Summer 2011 Meeting - Session Details

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

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Data Science/Life-Cycle

Information/Data quality-related sessions are marked with an *

Standards and Reference Architectures for NASA Earth Science Data Systems *

We'll be inviting speakers to talk about success stories of implementing/using standards in their data systems. The standards can either be SPG endorsed standards, OGC standards, ISO standards, or de facto standards that might be candidates for the SPG standards process.


ISO Data Quality *

Standardizing the myriad of ways in which data quality can be measured is a very difficult and maybe even impossible task. Rather than taking this on, the ISO Metadata Standards provide the capability for describing data quality measures, how those measures are applied to a resource and what the results are. These approaches will be demonstrated along with connections between ISO and other dialects. I will focus on connections between quality information in netCDF (NcML) and ISO 19157, the new ISO data quality standard.

My Slides: File:ISODataQuality.ppt.

Preservation and Stewardship Use Case Workshop

In this session, we will refine and elaborate various scenarios in the life cycle of earth science data. We are taking two approaches -- First, trying to categorize and explore the breadth of scenarios, from individual scientists working and publishing themselves, to networks of citizen scientists, to industrial processing in large scale satellite missions. Second, we will select one or two and explore them in great detail throughout the life cycle. From these scenarios, we will extract the requirements for the other requirements: identifiers, citations, provenance and context content standard, ontology, etc.

Preservation and Stewardship Cluster Planning Breakout

We will review a brief status of the various active activities in the cluster and discuss future plans and milestones for the cluster. Those activities include: Data Stewardship Principles, Identifiers, Citations, Provenance and Context Content Standard, and Preservation Ontology.

Provenance and Context Content Standard Breakout

The purpose of the session is to discuss progress made in developing the Provenance and Context Content Standard proposed during the Winter meeting. Following a brief status presentation, the content items developed so far will be discussed in detail. Inputs will be solicited from the group regarding content items, their representation, and their appropriateness/adequacy to satisfy the needs of future users. Also, next steps in the standard development process will be identified.

Citations Breakout

"We will review recent advancements and the state of the art in citations, including a review of the GeoData 2011 meeting and GEOSS Science and Tech Committee citations standards.

We will also have a ""citation writing workshop"" -- bring your data set and we'll help you figure out how to cite it. This may also contribute to our understanding of more difficult citation needs that we will need to explore.

Preservation Ontology Breakout

A joint session across the Semantic Web and Preservation and Stewardship Clusters aimed at applying the semantic web technologies to the interoperability needs of preservation and stewardship. We will start with a brief presentation on the high-level steps of ontology engineering, which typically begins with forming use cases and "concept mapping". We will also briefly cover some popular provenance models (e.g. Open Provenance Model) and ISO metadata standards. The session will then focus on the initial steps of "concept mapping" some of the use cases from the Provenance and Context Content Standard. Come see some "sausage making" as we do some concept maps.

IQ cluster

The IQ Cluster will begin its work to understand different quality needs as presented by different science domain communities. These presentations will inform the development of a quality framework that might be broadly applied to the Earth science data and information community. In addition, these presentations will assist in the ESIP Federation's contributions to the GEO Quality Assurance for Earth Observations (QA4EO) task, as led by CEOS' Working Group on Calibration and Validation. The IQ Cluster also will hear from the Semantic Web Cluster to develop a quality ontology.

1st session (July 14, 1:30-3:00)

Intro and welcome – Greg Leptoukh (15 min)
QA4EO and other international DQ activities – Greg Leptoukh for Greg Stensaas (5 min)
NASA Perspective on Data Quality – Greg Leptoukh (5 min)
Discussion on Quality Indicators (e.g., separating science quality from usability) - 10 min
Suggested activities (for today and after the meeting) - 10 min
Data Quality and ISO - Ted Haberman (15 min)
Semantic Technologies for Data Quality – Peter Fox (45 min)

2nd session (July 14, 3:30-5:00)

Data Quality Needs and Approaches from Different Communities (60 minutes)
  • George Huffman (precipitation)
  • Kerstin Lehnert (geochemistry?)
  • Ed Armstrong (sea surface temperature)
  • Ross Bagwell (air quality)
Data Quality Standards
  • Rich Ullman (SPG)
  • Barry Weiss (ISO)
  • Greg Leptoukh (concluding remarks)

