Integrating meteorological tools and data into digital libraries: A strategy used in the Visual Geophysical Exploration Environment
Rajul E. Pandya, UCAR/DLESE, Boulder, CO; and B. Domenico, M. Marlino, and D. Murray
In spite of consistent developments that have made it easier to access and download meteorological data, there are still numerous barriers to widespread use of these data by undergraduates not majoring in meteorology: · Typical search engines don’t allow discovery of these data · Decoding the data requires sophisticated technological skill · Selecting relevant tools and performing appropriate analysis presumes considerable scientific insight
Digital libraries provide an opportunity to overcome these barriers. Digital libraries typically consist of Web-based resources as well as services to support students and educators in locating and using those resources. While including data in digital libraries makes data easier to discover, it does little to address the other barriers to widespread student use. A more effective strategy integrates data with tools and curricula¯data are chosen to illustrate fundamental concepts in meteorology, analysis tools are matched to the data, and both data and tools are embedded in a curricular element that guides students in their effective use. The curricula themselves are then catalogued as objects in digital libraries. This brings the sophisticated discovery mechanisms of digital libraries to bear on meteorological data and tools, ensuring the “findability” of data, and the availability of tools and suitable contexts to make it usable.
An example of this strategy is the Visual Geophysical Exploration Environment (VGEE). An online curriculum focused on El Nino includes pointers to a visualization tool and access to a number of relevant data sets. The visualization tool is a customized version of the Integrated Data Viewer (IDV), a Java-based meteorological visualization tool developed by Unidata. Access to data is built on the foundation of Thematic Real-time Data Distributed Servers (THREDDS). In addition to providing a convenient way to access previously chosen data sets over the Web, THREDDS allows a catalog to grow as new data becomes available. Finally, the curriculum itself is catalogued as a resource in the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE).
Our presentation will illustrate the discovery of the VGEE in DLESE, demonstrate its use, describe experiences in classroom implementation, and provide suggestions for adapting the VGEE model for other curricula. An example of the discovery scenario can be seen at http://www.dpc.ucar.edu/VGEE_demo/.
Work on this project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 9972491 (VGEE), 0121623 (THREDDS) and 0215640 (DLESE Infrastructure).
Extended Abstract (144K)
Supplementary URL: http://www.dpc.ucar.edu/vgee
Session 4, University Educational Initiatives (Room 615/616)
Tuesday, 13 January 2004, 1:30 PM-5:15 PM, Room 615/616
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