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Interoperability of Databases and Software Tools: Building Geoinformatics and the Cyberinfrastructure

by M. Lee Allison, Kansas Geological Survey, and Chaitan Baru, San Diego Supercomputer Center

Geoinformatics is the earth science realization of the cyberinfrastructure and promises a quantum improvement in productivity for geologists and geophysicists. It aims to allow seamless interconnection and interoperability of databases and to incorporate: acquisition and long-term maintenance of analog and digital legacy data; efficient information and data retrieval mechanisms via intelligent query interfaces; dynamic on-the-fly data compilation and presentation; accessibility to and application of visualization, analysis, data mining, and modeling capabilities; online workspaces, software tools, and tutorials; integration with online scientific journals and distributed networks of digital geo-libraries; access to real time data collection and dissemination; user-defined automatic notification and quality control filtering; and application to field techniques. The cyberinfrastructure will employ Web services and Grid computing technologies, GIS software, and provide Web-based geo-portals and search engines that are as readily available as today’s web browsers. Users will be able to access data about any geographic location, above, on, or below ground, covering any geologic time, and at any available scale.

The emerging cooperation in the earth sciences comprises three broad areas and attributes:

Organizational structure

Communications

Standards

Water

Energy

Geology

Geophysics

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