk or removable media by operator. Data is analyzedand maintained either at the observatory or transported to“local seismic station” through physical storage media such asTape, floppies, hard disk, etc. This has been the olderconventional approach.Each of these observatories or monitoring station is called a“node” in networking language. Usually they are un-mannedstations situated remotely at the locations of interest oractivity.The technological revolutions have converted these nodes intoadvanced seismic stations which are equipped with advancedPC controlled or PC interfaced digital seismographs capableof communicating with the “local seismic station” via modemor satellite. A typical setup is shown in fig [1]. Dependingupon the architecture of these seismographs, the data may bestored locally in its memories for subsequent transportphysically or could be instantly transmitted online or could beavailable with on-demand off-line transmission to central datacollection station.Fig [1]: Existing Seismic Data Acquisition System connectedto a seismic stationThis data is either transmitted by instruments itself at suitableintervals under is own control or is transmitted on-demandupon receiving request from “remote station”. Thistransmission is generally done through local telemetry systemsworking on microwave frequencies or via dial up connectionthrough telephone lines. Local telemetry has been a popularoption of transmission of data from the nodes to centralstation. Satellites Telemetry systems have also come into use,which receives the data from the remote nodes via satellitelink.There have been many efforts and architects for networking ofthese remotely situated seismic nodes to make “local seismicstation” (for larger areas) and further networking of “localseismic station” to make a “regional seismic station”. Datafrom these geographically distributed “nodes” can reach the“local seismic station” instantly through microwave/satellitelinks or can be on-demand downloaded through a modem.But there is little or no data transmission or forwarding amongvarious local or regional stations even if they are connected toa main “central seismic station”. Current structure ofnetworked “nodes” across a region is shown in Fig [2].Fig [2]: Existing Telemetry Based networked SeismicMonitoring SystemsWith networking and telemetry technology advancement, RealTime monitoring system (RTMS) has been implemented inmany regions. In RTMS, data is continuously transmitted fromthe seismic nodes to a “central seismic station” vialocal/regional seismic stations. The on-line data from manyclosely situated as well as remotely situated nodes is availableto experts and users at “Central Seismic station”. With diversedata, better inferences can be drawn and better analysis ofseismic activity can be carried out. The remote seismic stationwork as drop, where data is continuously coming in andgetting out to network of RTMSs to make a “national SeismicNetwork”.III. LIMITATION IN EXISTING NETWORKEDSYSTEMThe existing instrumentation networks have been workingupon wide variety of architectures. The data transmissionmodes included microwave, UHF, dial-up, Satellite linksdepending upon the distances and applications. These systems,no doubt, equipped the experts with diverse data availablefrom distributed network on a common platform and hencebetter inferences could be drawn. Still this data is not availableinstantly to the experts and users in the other part of the world.The major problem with these systems is that user worldwidecould not access the data recorded by any of the observatoryon-line or offline.Moreover, what could be accessed is the pure data and not theinformation contained in the data. Information is the mostimportant part of this data; otherwise data can not be utilizedin any practical manner. A major shortcoming has been that
  3. 3. R Attri, Instrumentation Design Series (Seismic), Paper No. 1, June 1999Copyright © 1999- Raman K. Attri3data is not properly converted into information with the helpof extensive analytical tools such as visualization, contouring,seismic interpretation, statistical calculations and mapping etc.Further the data base of the entire data is maintained in theconventional methods, which do not support query processingand search engine based database management.The extensive efforts in data collection go waste when data isnot converted into information and information inferred so asis not presented to users the entire world in a universallyaccepted mode of presentation. The drawback of theconventional systems has been that a universal approach inproviding the Graphics user interface have not been tried onglobal scales. The existing systems have been catering toneeds of the