3rd session (July 15, 1:00-2:30)

Business Meeting
  • Selection of co-chair
  • Discussion of next steps

Other Quality Sessions

  • AQ will have a panel discussion (Th- 10:30-12)

Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Metadata Authoring Workshop

NASA's Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) enables users to discover and access data, services, and climate visualizations relevant to global change and Earth science research. In this session, participants will learn about the value of the GCMD for discovering Earth science data, services, and visualizations. In addition, data and services from ESIP members will be highlighted in the updated ESIP portal. A "hands-on" demonstration of our metadata authoring tool will be given and participants will have the opportunity to use the tool for describing their data, services, and visualizations. Please bring your laptop to the workshop.

GCMD Website

Metadata Authoring Tool

Presentation Slides

CF Standards Extensions for Remote Sensing Data

The CF metadata conventions were developed originally to meet the needs of the modeling community. We will discuss extensions needed to serve the needs of the remote sensing community, including: spectral band descriptions, swath geometry representation, and data quality representations. If there is sufficient interest, we will form a new Cluster to address these topics.


Information Technology and Interoperability

Science on Drupal

  • Intro to drupal on various levels
  • Show and tell
  • BoF sessions

ESIP Discovery Show and Tell

We will begin with a brief overview of the technologies in the ESIP Discovery Cluster. Then we will demo several actual implementations with a little discussion of what it takes to put an implementation together.

I will be demonstrating our live service, collection, and data cast feeds, the ability to aggregate feeds from multiple sources and serve them out again, as well as a portal that is totally service driven - in other words it uses OpenSearch to find the data sets that it advertises, OpenSearch to find granules of those data sets, etc. With luck you'll be able to subscribe to the results of a spatial/temporal/keyword query against the aggregator; but I am not counting on that (the iteration that functionality should be completed in starts next week!).

The Earth Observing System Clearinghouse (ECHO) has historically provided a SOAP-based programmatic interface to its metadata holdings. The SOAP interface provided a full-featured set of capabilities, but the nature of SOAP/WSDL communication required a moderate level of programming experience and effort when building an ECHO client application. The ECHO team, in cooperation with the ESIP Discovery cluster, developed the lighter weight OpenSearch API, layering it on top of its SOAP API as a simplified means of access. The new API immediately opened ECHO up to numerous new client partners and provided a simpler response format for internal use. These opportunities and the additional uses of the OpenSearch response format will be discussed.

I will talk about integrating semantics with OpenSearch. I'll show a demo of a faceted browser that we've developed for BCO-DMO based on the OpenSearch interface and an OWL vocabulary that describes some of the URIs that can be embedded in OpenSearch. In particular, I'll talk about the "rel" attribute and how it can be used for coupling services with UIs and applications, and also how it can be used to add more service execution details (outputs, preconditions, effects). I'll also talk a little about parameter extensions. Lastly, I'll talk about how we hope to use the OWL vocabulary as a web service abstraction that can integrate/federate across standards beyond OpenSearch.

Earth Science Collaboratory

This session will convene the Earth Science Collaboratory. The main topic will be how to move forward with ESC, generate and maintain momentum, and actually put something together:

Limitations in the exposure of earth science metadata via THREDDS and OPeNDAP servers

Earth data records are increasingly being made accessible via OPeNDAP and/or THREDDS data servers allowing client software to transparently access huge quantities of data. However, the organization, and quality and quantity of metadata that accompany a data collection or individual granules exposed via THREDDS and OPeNDAP can vary dramatically. For a user a priori familiar with the contents and structure of existing data products including variable names, descriptions, scaling factors, units etc this is not a problem since the fields available are enough on convey meaning. In contrast, to an application that crawls a THREDDS/OPeNDAP repository for meaningful metadata or even a data mining application, the quality of metadata available is supremely critical. For example, if variable names do not follow conventions like CF, it is difficult to automatically crawl a repository and understand the geophysical nature of data available. In this session we will explore these issues and review some practical examples as well as explore some best practices that could implemented.

Products and Services Committee Testbed Activities

Session would include an overview of the status and activities of the Products and Services Committee's Testbed. Individual Testbed developers would be asked to present overviews on their activities.

