83rd Annual

Tuesday, 11 February 2003: 11:00 AM
Integrating Real-time Environmental Data and Analysis Tools into Educational Digital Libraries: Two Approaches
Ben Domenico, Unidata/UCAR, Boulder, CO; and J. Caron, E. Davis, R. Kambic, and S. Nativi
A relatively new Unidata initiative called THREDDS (THematic Servers for Real-time Environmental Data Distributed Services) endeavors to make real-time data at a number of server sites readily available for analysis and display. An important THREDDS objective is to integrate the datasets on these servers into the discovery systems for digital libraries such as DLESE (the Digital Library for Earth System Education) and the NSDL (National Science Digital Library).

Two approaches for achieving this goal are underway. THREDDS is working with the data providers to develop a set of tools that enable the data provider sites to create inventories and catalogs of the datasets available at their sites. The tools will be partially automated, that is, there will be a human in the loop providing general characteristics of large classes of data on the site while automated agents will generate the detailed metadata associated with individual datasets. This automation is especially important at sites where new data products are arriving at a rate of several per second. The metadata in these catalogs will be made available in forms that are compatible with the harvesting systems of the digital libraries.

THREDDS is working with data analysis tool builders to establish a second connection to the digital libraries by providing software components that will enable educators to embed references to datasets and analysis tools into online educational modules. The resulting online educational publications will be incorporated into the digital libraries in the same fashion as other educational modules. In this way, an educator using the digital library discovery system will find materials that in turn reference datasets on THREDDS servers that can be examined interactively using THREDDS analysis and display tools.

This paper describes the current status of the THREDDS efforts to integrate environmental data and analysis tools into digital libraries.

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