limited user segments. Communication andnetworking technology advances do have been integrated intothe system. But user friendly interface and easy but fastretrieval of information needs elaborate attention.The entire real time monitoring networks have beeneffectively interfaced to communication links world wide, andmany agencies have also been setup who shares the data undersome agreement. But the present system also poses a problemof compatibility when issue of globally interconnecting suchremote stations is raised. The incompatibility of data format,non-availability of some common communication platformand intercontinental data transportability has been causingproblems.Even not all the seismographs support the data transmissionand networking via telemetry or WAN. Data is maintained onindividual basis only and provided only when demanded bycentral station. In such a situation, data from these nodes isdumped to physical media and transported back to centralstation. This process may take quite sometime and data, whichmay be very crucially needed, is not available on-line orinstantly in this case.IV. INTEGRATION OF CURRENT SYSTEM TOINFORMATION TECHNOLOGYThe understanding of geo-logical phenomena to makepredictions of substantial economic and societal value remainsan important goal for geo-scientists all over the world. Geo-scientists need elaborated information to predict phenomenonlike earthquake, snow-avalanche, snowfall, flood andgeophysical climate. These forecasts will be used in resourceplanning and avoiding harmful effects such as life andmaterial loss caused by them.Information technology has affected the way one gets theinformation. The internet is being taken as fastest anduniversally accepted user friendly mode of informationretrieval from wealth of data available at thousands of serverssituated all over world, connected over the net via LAN andWAN. It is obvious that Information Technology has to beintegrated with complex geo-scientific instrumentation fordata mining, visualisation and analysis to form an Informationsystem namely Geo-Scientific Information System (GSIS).This system has to be highly reliable and it should promptinformation to the users and the experts all over the worldthrough the fastest possible mode. Online & interactiveavailability of information would be the major advantage ofthis system, which could be achieved only with theimplementation of proper Internet tools and Informationtechnology.The developed system provides a Knowledge based searchand analysis engine that allows users to obtain data whetherthey do or do not know exactly what to retrieve and let themidentify, among available data, significant correlation, trendsworthy of further analysis and assess the data to be retrieved.Moreover, this support allows additional communities such asprocess scientists and applications users to access the data.The information technology implementation is innovative andscalable, making substantial use of latest widely acceptedadvancements, and relies on Web technology with a multi-tiered client-server system architecture that enable easy accessfor the user. User can access the desired information fromMain Information Server through any of the Web server usingstandard Internet browser and file transfer protocols.V. CONCEPTUAL ARCHITECT OF GSISSYSTEMFrom the discussion elaborated above it is clear that the veryfirst design step has to be the installation ofmodem/VSAT/Iridium Handset/Cellular interface card in theDigital seismographs at each of the observatory along-withnetwork connectivity. Unlike previous case, we would like apowerful PC interface with Digital Seismograph with PChaving all communication interfaces, as shown in Fig [3]. Thiswill make seismograph interdependent of the communicationand networking load. The networking capability can beintegrated in the setup very easily using state-of the art PCs. Inthe earlier conventional case too PC was inherent part of thenode, but its use is limited to data transfer or downloads totransportable media only. But in this case PC will act as nodaldatabase point, which will not only process the data, it willanalyze using analysis tool, perform extensive calculation,computation and organizes the inferences as a unified databasein accordance with the acceptable standards for such network.The connectivity of this database and PC can be provided bydial-up connection through telephone lines, MicrowaveTelemetry, Satellite or WAN links. This will enable to form acentrally controlled efficient network of instruments. Theexisting systems in which interface card can not be installed,may be needed to reconfigure. As a design alternative, theseinstruments can be interfaced to a PC with communicationfacilities.
