Earth Science Data Analytics/2015-12-03 Telecon

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ESDA Telecon notes – 12/03/15

Known Attendees:

ESIP Host (Erin Robinson), Steve Kempler, Sean Barberie, Chung-Lin Shie, Robert Downs, Ethan McMahon, Joan Aron, Thomas Hearty



1. ESDA Analytics Definitions and Goals Statement – ready to go

2. Starting the gap analysis between ESDA requirements and available tools/techniques

3. Preparing for ESIP Meeting in January

4. See you at AGU (??)


None, this time.

Use Case Information:


Thank you all for attending and participating in our telecon. Sorry about the video problems.

Excellent discussion… and thanks for the very relevant new information brought forth by Ethan.

ESDA definitions and goals are ready to be presented to the ESIP ExComm. Erin explained that once we send our 'letter' to them, they ail review it, put it out to the Assembly for comment for 30 days, and then put it to vote. Pretty exciting! No other organization has endorsed an Earth Science Data Analytics definition, although a few struggle to derive one.

Briefly discussing agenda item 3, we will have one ESIP Meeting cluster session that will contain, at this time: A presentation by Steve Ambrose (NASA NCCS) to discuss new tools developed by NCCS for utilizing cloud based data (we touched upon whether ESDA had the most appropriate audience for this presentation, Erin thought maybe the Cloud session would be better); And a Gap Analysis between ESDA requirements and available tools/techniques discussion.

The remainder of the telecon focused on preparing for the Gap Analysis discussion (agenda item 2). Steve started with a table that will be included on our AGU poster showing ESDA types, and applicable tools, techniques and integrated systems.

File:AGU ESDA Tools.xlsx

The thought here is to provide short descriptions of the tools, techniques and integrated systems, so that they can then be mapped to ESDA requirements, combing out gaps and areas needing improvement (added by Chung-Lin). Ethan provided us a link to a Booz Allen paper entitled: The Field Guide to Data Science (, which generated much discussion. The paper provided additional and in depth insights into a more generic view of Data Analytics goals, providing detailed 'roadmaps' to analytic techniques appropriate for the analytics goal. This hits very close to home to what we are also trying to achieve. After some thought and discussion, we decided to study the paper's goals and associated techniques to determine which apply to our targeted Earth science data analytics goals, thus ensuring that our ESDA goals are afforded the opportunity of being mapped to the detailed techniques provided by the Booz Allen paper. Seems like melding the best of both efforts.

After action items were assigned, and edits to the ESDA spreadsheet (some reflected above), we adjourned.

WInter ESIP ESDA Cluster Session Abstract:

The Earth Science Data Analytics (ESDA) Cluster has made great strides in understanding the utilization of data analytics in Earth science, an area virtually untouched in the literature. In achieiving its goal to support advancing science research that increasingly includes very large volumes of heterogeneous data, the ESDA Cluster has defined terms, documented use cases, and loosely identified tools and technologies that faciltate a better understanding of the needs of Earth science research.

This cluster session will discuss and initate the work still to be done, including evaluating use cases, extracting data analytics requirements from use cases (this will be a major part of the discussion), survey exisiting data anlytics tools and techniques, and sharing derived ESDA requirements and found technology gaps with the ESIP group interested in 'Emerging Big Data Technologies for Geoscience'.

To Do List:


1. Finalize ESDA Definition and Goal categories

2. Write letter to ESIP Executive Committee proposing that the ESDA Definitions and Goal categories be ESIP approved

3. Characterize use cases by Goal categories and other analytics driving considerations

4. Derive requirements from #3


5. Further validate requirements with (many) more additional use cases

6. Survey existing data analytics tools/techniques

7. Write our paper describing ... all the above

Questions to think about:

What is the best way to record use cases, and associated requirements, and matching tools? A forum?

Going to AGU?

The following Data Analytics / Big Data related sessions are listed to occur at the AGU in December:

  • Advanced Information Systems to Support Climate Projection Data Analysis

Gerald L Potter, Tsengdar J Lee, Dean Norman Williams, and Chris A Mattmann

  • Big Data Analytics for Scientific Data

Emily Law, Michael M Little, Daniel J Crichton, and Padma A Yanamandra-Fisher

  • Big Data in Earth Science – From Hype to Reality

Kwo-Sen Kuo, Rahul Ramachandran, Ben James Kingston Evans. and Mike M Little

  • Big Data in the Geosciences: New Analytics Methods and Parallel Algorithms

Jitendra Kumar and Forrest M Hoffman

  • Computing Big Earth Data

Michael M Little, Darren L. Smith, Piyush Mehrotra, and Daniel Duffy

  • Geophysical Science Data Analytics Use Case Scenarios

Steven J Kempler, Robert R Downs, Tiffany Joi Mathews, and John S Hughes

  • Man vs. Machine - Machine Learning and Cognitive Computing in the Earth Sciences

Jens F Klump, Xiaogang Ma, Jess Robertson and Peter A Fox

  • New approaches for designing Big Data databases

David W Gallaher and Glenn Grant

  • Partnerships and Big Data Facilities in a Big Data World

Kenneth S Casey and Danie Kinkade

  • Towards a Career in Data Science: Pathways and Perspectives

Karen I Stocks, Lesley A Wyborn, Ruth Duerr, and Lynn Yarmey

Next Telecon:

No telecon until late January… but we'll see you in Washington


Discuss Gap Analysis: Matching use case requirements with capabilities of existing tools.


1. Steve, Joan, Ethan, Sean, Chung-Lin, Rob, Thomas:

a. Read paper provided by Ethan:

b. Describe the ESDA tools/techniques we identified on our matrix shown above (More details to follow in e-mail)

c. Map techniques defined in the boozallen paper to our ESDA goals requirements, as appropriate (More details to follow in e-mail)

2. All other ESDA members: Help… please let Steve know if you can help us with Action #1