Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Amazing Technicolor AGU meeting

Steve Richard and I have been at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco since Monday but we’ve been running from one meeting to another with hardly a minute to catch our breaths. We have a poster on Friday afternoon about the state geological survey geothermal data project (we’ll put up a pdf of the poster on the project website – next week). The number of attendees is reportedly in the 19,000 range.

But in the meantime there is just a blizzard of things we’re doing. On Monday, Dan Fay, Yan Xu and their team at Microsoft Research invited a half dozen of us to dinner to brainstorm ways to take advantage of a new “environmental informatics framework” initiative the group just launched. It’s building on the Open Data protocol which I’m still trying to comprehend. It’s much more than what I understand as a simple protocol. Steve and Tim Ahearn from the IRIS Data Management Center spent some time at the MSR booth with their developers. Within 15 minutes of accessing the IRIS database of earthquake locations, the guys had a functioning web service that could view the quake data in Excel spreadsheets to view in World Wide Telescope-Earth which is their emerging visualization package. O-Data as its called, looks powerful addition to the developers toolbox we are assembling for our data network but it’s going to take us a while to understand it fits with the other components.

We met with Leila Gonzales and Chris Keane from AGI yesterday to plan a one-day workshop at next fall’s GSA meeting in Minneapolis. The idea is to train geologists how to use GeoSciML for digital data integration with hands-on use cases. We hope to then make this an online course in partnership with the Young Earth Science (YES) network to help engage the next generation of IT-savvy geologists worldwide.

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