  4. 4. R Attri, Instrumentation Design Series (Seismic), Paper No. 1, June 1999Copyright © 1999- Raman K. Attri4Fig [3]: Networked PC based architect at nodeThe underlying concept of the system is to establishdistributed geo-seismic observatories, each acting as “node”.Sometime due to technical problems, it may not be possible tomake each measuring center as a node. So a number of sub-nodes can be coupled together to make a node.Each node in itself would be a PC based seismograph withstandardize data conversion, formatting, communicationcapabilities and to be able to put on a network. Each nodewould be available with continuous acquisition of seismic datain some standard format eg. SUD, ASCII etc depending uponthe instrument used. Each node will have software utility forconverting these data formats into mutually agreed singleuniversally accepted data format and stored at predefinedlocation in this PC node.There may be similar nodes in many number spread over thewhole geo-graphical area. The internal architect, design andsetup of each individual instrument may be different. Thestress is on the same format of “data” across all nodes.The instrumentation systems at various nodes are connected toa local or satellite seismic telemetry stations and continuouslysending recorded data. Many such local telemetry stations maybe connected to a regional station. The regional station can befurther connected to a National Seismic Station, where datafrom all the seismic nodes is being dropped into.The data received at national seismic station is maintained inexhaustive Relation Database management systems on a mainserver. This RDBMS is created as a result of standardizedanalysis tools and software performing exhaustive correlation,2D & 3D visualization, Mapping and contouring, Statisticalcalculations, seismic waveform visualisation & interpretation,high performance numeric computation etc.Now where to store the data? Of course each of the nodes hasdata storage capability and data can be stored on each of thelocal seismic station too. A secondary server at each of thelocal seismic station would store the data from various nodesin unified manner.Here a Multi-tier server-client Architect would be best to beimplemented. Many nodes can be coupled to make asecondary server. To this server all the other connected nodesshall work as clients. Further many secondary servers shall beconnected to make a primary server. To this primary server,all the secondary servers shall act like clients while at thesame time these are acting like server to other nodes. Thisapproach will be taken, as it is not possible to interconnect alldistributed nodes to one main server directly. Further, trafficload consideration makes it necessary to used multi-tieredserver-client system approach. Finally all primary servers areconnected to one main server. This main server will beaccessible across the globe through front-end web interface.This approach is shown in the fig [4] which is actually a multi-tier client-server technology.Fig [4]: Networking of Servers in Server-Client Peer to PeerArchitectureThe main server would basically be a RDBMS server runninghigh-end database like Oracle. Again there are multiplearchitects available to implement the main server. Thefunctions can be divided among file handling server, web-server and a database server. The main server will be 24-hrsconnected to Internet gateway.Multidimensional query Processor (MDQP), an integratedfront-end and back-end database software interface ofRDMBS would be needed to handle specific queries andinformation request by the user.User accesses the information through WWW browser ontheir PCs. User may be needed to get authorization dependingupon the user segment and type of information sought.Dynamic links in the Web page provide the GUI interfacedcontent based information presentation to the user. User canselect the desired information listed in the web page and clickit to get expanded information. Search Engine based as well asspecific query based information is also provided to userthrough the Internet. The processing of such queries will behandled by MDQP. Online data, events information andhistory database is also available to user. Internet connectivity
  5. 5. R Attri, Instrumentation Design Series (Seismic), Paper No. 1, June 1999Copyright © 1999- Raman K. Attri5is available to user through ISP or dedicated high-speed digitallines. Once the desired information have been obtained usercan download either through WWW browser or through FTPtools.VI. GSIS: KEY DRIVING FACTORS FORSUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATIONWhile highlighting the problems in the existing system it isobvious that user requirement are the primary driving forcebehind the design of any new system. Over the time therequirements and the needs of the users have changed and thissystem is expected to fulfil their needs.a) Presentation of information inherent in the data andanalysis aspect is one of the major requirements of theusers. It is possible as a result of close integration of dataand services with analysis software tools. Some new dataanalysis and multi-user software packages may be neededto develop in the process of implementation informationtechnology in the field of instrumentation. It has to furtherassist users to produce enhanced information and reportsby integrating complementary data sets in a centralisedpoint of access. A set of standardised and universallyaccepted analysis tools has to be applied on the diversedata sets at the server to create ease of use and compatibledata exchange. The graphical plots and tables along-withthe correlation coefficients, means, standard derivations,and other statistical parameters derived from the contentbased browsing may form a resulting report.b) The use of available Web browsers is also a majorrequirement of the proposed system. Thus the interfacebetween users and this distributed system has to be viaInternet. The data sets may be downloaded / transmittedvia FTP or WWW over the network. Concerning thecommunication protocols among sites, survey and properstudy is needed to carry on so as to select proper protocolstandard and to make a more open architecture to systemsoutside to create more opportunity for inter-operations.c) Implementation of the Query Engine is fundamentallydriven by Variability of