Open Source Software in the Sciences

"This session would involve talks and a panel discussion on leveraging open source software in the sciences. Important issues to cover:

  • What are the emerging and important open source technologies being used in the sciences?
  • What are the licensing issues with using open source software?
  • What open source software communities should ESIP be targetting?
  • How can we set up successful open source software communities?
  • What are the concerns in the areas of redistribution, attribution and commercialization that we should care about when dealing with open source software?
  • How does the use of open source affect your system's architecture?
  • What are the successful open source models?

We will invite members from the ESIP community to come and weigh in on the above topics, as well as have a focused panel with some directed questions that help to flush out some of the ideas and topics.

Visualization Practices

Technology Infusion for the Decadal Survey Era: Data Quality Capability Needs

Based on information derived from the NASA Technology Infusion Working Group's decadal survey mission use cases, this session will explore candidate technologies and infusion strategies that could be applied to meet the technology needs of data systems for the decadal survey era missions.

The focus at ESIP will be three key challenges arising from the use cases that relate to Data Quality:

  1. How to communicate a clear, consistent, coherent model / terminology for Data Quality to the user community
  2. How to develop a community consensus on the quality of datasets
  3. Assessing the quality of custom data products

Decadal Survey

"Decadal Survey" - refers to the National Research Council report "Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond"

Use Cases


Capability Vision

Data Quality External Links of Interest

Session Notes

Service Casting

Semantic Web Planning

  • Summarize activities of previous 6 months
  • Plan for January meeting (likely topic: collaboration)
  • Plan for activities in the meantime
  • Consider Erin's Use Case for the Projects ontology

Cloud Computing

Intro to Cloud Computing

As a complement to the proposed Cloud Computing workshop, this session will be aimed at those new to the concept, principles, and Federal mandate. CC will be defined and explained in basic technical terms. Roles will discussed, such as that of the system owner, the system integrator, and the hosting provider. A list of pros and cons--with examples--will be offered along with the identification of some of the key players in the marketplace.

Beyond this management and technical overview, a brief review of the Office of Management and Budget's 'Cloud First' policy will be presented along with some analysis as to how that fits with data center consolidation.

Cloud Computing Workshop: Hands-On

This session is a hands-on workshop to help Earth scientists experience the process of deploying applications on a commercial cloud platform. We will use the Microsoft Azure Cloud as an example. Microsoft has agreed to make free Azure accounts available for the participants of this session. The participants will be able to register for a free cloud account before the workshop. The presenters will first show how to deploy two geospatial Web applications on the Azure cloud platform. These applications are: (i) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) interpolation and (ii) an instance of the open layer geospatial viewer. In the second part, the presenters will (optionally) help the participants deploy their own application(s) using their free Azure account. The presenters will assume moderate technical background, and the tutorial is designed for a large audience with various backgrounds. If you are attending this session, please subscribe to the ESIP_2011_Cloud list by visiting this link:

You will then be able to receive emails regarding the session's logistics.


Cloud Computing Applications and Studies

This session focuses on the applications and studies of cloud computing. In recent years, there has been a lot of interest on understating and apply cloud computing in Earth Science, in areas such as science data processing, user supports, decision support, just to name a few. Representatives from several NASA-funded projects have been invited to share their experience.

  • Evaluating Cloud Computing in the NASA DESDynI Ground Data System - John Tran - NASA/JPL Slides
  • The Airborne Cloud Computing Environment (ACCE) Project - Sean Hardman - NASA/JPL Slides
  • Oceanographic Cloud Study - Michael Gangl - NASA/ESDIS/PO.DAAC
  • The Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project (LMMP) - Emily Law - NASA/JPL Slides
  • Geospatial Platform Demo: A cloud study using EC2 and Azure - Phil Yang - GMU

Cloud Computing for Earth Science Panel Discussion

Based on recent advancement in cloud computing, and the needs for cloud computing from agencies, industry, academia in enabling research and applications, we organize the panel among agencies, academia, industry to discuss how cloud computing could help Earth sciences. We will discuss: 1. How to put Earth science applications onto Cloud Computing environment? 2. Why we need cloud computing for Earth sciences and what can't be achived without cloud computing? 3. How to optimize application or cloud computing to enable Earth science and applications? 4. How the Earth science and applications may shape cloud computing?

