Newsletter Archives

Spring 2009


Summer Institute 2009: August 10-14 at SDSC, San Diego, California

GEON will hold a week-long Cyperinfrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists (CSIG) from August 10-14, 2009 at the University of California, San Diego.  This program will feature two tracks:

  1. Overview of the technologies utilized to develop earth science cyberinfrastructure.
  2. Utilization of cyberinfrastructure-based data systems and tools can be used in geoscience education and research.

CSIG ‘09 will expose participants to emergent Geoinformatics approaches to 3D and 4D integration of geoscience data.

Interested applicants at all levels are encouraged to apply, including graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and professionals in geoscience and related disciplines.

The application deadline for the CSIG ‘09 is June 7th. Questions may be directed to .

The CSIG is made possible through funding provided by the National Science Foundation (


Developing an Open Earth Framework (OEF) for Visualizing Geoscience Data

GEON’s Open Earth Framework (OEF) project is developing a new software architecture, toolkit, client applications, and web services to manage and visualize diverse multi-dimensional earth science data.

The OEF software suite is being designed from the start to work with data from many different sources, in different formats, and with different structures, resolutions, projections, and dimensionality.  OEF assembles all of this data into a common 3D visualization where data can be interactively explored and compared.  Think Google Earth with the ability to show 3D structure below the Earth’s surface.

OEF is in the alpha release stage.  An early version was shown at AGU where it was used to explore tomography data from the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), topography from the USGS, earthquake epicenters from the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), geographic maps delivered by the GEON web mapping service, and satellite imagery from JPL.

A “data plugin” software style allows support for new file formats and web services to be added easily.  In addition to data plugins for the above data types, OEF also supports NetCDF tomography, ESRI Shapefile geometry, ESRI Arc Binary Grids, web mapping services, and several more.

The project is led by Chaitan Baru (SDSC) and Randy Keller (U. Oklahoma) and is being developed at SDSC by David Nadeau and John Moreland.  The software is in Java for Mac, Windows, and Linux and is based upon NASA’s WorldWind toolkit, Sun’s Java OpenGL (JOGL), and UCAR’s NetCDF.

OpenTopography Portal

The OpenTopography Portal continues its successful growth and development.  Updates since the last newsletter include:image
• Release of additional Northern California (NoCal) GeoEarthScope point cloud data as well as an updated Google Earth (KMZ) file that offers improved performance when browsing NoCal hillshades.  We also anticipate significant data releases in the coming months as additional GeoEarthScope LiDAR topography is processed and delivered to GEON.
• New content on the OpenTopography website as well as regular activity on the OpenTopography blog and discussion forum.  We’ve also been working steadily on various system modifications to improve navigation, functionality, and stability of the site.
• Publication of the article “Illuminating Northern California’s Active Faults”, in the February 17, 2009 issue of Eos, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, co-authored by OpenTopography lead Chris Crosby.  The article highlights northern California GeoEarthScope LIDAR topography as well as access to those data via the OpenTopography Portal.

GEON on the Road


EGU 2009 Meeting

Several GEON-related talks and a poster were presented at the EGU2009 meeting, April 19-24, 2009 in Vienna, Austria.  Abstracts accepted at this meeting include:
• “Federating Metadata Catalogs”, C. Baru, K. Lin;
• “Recommendation Systems for Geoscience Data Portals Built by Analyzing Usage Patterns”, C. Crosby, et al;
• “Promoting scientific collaboration and research through integrated social networking capabilities within the OpenTopography Portal”, V. Nandigam, et al;
• “iGEON-India: An International Collaborative Activity of the GEON Project”, C. Baru, A. Agarwal;
Team members Christopher Crosby and Sandeep Chandra attended the meeting and presented the papers and poster.


2009 SSA Annual Meeting

On behalf of OpenTopography and GEON’s involvement in the GeoEarthScope Project, Christopher Crosby attended the Seismological Society of America’s 2009 Annual Meeting, April 8-10 in Monterey, CA ( and gave a presentation entitled “Internet-based Access to GeoEarthScope LiDAR Topography”, in the session on “Applications of LiDAR Data to the Study of Active Faults”.


International Journal of Digital Earth

The following articles on GEON were published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Digital Earth (Volume 2, Supplement 1, 2009):

1. Mediating among GeoSciML resources. Chaitan Baru and Kai Lin. Pages 18 – 28. DOI: 10.1080/17538940902912437.
2. The GEON service-oriented architecture for Earth Science applications. Chaitan Baru, Sandeep Chandra, Kai Lin, Ashraf Memon, Choonhan Youn. Pages 62 – 78. DOI: 10.1080/17538940902912445.


Copyright © All Rights Reserved.
For further information about GEON news and updates, please e-mail
For comments/questions about the website, please e-mail