geo-logical parameters in thisapproach. The geo-scientific system science aspects leadto several user queries and access scenarios related toobservational and model output data sets. The overallsystem is to be designed to enhance the current ongoingcapabilities to serve the specific geo-science applicationsand provide an innovative query engine to the users.d) The flexibility of the system architecture at the user end isof course expected, which should allow organisations andusers at their terminal end to choose among variousstandard network, hardware, and operating systemconfigurations that range from small inexpensive systemto relatively expensive workstations. The extensibility ofthe architecture should allow the users to upgrade theirsystems as their needs and system capabilities evolveneeded to meet specific research and educationalrequirements. To provide this flexibility, the main seismicstation server has to be compatible to communicate withvarious types of computers and operating systems viz.IBM PC on MSDOS operating system and MAC personalcomputers; Windows 9X/XP operating system terminals,DEC VAX stations that use the VMS operating system;and Sun Microsystems workstations working on UNIXoperating system etc.VII. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN NODES &SERVERSEach of the node, secondary server or primary server can actlike a client as well as server. This is pear-processing mode ofdata exchange. Anticipating the huge volume of seismic datagenerated, it is obvious that it may not be possible to handleand process the data at one main server only. So a trade-offhas to found out to process the seismic data at each of the nodeto reduce the traffic load. Conversion of recorded seismic datainto desired format is to be done at the node(s) itself. Theplatform of the node may be any of PC-AT, PS/2 , DEC VAXor SUN working on any standard Operating System, but it hasto be made compatible with the data communication processinvolved using universally accepted protocols .The PCs at different nodes are configured as dial-up serverand/or data transmitting node. Connection from nodes to mainserver, through secondary and primary servers isaccomplished by a LAN/WAN. LAN connectivity is to beused only when some of the nodes are in proximity to eachother and these multiple nodes are being managed by singleadministrating agency. Main stress in this system is placed onexploiting existing WAN connectivity with enhanced featuredfor this specific application. The WAN will operate viasatellite, microwave link or dial-up connection with standardcommunication software and protocols.At some nodes, where general communication facilities arenot available, data retrieval via iridium handset phone is alsoconsidered. The seismic data and results available at variousnodes are transmitted to Main Server routed through tieredconfiguration of nodal database servers.Selecting the right media (through which signals shall travelfrom nodes to server and then to users such as Direct Cable,Telephone, Microwave, Satellite, Cellular for the Network,)for network is an extremely crucial and important task in thissystem. No matter how powerful the servers are and how highindividual capacities of the nodes are, if they are notconnected by a fast and efficient communication media, thenthe network achieved there from can simply be a waste oftime, money and effort. The primary criterion for evaluation oftransmission media of this system is the application intendedto use on the Network. Other important parameters arebandwidth as some nodes on the Network might need largerBandwidths (say 10s of Mbps) for example downloading of
  6. 6. R Attri, Instrumentation Design Series (Seismic), Paper No. 1, June 1999Copyright © 1999- Raman K. Attri6images. Geographical Distance between the seismic nodesalso decide the selection of transmission media, as each mediahas certain distance restrictions upto which it can carry asignal without attenuation. Easiness to install the cabling andassociated equipment is another factor for consideration.Security issue may be very critical, where data transmitted isof strategic importance. Cost of development, implementationand installation undoubtedly is the major factor that decidesthe type of media used in a network. The aim is definitely todevelop a low cost GSIS system so that it could proveeconomical world-wide. Satellite media is proving cheaperthese days for such applications. Provision of telephone linecommunication is also an attractive alternative when existingtelephone network is to be exploited. Various communicationmedia options currently available for node to seismic stationremote connection have been depicted in Fig [5].Fig [5]: Various Communication Links for Nodes to SeismicStation ConnectionVIII. SEISMIC DATABASE GENERATIONAt each of the node or secondary server seismic data iscollected and is properly formatted for storage. The inferencesand information extracted from this data can also be stored oneach node or secondary server with properly classified filenames.The option of having nodal databases or centralised databaseis governed by many other factors like topology of thenetwork, individual network leg speed and processingcapabilities available with each node as well the type ofapplication for which data is being stored. In some cases, themain Server may contain only highly important and crucialprocessed information frequently accessed all over world. Insuch cases most of the raw data & related information mayreside in nodal-databases with the local or regional telemetrystations and linked to main server database.The nodal database may exist with individual “nodes”,whereas “local seismic stations” may be equipped withsecondary servers, “regional seismic stations” being equippedwith primary server and at national level or continent levelmain server can be setup. So the discussion here is withrespect to network of servers under server-client topology,which equivalently means network of seismic stations locallyor regionally. The typical server-client concept was depictedin Fig [4]. But it may be noted that this networking providedatabase creation and management facility at various levelsalso, instead of just pure data storage as was the case withconventional telemetry based networked nodes and seismicstations.If volume of data from each node is