GEON Newsletter || June 2005
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GEON Represented at the IRIS Workshops

2005 UNAVCO / IRIS Joint Workshop Dolce Skamania Lodge
Two invited GEON presentations were given as part of the special workshops at the 2005 UNAVCO/IRIS Joint workshop, held at the Dolce Skamania Lodge at Stevenson, Washington on June 8th. A three-member team from the San Diego Supercomputer Center presented the talks. Dogan Seber (GEON PI) and Choonhan Youn (GEON Portal Lead), presented a talk entitled “Web Services in seismology applications and GEON”, in the Web Services workshop. The talk focused on the practical uses of Web Services and their benefits to distributed computing. Tim Kaiser, a High Performance Computing (HPC) expert who collaborates with Seber and Youn on the SYNSEIS application, presented a talk in the Computational Seismology workshop. SYNSEIS is an HPC application for calculating 3D earthquake seismic waveforms. GEON is developing infrastructure to make such applications easily accessible to end users via a portal. The current version of SYNSEIS can be accessed from the GEON Portal.

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GEON Represented at GSA Rocky Mountains Section Meeting

In late May, Randy Keller (GEON PI, UTEP) attended the Rocky Mountain section of the Geological Society of America, in Grand Junction, CO, and also participated in a workshop on the topic of the extraordinary intraplate deformation that occurred across the Rocky Mountain region during the late Paleozoic. Randy and his students presented several talks and posters on their work in the GEON Rocky Mountains testbed. The GIS-based integrated analysis of the Uncompahgre uplift, by graduate student Hector Casillas (UTEP), attracted quite a bit of attention. The workshop was well attended by folks from small companies, and this produced good progress in regard to the task of compiling subsurface geologic data in this region. There was much interest at the workshop, in general, on the need for cyberinfrastructure. A number of geologists from small oil companies expressed this need as well.

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GEON and CUAHSI-HIS Working Towards 3-D Model Building, Editing & Visualization
ESRI Users’ Conference Session on 3-D Models

Randy Keller recently attended a meeting of the ESRI Petroleum Users Group in Houston, TX, as well as a Technology Conference hosted by Anadarko Petroleum. These two meetings, combined with previous interactions with the CUAHSI-HIS (Hydrologic Information System) group confirmed a shared vision for 3-D model building, editing, and visualization for the geosciences. These meetings revealed that many of the same challenges have been encountered throughout the community, as we work towards the goal of creating highly integrated 3-D and ultimately 4-D models of the earth. Keller, David Maidment (CUAHSI-HIS), and Joe Breman (ESRI) will conduct a technical session at the ESRI Users Conference in San Diego in July (http://www.esri.com/events/uc/) to addresses some of these issues.

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Baru represents GEON and SDSC at LTER Cyberinfrastructure Planning Meeting in Santa Fe

Chaitan Baru (GEON PI, SDSC) was recently invited to serve as a member of the LTER Cyberinfrastructure Advisory Committee. The LTER project is charting their course for the future where cyberinfrastructure will play a key role. They are interested in the range of technologies being developed in GEON—from the GEONgrid systems infrastructure, to the portal technology, ontology-based data registration, map integration, Web services-based distributed computing, and HPC support for processing and analysis of remote sensed data. The LTER CI planning meeting was held June 16-17 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. One of the LTER activities identified for the future is “inter-site science”, in which a science problem is identified that requires access to sensor networks and data across multiple LTER sites. Since each LTER site is an autonomous entity, there is the need for technologies to enable the sharing and integration of heterogeneous data across an ad hoc collection of sites, in order to address these inter-site science questions. The planning group clearly identified the ontology-based data registration, data integration, and map integration technologies in GEON as critical to LTER as well. Working groups will be organized around each critical technology area, and there will be follow up meetings of these working groups over the next several months in order to develop an LTER planning document by middle of 2006.

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GeonGrid Status presented at GRIDS Community Workshop

Karan Bhatia (GEON Grid Systems Lead, SDSC) presented the current state of the GEONgrid system at the Grid Center's Community Workshop in Chicago, Ill, June 23-24 (see http://www.grids-center.org/train/June2005.asp). The workshop brought together representatives from a number of NSF-sponsored grid projects including GEON, LOOKING, SEEK, as well as BIRN (NIH-funded) and OSG (UK funded). The purpose of the meeting was, 1) To help facilitate cross-discipline interactions involving Grid middleware. Many groups have overlapping or very similar middleware needs, and the GRIDS leadership wants to help identify these targets of opportunity that will maximize benefits to the greater scientific community through coordinated effort and reduced duplication. 2) To define a set of actions -- software integration plans, documentation plans, additional training, etc. -- that directly meet needs of the e-Science projects. These actions will become priorities that guide how GRIDS can help the projects (e.g., by developing a "security appliance" to help manage certificates) and how groups can help GRIDS (e.g., by being beta testers). And 3) Set the stage for future workshops by defining other focused work areas of interest to the targeted projects.