Societal Benefit Areas and Education/Outreach

Teacher Workshop

Participating G6-12 educators will attend a 1.5 day workshop that starts Tuesday morning and wraps up Wednesday at noon. The teacher workshop will have an overall theme of Earth Science Education with an integral strand dedicated to Climate Change Education where educators will learn about climate change science, climate resources, and ways to effectively communicate climate change topics.

Educators will also be able to choose from several breakout sessions demonstrating ways that Earth science tools and data can be used in science classrooms. Workshop sessions will be led by ESIP members from NOAA, NASA, EPA, DOE, and several Universities from around the country. Educators will also have a chance to brainstorm lesson plan development based on grade levels. After lunch, everyone is invited to stay for the ESIP conference plenary sessions followed by a fun and informational poster session Wednesday evening.

For more details:



download a PDF version of the workshop agenda.

Presentation Files

PDF version of Karl Benedict's Workshop entitled "Finding and using map and data services for data intensive science teaching"

Broader Impact: Expert Science Review of Educational Materials

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Pathway project invites you to contribute your scientific expertise to educators by providing the final expert review of climate change and energy resources before they are accepted into the collection.

You can provide your review right at the meeting using our online review station. The location of the review station will be posted here soon.

CLEAN's primary goal is to steward a broad collection of educational resources and foster a supporting community to help facilitate students, teachers, and citizens becoming climate literate and informed about "the climate's influence on you and society and your influence on climate." The current collection can be explored at


Energy and Climate Cluster

July 13, 2011 Wednesday

8:15 – 9:45 AM Track 5 Energy-Climate Breakout

  • GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot (AIP-3) Energy Scenario: Use case of the environmental impact assessment of the production, transportation and use of energy for the photovoltaic (PV) sector – Lionel Menard, École des Mines de Paris (via WebEx)
  • Wind Energy Resource Assessment – Daran Rife, NCAR
  • Application of Statistical Correlations of Sub-Hourly Irradiance Measurements and Hourly SUNY Data to Photovoltaic Array Performance – Marissa R. Hummon, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

9:45 – 10:00 AM Break

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Track 5 Energy-Climate Breakout (Cont’d)

  • Partnerships for Wind Energy Siting Decision Tools – Alison LaBonte, OSTP, and Taber Allison, AWWI (via WebEx)
  • NREL Data Sources and Quality – Debbie Brodt-Giles, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (via WebEx)
  • The New Peer-To-Peer Architecture of the Earth System Grid Federation – Luca Cinquini, NASA/JPL
  • Impact of Climate Change on Energy Demand and the Optimal Site Selection of Wind and Solar Farms - Glenn Higgins et al, Northrop Grumman

July 15, 2011 Friday

8:30 – 10:00 AM Track 5 Energy-Climate Breakout

  • ESIP Energy-Climate Cluster - A Project Proposal - "Wind Energy Siting Data Coordination"

Air Quality Work Group

  • Interoperability workshop
  • Panel on AQ Data Quality Needs


Proposed Bylaw Changes: ESIP Community Discussion

Building and Leveraging Capacities for the ESIP Community

As an organization, ESIP optimizes collaboration and fostering connections through in-person meetings and virtually through collaboration space on the Web. The networked, community-driven approach largely is aimed at fostering Earth science interoperability – for data, systems, people and organizations. This synergy between collaboration and broad expertise allows the ESIP Federation to play an important coordination role for the Earth science data and technology community. The ESIP Federation is fostering the development of a research community that cuts across traditional discipline and related boundaries, enabling communities to share tools, data and technology. Ultimately, this coordination across sectors and communities will address problems central to access and use of Earth science data and information, allow Earth science research to be of higher quality and done more quickly, and leverage the work of the many communities contributing to Earth science knowledge. The ESIP Federation is at a strategic crossroads with the development of these important opportunities. This breakout session will focus on discussion about how the Federation can build and leverage collaboration capabilities in order to move forward successfully. There will also be time to discuss how to leverage ESIP’s on-going contributions to the current community while providing an open and welcoming space for external organizations to join forces. Please come and share your ideas and vision about how ESIP should move forward and work with others.

ESIP 101

As the ESIP Federation has grown in size and scope of activities, many new faces have been drawn into our community. For those new to the ESIP Federation or anyone interested in learning more about its activities, join us for an overview presentation that will highlight the history, current activities, opportunities for involvement and how to become a partner. Bring your morning joe and breakfast to this informal session.