too large to be handled atmain server, it may be converted into nodal-relational databasewith exhaustive correlation techniques, visualizationtechniques, mapping and contouring, interpretation andstatistical calculations and modeling at nodes itself. Theexhaustive information to be stored along with data mayinclude the seismic waveform analysis/visualization andimages as well.These distributed nodal-databases are interconnected togetherusing Web technology at the Main server, through clientserver architecture, as shown in Fig [6]. The dynamic addresslink to proper information is defined at the server for promptaccess of information.Fig [6]: Seismic Database Generation Through network ofServers and databasesCentralized Relational database containing exhaustive geo-seismic and geo-physical information is the core of a GSISsystem design. The Relational database is generated as a resultof various statistical, analysis-syntheses and modelingtechniques but in this case such information is stored aftercorrelating the individual nodes data. The database at theMain server contains both raw and interpreted information forall seismic events, event histories and reports, online data,
  7. 7. R Attri, Instrumentation Design Series (Seismic), Paper No. 1, June 1999Copyright © 1999- Raman K. Attri7seismic profile studies of the area and a large number ofseismic surveys carried out by any of the nodes.Relational data model need to be designed on standardguidelines using scalable highly secure and integrateddatabase platform such as Oracle. This provide solutions andsupport to integrated multi-disciplinary projects in other fieldsas well and allow a standardized data transfer between the database and other applications with the help of many popularsoftwareRDBMS need to be maintained over a high performanceworkstation (Main Database server). This database alsointegrated to a multi-dimensional query processor (MDQP),which will process the specific queries by the users related todata or information contained in the data base. RDBMS &MDQP are accessible via web page lying at any Internet orweb server.MDQP will handle the specific queries which user may put up.It will supply the content-based criteria on a parameter, directthe Main Server to explore its database for the requisiteinformation. The queries are pre-processed by Multi-Dimensional Query Processor that accesses the specificparameter, statistical summary, data and predefined tables. Aquery may be multidimensional in nature; i.e., it specifies theranges of several spatial and temporal dimensions and requiresapplication of analytical tools on the selected data associatedwith the chosen ranges. This allows for a quick look at thedata and return of results to the user. The key to the scalabilityof this system consists in the fact that data sets need not betransferred among different nodes for an interactive queryIX. USER ACCESS TO GSIS OVER INTERNETUser need to be connected to the mail or internet serverthrough any ISP (Internet Service Provider), which would inturn configure the gateway for the user to the outside worldthrough an access device. User has to install software andcommunication hardware to facilitate connection and to accessvarious Internet services at its own terminal running anyoperating system. Individual user, department or agenciessubscribing the seismic data may manage Internet access viadedicated/leased line connections or higher speed digitaltransmission lines.Fig [7]: User Access to main database through InternetThe communication interface from user to Main DatabaseServer is provided through standard Internet protocols. SLIP(Serial Line Internet Protocol) and PPP(Point-to-PointProtocol) both allow user to dialup and actually run Internetapplications on his own computer via a regular phone line anda modem or satellite/cellular etc. These high-end connectionscall for a phone line (or satellite connectivity), a fast modem,and a computer capable of running TCP/IP and InternetAccess. TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/InternetProtocol) software makes every system on the Internetinteroperable and makes it capable of carrying highbandwidth, interactive multimedia Internet applications, e.g.,graphics, sound, animation. A typical setup of user with mainserver through internet is shown in Fig [7].Other than normal operational software, the user machinewould be requiring no special software for data analysis as theinformation user would get from server via web interfacewould be formatted reports, analysis results, and tables. Actualanalysis will be done by the MDQP at server depending uponthe query. However advanced user may have sophisticatedanalysis tools to further make data analysis depending uponhis desired application.X. WEB BASED GSIS USER INTERFACEUser interface is provided by World Wide Web Browserwhich gives an easy-to-navigate interactive graphical interfacefor searching, finding, viewing and managing information &documents over a network. This global medium is gainingpopular acceptance faster than any other communicationmedium in history. It is no doubt the primary aim of thissystem to exploit the current popularity and advantages of theweb in integrating information technology with the geo-seismic instrumentation system.The main idea in information browsing in this system is togenerate dynamic Web page over World Wide Web. Thedynamic linked web page is updated continuously as per thecontinuous information arriving from every node. Theparameter statistics keep on updating in such a web page whenespecially the incoming data is coming in real time mode andis needed to be accessed in real time mode. It helps in instantaccess of current data at different node of interest and flashesthe instant analysis of data by the experts.To access information a user accesses through internet a mainweb page of the GSIS system. This main Web page of thesystem is written and formatted in HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) and words are linked to connect different sitesand pieces of information to one another. Links embedded inwords or phrases allows the user to select relevant text andimmediately get related information and multimedia material.The information may be presented using a variety of mediasuch as text, graphics, audio, video, animation, image orexecutable documentation.
