Curated Data Albums for Earth Science Case Studies
Case study analysis and climatology studies are common approaches used in Atmospheric Science research. Research based on case studies involves a detailed description of specific weather events using data from different sources, to characterize physical processes in play for a given event. Climatology-based research tends to focus on the representativeness of a given event, by studying the characteristics and distribution of a large number of events. To gather relevant data and information for case studies and climatology analysis is tedious and time consuming; current NASA Earth Science data systems are not suited to assemble multi-instrument, multi mission datasets around specific events. For example, in hurricane science, finding airborne or satellite data relevant to a given storm requires searching through web pages and data archives. Background information related to damages, deaths, and injuries requires extensive online searches for news reports and official storm summaries.
A team of research scientists and informatics experts proposes to use mature content aggregation technology to create curated "Data Albums" to support case study analysis and climatology studies. We will leverage two established technologies to create these Data Albums: the Noesis search engine for content aggregation with Drupal content management technology providing the underlying framework and album-style user interface. We will use emerging information casting protocols for publishing data and information.
We will use a science-driven approach to enhance the existing Noesis components to create Noesis 2.0, an open source, reusable aggregation tool to compile online science data and information into Data Albums for specific events or topics, to facilitate case study based research. These interactive Data Albums will contain compiled information regarding relevant data for specific events, filtered based on geophysical parameters, geolocation, time and scientific relevance. They will also contain aggregated supplementary information to augment research including news articles, reports, images and videos detailing events and socio-economic impacts, related scholarly articles useful for a background literature survey and other useful information such as weather reports. Data Albums will support curation by the album author, host data center and, after an album is made public, the research community. Such social curation will include annotations and ratings on the contents, with privileged users able to add or remove resources. Data Albums' contents will also be published in XML as information casts to facilitate automated access.
The science drivers for the Noesis 2.0 Data Album concept come from two of NASA's Science Focus Areas: Water and Energy Cycle, which fosters research to improve hurricane prediction, and Weather, seeking improved understanding of the Earth system through better understanding of weather processes. The proposed effort will deploy curated Data Albums for two science research areas. The first instance will be a portal for hurricane case studies at NASA's Global Hydrology and Resource Center (GHRC), a NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC). This portal will auto-generate Data Albums for specific hurricane events, compiling information from NASA field campaign collections and other sources. The second instance will be customized to support NASA's Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center in compiling case studies to evaluate the performance of numerical weather prediction tools for convective weather events.
Installations of Noesis 2.0 Data Albums will remain in operation at GHRC and SPoRT after the end of Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth System Science (ACCESS) project funding. Noesis 2.0 will be made open source and shared via the Drupal code repository, to encourage reuse of the software, and ensure the continued utility of this tool. The team will also actively promote the tool to colleagues at other NASA DAACs and within the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP).
Rahul Ramachandran - PI, University of Alabama - Huntsville
Last Updated: Nov 15, 2017 at 2:51 PM EST