Saturday, September 08, 2012

AZGS releases framework for geoscience 'big data' initiative

"Big Data" is the popular term for cyberinfrastructure and it's becoming one of the most significant disruptors in industry today, and on the verge of doing the same in the geosciences.

Early this week, AZGS released a 200-page report, "EarthCube Governance Framework: A Proposal for the Community," that was prepared for the National Science Foundation.      The report was prepared by the EarthCube Governance Steering Committee and additional EarthCube contributors since the June 2012 NSF EarthCube charrette. It is based upon the implementation the EarthCube Governance Roadmap that we presented there: to determine the management and organizational functions required to build the national cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences, and to engage the larger community about how to do this over the next six months. [Right, components of a given scientific community that have to be addressed in building cyberinfrastructure.   Credit, Carroll Hood, Raytheon; from the report]

The EarthCube initiative is the prototype for the high-profile NSF Cyberinfrastructure for the 21st Century (CIF21) program, and touted as one of the premier components of the White House "Big Data" effort.   The functions and guiding principles we compiled could serve as the basis for a solicitation from NSF to set up an EarthCube office to carry the concepts to fruition.

AZGS has the workshop grant from NSF to develop the initial roadmap and I chair the Governance Steering Committee.    AZGS researcher Genevieve Pearthree served as editor of both the roadmap and framework documents.

We've been on the road already this summer, carrying the concepts out to the wider geoscience and IT communities.  A number of workshops are being organized around the country over the next six months to align community needs with the EarthCube vision.

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