  8. 8. R Attri, Instrumentation Design Series (Seismic), Paper No. 1, June 1999Copyright © 1999- Raman K. Attri8XI. MODES OF INFORMATION BROWSING ATGSISThe process of information browsing proceeds with accessingof main Web page of the system which prompts user withfollowing three modes of information presentation.a) First is Content based Information as provided by Webpage. The web page of GSIS presents the user with a listof hyper-linked contents & words. The hyper-linked datasets includes listing of location of Nodes, Date wise eventrecords, Epicentres & Timing of seismic events, majorEvent listing, available waveforms & digital data files,Area Coverage, maps, survey reports, seismic newsupdates and online data access options. The hypertextedindex is linked to the properly addressed informationpage, which may be lying with the same or other Internetserver or main server of the system. After selection ofinformation content, the connection is established to thepointed address .The dynamic web page access theinformation from designated server and presents it to user.b) Second is Search Engine based Information access inwhich specific key words search will be carried out in theentire seismic database and nodal databases. In thisinterface key-word items are interconnected and form alink to dynamically generated Web page. A user ispresented with a list of the phenomena and relevantspecific parameters linked to each phenomenon. Just fromone keyword, the entire database is searched for linkeddata and relevant information is invoked and presented touser. Key-word items and their relationships are stored ina relational database with entities being Phenomenon,Parameters at the first level, followed by PhenomenonInstance, Specific Parameters, Instrument at the secondlevel, Predefined Region, at the third level, and, finally,Statistical Summary, Data Format, and Data File, at thelowest level.c) Query based Information Access is third mode ofinformation presentation. User may put up specificqueries, which supplies content-based criteria on aparameter, direct the Main Server to explore its databasefor the requisite information. The queries are pre-processed by Multi-Dimensional Query Processor thataccesses the specific parameter, statistical summary, dataand predefined tables. A query may be multidimensionalin nature; i.e., it specifies the ranges of several spatial andtemporal dimensions and requires application ofanalytical tools on the selected data associated with thechosen ranges. This allows for a quick look at the dataand return of results to the user. A user can choose at firstinstance, the day of interest and asks what were theseismic events occurred on that day. The System returnsdata set dates satisfying above conditions. User canfurther refine his search criteria by mentioning onlyevents crossing 4.5 Ritchet Scale at the specified date.If the presented information suits his requirements, he candownload or ask for spectral analysis of the event or can ordercomplete data sets for the above date.XII. INFORMATION DOWNLOAD FROM GSISInternet tools like Telnet and FTP is available to users foraccessing data when location of data is known. Telnetprogram offers a way to log into server and work from anothercomputer. By logging into another system, users can accessservices/data or files thereon, of course with authorisationrestrictions. FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, lets usersdownload files from another computer system on the Internet,or on a local network. It can also work the other way aroundwith users/nodes also being able to transfer their own files toother computer systems. User can only access computers thatare set up as FTP servers. A list of relevant FTP servercontaining seismic information has to be maintained.XIII. CONCLUSIONEven within country non-uniformity in geologicalmanifestation has been observed. No doubt distributedmeasurement network is the only solution left for such non-uniform parameter measurement. The overall tasks include theimplementation of low cost information technology for fasteraccess of remote information in centralised mode as well asdistributed data access. The vision can serve as a model for alarger overall data information system associated with futureGeo-logical Monitoring data sets and their distribution.Reader can go through the reference and will find that GSISsystems have been employed