Welcome to the home of the Australia-UK collaboration for the Exploitation of Grid and Geospatial Standards
The project proposal is available: https://www.seegrid.csiro.au/wiki/pub/AUKEGGS/WebHome/aukeggs.pdf
There is a growing awareness of the global nature of environmental issues. The problems of climate change and loss of biodiversity extend across national boundaries. A crucial component for both our understanding of these problems, and the political response, is access to a full range of environmental data. A wealth of high quality data from measurements and computer simulations already exists across many centres around the world.
However, finding and accessing these data is often very difficult. Different centres use different data formats and online access mechanisms, and there is little coordination at cataloguing these datasets.
Recent developments in Grid computing offer new hope for linking up environmental data suppliers and end users. The aim of Grid technology is to provide a way to easily share computers and data across organisations and boundaries. It does this by placing uniform services in front of the resources; so environmental data can be accessed in the same way regardless of where it is held, or how it has been stored. Together with this Grid technology (called 'middleware'), standards are being developed for how to describe environmental data, how to represent it, and what the unifying access services should be.
A UK project, the 'NERC DataGrid', is developing software that will be used by various data centres to create a 'virtual environmental data Grid'. The first trial will involve the British Atmospheric Data Centre and British Oceanographic Data Centre. For the first time, users will be able to easily find and access both atmospheric and ocean data from these centres in exactly the same way.
A community of researchers in Australia (SEEGrid - the Solid Earth and Environment Grid) is also investigating ways to use the new Grid technology for providing access to data and knowledge about the earth. Members of this group have been responsible for co-developing some of the key standards being used by NERC DataGrid. Other members are establishing systems to access Australian environmental data in the same way NERC DataGrid is providing access to UK environmental data.
This project will set up a partnership between these UK and Australian Grid researchers, climate scientists, and standards experts to build a global Grid demonstration providing access to a range of atmospheric and ocean data across the two continents. They will also work together to develop best practices for using the new technology as a way to provide access to existing data. And the two groups will develop proposals for future extensions of the environmental data standards they both use.
The benefits of the project will be available immediately to scientists and others who need to use this data for their research. As well, the project will provide an example of how other groups can share data using Grid technology and standards. And the international bodies setting those standards will benefit from the project's proposals for future development.
The main objectives of the project are:
- Demonstration of a data Grid linking climate data resources in Australia and UK
- Report on scope for 'Grid-enabling' of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) web services using the Web Services Resource Framework (WSRF)
- Report on web service integration of legacy geospatial data (including issues of netCDF/OPeNDAP/OGC/GML harmonisation)
In addition, project partners will seek additional overlaps of interest and complementarity around which to focus additional collaborative effort.
The AUKEGGS mailing list is accessible at http://www.ncas.ac.uk/mailman/listinfo/aukeggs
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