Some of the challenges that are being tackled co-operatively with the help of the Grid Center include: integration with Teragrid, implementation of a role-based security infrastructure, and performance issues of web services, among others

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GeoFusion and Landsat Mosaics

A meeting was held at SDSC on May 23rd, to discuss use of GeoFusion for data browsing and fly-through, in GEON. Attendees included Eric Frost (GEON PI, SDSU), John Graham (SDSU), Chuck Stein (GeoFusion), Lucian Plesea and Kevin Hussey (NASA/JPL), and Chaitan Baru, Ghulam Memon, Dogan Seber, and Kai Lin (SDSC). In particular, GeoFusion provides a nice interface for browsing large, remote-sensed data sets. SDSU and SDSC have recently signed release agreements with NASA/JPL which will enable the hosting of the Landsat mosaics and related software developed by Lucian Plesea, at the GEON portal. This software has the generic capability to mosaic imagery from multiple Web Mapping Service (WMS) servers, and to serve the resulting mosaic itself as a WMS. GEON plans to investigate the possibility of using this software to integrate imagery data. This will require the development of a conversion routine to convert data from WMS servers into the GeoMatrix tile format. This functionality will enable users to fly-through very large datasets on the Web.

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CUAHSI Hydrology Information System Meeting Held at SDSC

Members of the CUAHSI-HIS project, including David Maidment (UT Austin), David Tarboton (Utah State), and Praveen Kumar (Illinois), along with Chaitan Baru, Ilya Zaslavsky, and John Helly (SDSC), met at SDSC on May 24 & 25, 2005 to discuss the design of the CUAHSI-HIS Data Portal, and how to leverage work from GEON. The CUAHSI Data Portal follows the services-oriented infrastructure being developed within GEON, specifically the GEON ontology handling tools and services, and on-demand map service generation techniques. Currently, the ontology services will allow CUAHSI researchers to browse and query hydrologic time series retrieved on demand from several federal repositories including USGS NWIS and NAWQA, EPA STORET, Ameriflux, etc. The map service generation services are used to "map-enable" the HIS digital library, so that spatial digital objects stored in the digital library can be brought into web or desktop GIS applications. Some of these technologies will be presented to a larger HIS audience at the CUAHSI HIS workshop in Durham, NC, July 11-13, 2005.

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SDSC Synthesis Center Formally Opens

SDSC Synthesis Center SDSC Synthesis Center
Chuck Meertens demo Chuck Meertens demo
The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), both at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), formally launched the SDSC/Calit2 Synthesis Center with a grand opening event on May 23, 2005. This event included a welcome address from UCSD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, followed by comments from SDSC director Fran Berman, Synthesis Center director (and GEON PI) Chaitan Baru. Further GEON presence was extended by Chuck Meertens (GEON PI, UNAVCO) who gave a talk and demonstrated some of his IDV-based visualization work, utilizing some of the SynCenter’s tools. Currently located at SDSC, the SynCenter has been designed to bring together scientists from different disciplines with information technology experts, offering users access to the existing and new cyberinfrastructure tools needed to solve multidisciplinary and multi-science problems in a collaborative way. Even though this was the official grand opening event, GEON has already held two workshops in the SynCenter. The Visualization Workshop, held in March 2005, as well as the Geo-Ontology Workshop, were the first events held in there. These were both big successes and future use of the resource is already being planned.

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NEWS FLASHES

AGU Publishes Geophysical Monograph on the Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountain Region: An Evolving Lithosphere
The American Geophysical Union has recently published the geophysical monograph on the Rocky Mountains. The Table of Contents and more information about this volume can be found at the Continental Dynamics of the Rocky Mountains webpage (http://geoscience.unlv.edu/pub/CDROM).

EarthScope/GEON Reception to be held at GSA Meeting

EarthScope and GEON will co-host an evening reception at this year’s GSA Fall Meeting (being held in Salt Lake City, October 16-19). The date and details of this event will be posted on the GEON web site when they become available.

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NSF This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0225673 (GEON). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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