3rd Annual Meeting to be held May 5-6 in San Diego, CA
GEON will host its 3rd Annual Meeting May 5-6, 2005, at the Bahia Resort Hotel
in San Diego, CA. This two day event entitled "A National Meeting on Research
Frontiers on Cyberinfrastructure for the Geosciences" will focus on current
developments in the area of cyberinfrastructure (CI) for the Geosciences, as well
as further needs and opportunities. The agenda will include invited talks,
presentation of research results from the GEON project, presentations from other
cyberinfrastructure projects and poster sessions.
This meeting is open to all who are interested in information technology based
geoscience research and education. All participants are encouraged to submit an
abstract. The registration and abstract submission deadline for this meeting is
April 11, 2005.
Invited speakers include Fran Berman, Director, San Diego Supercomputer Center,
John Orcutt, President, American Geophysics Union, and
Larry Smarr, Director, Calit2.
Full details and online registration can be found at:
Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists to be held July 18-22, 2005
Based on strong positive feedback from its offering last year, GEON will
again organize a "Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute for Geoscientists" (CSIG),
to be held at the San Diego Supercomputer Center on the UCSD campus, from July 18-22, 2005.
This week-long CSIG is designed to introduce grad students, post docs, and
geoscientists to commonly-used and emergent information technology (IT) tools
through lectures and hands-on exercises.
Topics to be covered include Data Modeling, Web Services, and Geographic Information
Systems. A brief introduction will also be provided to key concepts in Scientific
Workflows and Grid Computing.
A maximum of 40 attendees will be selected from the pool of applicants.
This CSIG is made possible through funding provided by the NSF. Additional information
and an online application can be found at:
GEON at GridSphere Workshop
SDSC GEON developers gave two presentations at the Portal, Portlet
and GridSphere Workshop, held on February 4-5 at LSU in conjunction with the 13th
Annual Mardi Gras Conference, "Frontiers of Grid Applications and Technologies",
sponsored by the Center for Computation and Technology (CCT). GEON has adopted
the open-source GridSphere portal construction toolkit as the framework for its portal.
The presentations were well received, indicating the positive impact of advanced
GEON cyberinfrastructure on the wider community. Ashraf Memon, GEON Chief Software
Architect, gave a talk on the overall GEONgrid Portal which attracted much attention,
with the Chief Software Architect of GridSphere highlighting GEON as a
major success story in the GridSphere community. The second presentation, by SDSC
portal developer Kurt Mueller, covered the new Grid Authentication Management
Architecture (GAMA) that is being introduced in GEON for user authentication in the GEON portal.
GAMA has been jointly developed by the GEON and Telescience projects at UCSD, and
is also being investigated in a number of other large
cyberinfrastructure projects. Version 1.0 of the GAMA software has been
released to the community.
More information about GAMA can be found at:
More information and presentation downloads from the GridSphere Workshop are available at:
Rollout of new version of GEON Software Stack
The next version of the GEONgrid software stack is currently in beta release.
This version includes the latest upgrades that have been made to the RedHat Linux kernels
and associated libraries, updated Globus and Web Services applications and libraries,
additional infrastructure monitoring and testing tools, and a GIS-specific database.
With this release, GEON is also introducing the novel concept of distributed portals.
The release includes a GridSphere-based Geon Partner Portal, which allows each GEON partner
to customize the portal and "brand" it to suit their needs and applications.
These distributed portals are based on a common core functionality, and share common
infrastructure. For example, the portals use GAMA (Grid Account Management Architecture,
see above) to provide a centralized GSI-based security solution.
This software update provides another important functionality, which is the ability of each
partner site to develop and contribute software tools and applications in the form of "Rolls",
or software modules, that can be incorporated as standard components in future versions of the
GEON software stack. This is made possible due to the wide-area distribution features available
in the Rocks toolkit.
The initial roll-out of the beta version of the Geon Software Stack (version 1.0-beta) was
completed at the University of Texas-El Paso partner with additional beta test sites to be
rolled out shortly (Arizona State is planned for April 11th).
Since this is a major upgrade to the software base, SDSC's GEON Systems group will provide
assistance to upgrade all the partner sites over the course of the next few months.
We anticipate that subsequent upgrades will not require significant effort. We expect that
the base software stack will be updated roughly twice a year. However, we also anticipate
that the science tools and applications will be added at a faster pace, so new,
application-based Rolls may become available more frequently.
Electronic readers of this newsletter can access links to
posts in the
Deployment and Administration section for software included in the software stack:
PoP software stack version 1.0 (Revised List)
PoP software stack version 0.1
CHRONOS Federated Database Registered in GEON Portal
The GEON RDBMS registration system now allows the registration of DB2 databases in
addition to Oracle, MySQL, MS SQL Server and Postgres. The new DB2 connection
capability also allows access to IBM's Information Integrator, a powerful database
For example, this tool has been used to create the CHRONOS federated database which
contains moderated global-views of several remote databases including Neptune, PaleoStrat,
PaleoBiology, Janus and Timescale. Using Information Integrator, these databases can now be
accessed and queried via a single "integrated database view". As a result of the new DB2
database registration capability, the Chronos integrated view has now been registered in GEON.
GEON hosted several workshops at the San Diego Supercomputer Center in early 2005.
A much anticipated and well attended Visualization Workshop was
facilitated by GEON PIs Chuck Meertens (Unavco) and Ramon Arrowsmith (Az
State) on March 1-2, 2005. This workshop brought together more than 30
representatives from the Geosciences and IT communities for an inaugural
workshop in the recently created Synthesis Center, currently housed at SDSC
The group focused on visualization requirements needed to conduct integrative
science, and had the opportunity to see and evaluate some currently available
tools, and assess the areas where additional developments are needed. The agenda
for this workshop, along with the presentations, are available at:
A second workshop on Geo-ontology was convened by GEON PI, A.K. Sinha, Virginia Tech.
This workshop also involved researchers from the Geosciences and IT communities, and
provided a forum for discussing the framework for a high level ontologic representation
of planets, with an emphasis on the solid Earth. Further information on the workshop and
its participants can be found at:
Other workshops organized by community members and sponsored by GEON
included a Hydrologic Ontology workshop headed by Michael Piasecki
(Drexel Univ) on January 27-28. This workshop was organized to
discuss the development of a hydrologic ontology that can be
incorporated into the GEON framework. The intension of creating this
ontology is based on an ongoing research effort to develop a prototype
Hydrologic Information System (HIS) as part of the Consortium for the
Advancement of the Hydrologic Sciences, Inc. (CUAHSI) initiative funded
by NSF. The HIS prototype team is working closely together with the SDSC
to develop a digital library system (DSL). Further information and a
list of participants can be found at:
Another workshop, on "Designing Interoperability for Sample-Based Data
Management via the International Geo Sample Number IGSN" was organized
by Kerstin Lehnert (LDEO, Columbia)and hosted by GEON at SDSC on January
23-24. Further information, including the white paper for this
workshop, can be found at: