GEON Newsletter || October 2005
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GEON Announces 'Geoinformatics 2006' Meeting to be held May 10-12 in Reston, VA

Geoinformatics 2006 GEON (NSF) and the U.S. Geological Survey, will co-sponsor a national conference 'Geoinformatics 2006' in May of next year. The conference will focus on cyberinfrastructure for the discovery, integration, management and visualization of geoscience data, towards improved understanding of processes that have shaped the earth and its environment over time. Geoinformatics 2006 will provide a forum for geoscience and information technology/computer science researchers and educators to present new data, models, and technologies, as they relate to the development of cyberinfrastructure for the Geosciences.

This meeting is currently in its preliminary planning stages. Please follow this newsletter and the GEON website for further information about the meeting. The meeting will be held on May 10-12, 2006, at the U.S. Geological Survey headquarters in Reston, VA. Please save the date and plan to attend this conference


GEON Holds Cyberinfrastructure Workshop at the University of Hyderabad, India

GEON Workshop, University of Hyderabad, India The GEON Cyberinfrastructure Workshop was held at the University of Hyderabad, India, on October 24-27, 2005. The meeting was co-organized by Dr. Chaitan Baru (SDSC), Prof. K.V. Subbarao, Center for Earth & Space Sciences (CESS), Univ of Hyd, and Prof. Arun Agarwal, Dept. of Computer Science and Center for Modeling, Simulation and Design (CMSD), Univ of Hyd. The workshop was held immediately following the PRAGMA-9 meeting (Pacific Rim Application & Grid Middleware Assembly,, which was also held at the University of Hyderabd. There were about 30 attendees including graduate students, faculty, and research staff from a number of universities and national institutes across India. These included the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Andhra University, Goa University, University of Pune, Delhi University, and the Geological Survey of India.

Instructors at the workshop included Dr. Chaitan Baru, Dr. Dogan Seber, Ashraf Memon, and Sandeep Chandra (SDSC), Prof. Mark Gahgan (Penn State), and Dr. Boyan Brodaric (Geological Survey of Canada). During the workshop, presentations were also given by some of the participants, including Dr. Rajeev Wankar, University of Hyderabad, Dr. Ajai Manglik, NGRI, Dr. U. Kameshwara Rao, NMDC, and Profs. Namdeo Pawar and Nitin Karmalkar, University of Pune. The open sessions at the end of each day, and at the end of the workshop—moderated by Dr. Baru and Profs. Subbarao and Agarwal—led to interesting discussions and concrete plans for next steps. A strong interest was expressed by many participants for registering their data into GEON. There was also discussion about, perhaps, establishing a full-fledged GEON node to coordinate data submissions in India. Currently, a test node has already been deployed and will be used to test registration of some of the data that is readily available at University of Hyderabad. Interest was also expressed in continuing GEON Workshops in future in India, with the possibility of rotating the venue across different locations in India.


GEON Has Strong Showing at Geological Society of America Fall Meeting

GEON at GSA GEON had a strong presence at the Geological Society of American (GSA) meeting that was held last week, October 16-19, in Salt Lake City. Prof. Randy Keller (UTEP) and Prof. Krishna Sinha (VA Tech) co-chaired a session entitled "4-D evolution of Continents: Integrated Solutions Through Cyberinfrastructure", which included presentations by Dr. Chaitan Baru (SDSC) and Prof. John Oldow (Idaho). Prof. Ramon Arrowsmith (Arizona State) gave a Pardee Symposium talk entitled "New Directions and Challenges in Tectonic Geomorphology", and Dr. Allister Rees (U.Arizona) presented in other sessions at this meeting. A number of GEON PIs and project team members were on-hand throughout the week at the GEON booth, talking with conference attendees and providing demonstrations of some of the tools that have been developed in GEON. We estimate that approximately 1500 conference attendees visited the booth.

GEON and EarthScope teamed up to host an evening reception on Monday evening, October 17th, at the GSA conference. Approximately 130 guests were in attendance and the event provided a networking opportunity for those interested in EarthScope and GEON.

