Dr Simon Cox

Dr Simon Cox.

Understanding the new flood of geoscience data

Reference: 06/167

The exponential growth of data and the difficulty of understanding and using that data is a modern problem and one that has taken up the time of some of the world’s best minds.

  • 23 August 2006

For instance, the sustainable management of mineral, energy and environmental resources is a knowledge-based process that depends on reliable and continual access to a huge amount and variety of geospatial data, along with data processing and analysis tools and integration platforms. However, it could seem that we have been living in an electronic Tower of Babel, with data streaming from various databases and sensors in many different formats or languages that cannot be understood by each other.

“Combining archival and sensor data is particularly important in managing Australia’s water resources.”

The Solid Earth and Environment Grid Community (SEE Grid) was established to bring together people in the earth, environmental and computing sciences to address the issue of transparent access to data and knowledge about the earth, and open standards to enhance our ability to explore for and manage our natural and mineral resources. The community grew from an initial collaboration between CSIRO and Geoscience Australia and now includes representatives from organisations devoted to open standards and exchange including State and Commonwealth agencies.

Over the past few years there have been two conferences and an Australia-wide roadshow to demonstrate the first real-time interoperability test bed. A third conference is planned, SEE Grid III, to demonstrate and discuss the many recent advances. One new area for discussion is sensors.

“Timely decision making requires both archival and live information. This means we must combine services that provide access to the databases held by the statutory sector with live feeds from remote and in-situ sensors,” CSIRO’s Dr Simon Cox says. “Combining archival and sensor data is particularly important in managing Australia’s water resources.”

SEE Grid III Conference on ‘Computational Modelling and Decision Support in the Solid Earth and Environmental Community’ will be held from November 30 to December 1 at the CSIRO Discovery Centre, Black Mountain, Canberra.

Day one will concentrate on government drivers and new technological enablers for data and computational systems that permit real-time seamless interaction via the Internet. It will also cover developments in international standards that enable interoperability of distributed systems.

Day two will provide exemplars of computational modelling and simulation from the water, marine, solid earth and environmental communities and give insights into how high performance computing will make it possible to address increasingly sophisticated and complex scientific problems.

The deadline for registration for SEE Grid III is November 22, 2006. Registration forms and information are available from the Conference Secretary, Petra Bowling, petra.bowling@csiro.au, (08) 6436 8625.

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