2A.5 Development of Environmental Decision Support System: Unifying Cross-Discipline Data Access Through Open Source Tools

Monday, 7 January 2013: 5:00 PM
Room 11AB (Austin Convention Center)
Shawn Freeman, Northrop Grumman, Chantilly, VA; and K. Darmenova, G. Higgins, and D. Apling

A common theme when it comes to accessing climate and environmental datasets is that it can be difficult to answer the five basic questions: Who, What, When, Where, and Why. Sometimes even the act of locating a data set or determining how it was generated can prove difficult. It is even more challenging for non-scientific individuals such as planners and policy makers who need to access and include such information in their work. Our Environmental Decision Support System (EDSS) attempts to address this issue by integrating several open source packages to create a simple yet robust web application for conglomerating, searching, viewing, and downloading environmental information for both scientists and decision makers alike. The system is comprised of several open source components, each playing an important role in the EDSS. The Geoportal web application provides an intuitive interface for searching and managing metadata ingested from data sets/data sources. The GeoServer and ncWMS web applications provide overlays and information for visual presentations of the data through web mapping services (WMS) by ingesting ESRI shapefiles, NetCDF, and HDF files. Users of the EDSS can browse the catalog of available products, enter a simple search string, or even constrain searches by temporal and spatial extents. Combined with a custom visualization web application, the EDSS provides a simple yet efficient means for users to not only access and manipulate climate and environmental data, but also trace the data source and the analytical methods used in the final decision aids products.
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