Prof. Krishna Sinha led the first business meeting of the proposed GSA Division of Geoinformatics, on Tuesday, October 18th. About 50 GSA members were in attendance. Based on the broad support expressed in this meeting, Prof. Sinha plans to proceed ahead with submitting a formal proposal to GSA to create the Division of Geoinformatics.


GEON PIs Hold Fall PI Meeting

GEON Fall PI Meeting The team of GEON Principal Investigators came together for the Fall PI meeting, at the University of Utah campus, on Saturday, October 15th. This meeting was held in conjunction with the GSA Annual Meeting, which was in Salt Lake City this year. The primary focus of the meeting was planning the science activities for the coming year, and identifying PIs who will take the lead in these efforts. A number of meetings and workshops were planned to support these goals and will be organized in the coming months.

The first such workshop will be facilitated by Prof. John Oldow (Idaho) regarding "Digital Acquisition: From hand-held computers to ground-based LIDAR", and is currently being planned for January 2006 in San Diego. This activity has been funded by a grant from NSF. Other workshops being organized include:

Portal Usability
3D models
netCDF Registration meeting
GIS Compilation and Usability
Strand map/ontology
Future Directions in Technology

Details regarding these and other activities/events organized by GEON will be announced in upcoming newsletters and on the GEON website. A current list of upcoming activities can be accessed on the GEON calendar at

The agenda and minutes From the GEON Fall 2005 PI meeting can be accessed at:


GEON Team and Point-of-Presence at UC Davis

Dr Ullas Nambiar Dr. Ullas Nambiar, a recent graduate from the Department of Computer Science at Arizona State University, and expert on data integration, imprecise queries, and mining of heterogeneous data sources, has joined the Department of Computer Science at UC Davis as a postdoctoral researcher. He is working with Dr. Bertram Ludaescher, GEON co-PI and Associate Professor at UC Davis and Dr. Kai Lin from the San Diego Supercomputer Center, on GEON scientific data integration problems, including spatial integration and ontology-based extensions. The GEON team at UC Davis has access to a new HPC cluster named 'Elvis' at the Department of Computer Science. Running (and some say rolling) on SDSC's ROCKS package, Elvis cycles will be made accessible through the new GEON PoP (Point-of-presence) node ( that has recently been installed at UC Davis. Through this GEON portal at UC Davis, authenticated local developers, students and faculty will have access to various GEON software and tools.


GeoSphere is Published and Accepting Papers

GeoSphere The Geological Society of America's on-line journal, GeoSphere, published its first issue at the end of August and accepting papers for future issues. GEON PI Randy Keller (UTEP) is the Editor of this journal and PI Ramon Arrowsmith (Az State) is Associate Editor. This has been an exceptionally fast start-up for this journal, which can be found online at:


Webcasts of Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute Archived Online

Geoinformatics 2006 Webcasts of all presentations given during the Cyberinfrastructure Summer Institute 2005 (CSIG05) are archived and accessible on the GEON website at

A table published at this website shows the speaker, topic, and title of each presentation and includes a link to the archived webcast. We have already received some feedback from viewers, informing us that the webcasts have served a useful purpose as tutorials on IT topics that have been a "mystery" in the past to scientists. If you have not yet attended a CSIG - or would benefit from a reminder of a presentation given - please take the time to look at the list of archived webcasts available and view those of interest.



Dinosauria Dr. Allister Rees, with co-authors (and dinosaur experts) Christopher Noto and David Weishampel, presented a poster at the 65th annual SVP (Society of Vertebrate Paleontology) meeting (Oct 19-22) on "A New Online Database of Dinosaur Distributions". This was the 'electronic coming out party' for the dinosaur data, now available through GEON at:

Dr. Rees was also invited to give a talk at the Non-Marine Permian Symposium (New Mexico Museum of Natural History, Oct 23-25) on "Permian Plant Biogeography and Climate Inference". This was very well-received, and there was strong interest in combining all aspects of the terrestrial record toward better understanding Permian biogeography, climate, and tectonic reconstructions. All his research reprints (as well as copies of the GEON annual report) were snapped up within minutes of his talk!


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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