in many part of the wordsuccessfully for a unified database creation.The system here has been described with reference to seismicapplications. Similarly it can be extended to SnowHydrological Studies in deep snow bound mountain areas andcarrying out related forecast and analysis. The designapproach can serve as a model for a larger overall datainformation system associated with future Geo-logicalMonitoring data sets and their distribution.The system design of GSIS involves the integration ofinformation across many diverse domains such asInstrumentation Systems, Networking, Relational Databasemanagement and Information Technology in a distributedfashion. Emphasis is given on the ability to move rare data(recorded at geo-scientific observatories) effectively betweenwidely dispersed computer systems over the net usingstandard protocols and data models. The processed data ispresented to users in interactive and user-friendly mode.Diverse Computer software/platforms like RDBMS,Geographical information systems(GIS), 2D/3DInterpretation & visualisation tools will be used for the geo-
  9. 9. R Attri, Instrumentation Design Series (Seismic), Paper No. 1, June 1999Copyright © 1999- Raman K. Attri9logical parameters mapping of earth’s manifestations viz.seismic events, hydrological phenomenon etc.A consortium of experts from all over the world has to beestablished to lookup the matters related to standardised,future expansion, security and strategic use of data once theGSIS system comes in picture. They can further act as solutionproviders for the design of the overall system taking into viewthe aspects of up-gradability and technology revolution.REFERENCES[1]. Trenish, L.A. and M.l.Gough, 1987: A software package for the dataindependent management of multi-dimensional data. EOStransactions, Am. Geophysics U., 68, 633-635.[2]. David W. Fulker, Seminal Software to Analyse and manage Geo-Scientific Information, Unidata Program Centre.[3]. Menas Kafatos, Ruixin Yang, X. 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ROBERT C. YODER, Design Considerations for ImplementingComplex Client/Server Applications: A Case Study of Octree-based 3-D GIS, University at Albany, November ,1996[15]. P.N. Moir, M.A. Williamson and S. King, Integrating geo-scientificdata, knowledge and interpretation for the east coast basins ofCanada , Geological Survey of Canada Atlantic, URL:[16]. Paul D. Amer, A measurement Centre for NBS Local Area ComputerNetwork, IEEE Transactions on Computers, Volume C-31, Number 8,pg 723-729, Aug 1982[17]. "NASA Selects Earth Science Information Partners", NASA Pressrelease URL:, Dec. 2, 1997[18]. Doty, B. E., Kinter III, J. L., Fiorino, M, Hooper, D., Budich, R.,Winger, K., Schulzweide, U., Calori, L., Holt, T., and Meier, K. "TheGrid Analysis and Display System (GrADS): An update for 1997,"13th Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systemsfor Meteorology, Oceanography, and Hydrology (AmericanMeteorological Society, Boston, pp 356-358 1997.[19]. Date C.J., An Introduction to database management System, Vol 1,Narosa Publishing House, New Delhi. 1985[20]. Ralf Löwner, Abdellatif Souhel, The Sahel-Doukkala InformationNetwork (SaDIN): A regional online geo-information system, URL: Details:Author is Global Learning and Training Consultantspecializing in the area of performance technology. Hisresearch and technical experience spans over 16 yearsof project management, product development andscientific research at leading MNC corporations. Heholds MBA in Operations Management, Executive MBA,Master degree in Technology and Bachelor degree inTechnology with specialization in Electronics andCommunication Engineering. He has earned numerousinternational certification awards - Certified ManagementConsultant (MSI USA/ MRA USA), Certified Six SigmaBlack Belt (ER USA), Certified Quality Director (ACIUSA), Certified Engineering Manager (SME USA),Certified Project Director (IAPPM USA), to name a few. In addition to this, he has60+ educational qualifications, credentials and certifications in his name. Hisinterests are in scientific product development, technical training, managementconsulting and performance technology.E-mail: rkattri@rediffmail.comWebsite: InformationWorking paper Copyrights © 1999 Raman K. Attri. Paper can be cited withappropriate references and credits to author. Copying and reproductionwithout permission is not allowed.