Thursday, December 24, 2009

DataONE network for bio, enviro data

A new interoperable distributed network for biological and environmental data is being funded under the NSF DataNet initiative. Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) "will ensure preservation and access to multi-scale, multi-discipline, and multi-national science data. DataONE will transcend domain boundaries and make biological data available from the genome to the ecosystem; make environmental data available from atmospheric, ecological, hydrological, and oceanographic sources; provide secure and long-term preservation and access; and engage scientists, land-managers, policy makers, students, educators, and the public through logical access and intuitive visualizations."

DataONE sounds analogous to what the geoscience community is doing through the Geoscience Information Network (GIN) and the National Geothermal Data System (NGDS), but for bio-based and related data.

This is yet another indication of the convergence I'm seeing among all of the spatially-based domain sciences in digital data - Web-based, interoperable, distributed, and open-sourced.

Invitation to participate in Energy Industry Metadata Standards Initiative

The Energy Industry Metadata Standards Working Group sent out an invitation to parties potentially interested in an initiative working toward metadata standards for the energy community. I'm posting it here for wider circulation:

1. … provides a brief update about the Energy Industry Metadata Standards Initiative, an effort within the energy community to realize metadata standards and guidelines that will enable efficient discovery and evaluation of, and access to information resources both within and between organizations in the community;

2. … outlines work that will begin in Jan. 2010 to collect from such organizations the requirements for a metadata content standard that will support the goals of the initiative;

3. … and most importantly, seeks Active Participants within the community to provide the Energy Industry Metadata Standards Working Group with these requirements.

1. Initiative Update

During 2009, the Energy Industry Metadata Standards Working Group was created, and formulated a plan to develop metadata standards for efficient discovery and evaluation of, and access to information resources within the energy community. The plan incorporated input solicited from the community during

· two workshops held on March 31 and Sept. 30, with 19 and 26 organizations represented at each, respectively;

· review of a draft position paper published July 8 (published Sept. 9 in final form).

Awareness of these activities and the opportunity to provide input were widely publicized, both via email and presentations at seven technical meetings and conferences, including the AAPG Annual Meeting (Denver), ESRI User Conference (San Diego), ECIM Conference (Norway), and Digital E&P Conference (Houston). The results of these activities have been similarly widely publicized. The position paper and information about the workshops are posted on the Metadata Work Group area of Energistics’ web site.

The key deliverable in the plan is the Energy Industry Profile (EIP) of ISO 19115:2003, which is itself a robust, international metadata content specification. Preliminary requirements for the EIP were compiled during the March 31 and Sept. 30 workshops, and supplemented with information provided by members of the Work Group Steering Team. These preliminary requirements will be refined using input collected in 1Q2010 (see below) to identify the minimum collection of mandatory and recommended metadata attributes, and supporting domain values, considered by the community as necessary to support the goals of the initiative.

2. Next Steps

In Jan. 2010, the Energy Industry Metadata Standards Working Group will distribute via email to Active Participants in the initiative a request for input regarding the Energy Industry Profile. Material accompanying the request will provide Active Participants with instructions and facilitate their ability to contribute input about their organization’s perspective regarding requirements for an industry metadata standard. We anticipate providing multiple mechanisms for providing input; the minimum investment required is expected to be 2-4 hours. The deadline for Active Participants to return their organization’s input will be four weeks after distribution of the request.

Active Participant input will be used to finalize the EIP v1.0 Release Candidate specification, a document that will be published to the community for comment in May 2010. Once finalized as EIP v1.0, the specification is expected to be implemented in several pilot projects, the first of which is the result of on-going, formal collaboration with the Geoscience Information Network Project. The EIP v1.0 will be used as a component of the GIN architecture, which in turn will be implemented to enable the U.S. DOE-funded National Geothermal Data System.

3. Call for Active Participants

In preparation for distributing the Jan. 2010 request for input about the draft EIP, the Work Group invites members of the community receiving this email to identify themselves as interested in contributing as Active Participants. Those already identified as an Active Participants should confirm their interest in continuing to contribute at this level. Only Active Participants will receive the email request, and supporting material mentioned in §2 above, for requirements that will yield the EIP v1.0 Release Candidate.

If you are interested in contributing requirements as an Active Participant during this next phase of the initiative, please respond to this invitation by Jan. 11, 2010. Note: We ask that organizations identify a single Active Participant to coordinate, and reconcile if necessary, input from multiple internal stakeholders, and deliver the result to the Work Group.

We look forward to your participation in this industry development effort. If you have any questions regarding the initiative, feel free to contact any member of the Work Group Steering Team (below, and copied on this email), or send email to

Scott Hills
Chevron Energy Technology Company

Steve Richards
GIN Project/Arizona Geological Survey

Lisa Derenthal
Gimmal Group

Alan Doniger

Robert Graham
BHP Billiton Petroleum

David Danko

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back in the saddle

I started this blog with the best of intentions but.....

This year has turned into a non-stop rush centered around the growing adoption of the Geoscience Information Network, precisely the type of thing I wanted to talk about here.

So, I'm going to try again. Blogging is perfectly suited to following the fast moving developments in technology and community.

Some recent news:

DOE funds National Geothermal Data System -

AZGS launches GIN user site -

GIN developer's site -

State Geologists to deploy NGDS nationwide and populate it with state-specific data -

Energistics releases white paper on metadata standards and adopts GIN and NGDS as prototypes for data integration in the upstream petroleum industry -

Britain's OpenGeoscience

Our colleagues at the British Geological Survey continue to set the bar higher. The release of OpenGeoscience last week got a months worth of visitors in a single day with over 10 million image hits and 300,000 page views.

The BGS announcement describes it as
The site provides the world’s first open-access supply of street-level geological mapping for a whole country - better than 50m resolution - with on-the-fly viewing of bedrock and superficial geology overlaid on street maps and aerial photography. The web map service (WMS) provides access to 1:50,000 scale geological mapping for mash-up use (allowing access via OneGeology) and has open access to 50,000 photos, databases, educational resources, reports and software.