Breathing new life into old collections – Using citizen Science to revitalising Geoscience Australia Microscope Slide Based collections

Mr John Pring1, Dr Richard Blewett1, Mr Billie Poignand1, Mr Oliver Raymond1, Dr David Champion1, Ms Irina Bastrakova1, Mr Neal Evans1, Mr Peter Butler1, Dr Alastair Stewart1

1Geoscience Australia, Canberra, Australia,john.pring@ga.gov.aurichard.blewett@ga.gov.au, billie.poignand@ga.gov.au, oliver.raymond@ga.gov.au,  david.champion@ga.gov.au, irina.bastrakova@ga.gov.au, neal.evans@ga.gov.au, peter.butler@ga.gov.aualastair.stewart@ga.gov.au

 

DESCRIPTION

Since soon after the federation of Australia in 1901 Geoscience Australia, and its predecessors organisations, have gathered a significant collection of microscope slide based items (including: thin sections of rock and micro fossils) from across Australia, Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, the Asia Pacific region and beyond. The samples from which the microscope slides were produced have been gathered via extensive geological mapping programs, work conducted for major Commonwealth building initiatives such as the Snowy Mountain Scheme and science expeditions. The cost of recreating this collection, if at all possible, would be measured in the $100Ms (AUS) even assuming that it was still possible to source the relevant samples.

While access to these microscope slides is open to industry, educational institutions and the public it has not been easy to locate specific slides due to the management system. The management of this collection was based largely on an aged card catalogue and ledger system. The fragmented nature of the management system with the increasing potential for the deterioration of physical media and the loss of access to even some of the original contributors meant that rescue work was (and still is) needed urgently.

Achieving progress on making the microscope slides discoverable and accessible in the current fiscally constrained environment dictated a departure from what might be considered a traditional approach to the project and saw the extensive use of a citizen science approach through the use of DigiVol and reference to a small number of onsite volunteers.

Through the use of a citizen science approach the proof of concept project has seen the transcription of some 35,000 sample metadata and data records (2.5 times our current electronic holdings) from a variety of hardcopy sources by a diverse group of volunteers. The availability of this data has allowed for the electronic discovery of both the microscope slides and their parent samples, and will hopefully lead to a greater utilisation of this valuable resource and enable new geoscientific insights from old resources.

One of the other benefits of the use of Digivol has been increasing Geoscience Australia’s positive exposure to a totally new section of the general public.  It has highlighted the role of the agency to an audience that had previously had little or no involvement with the geosciences.

REFERENCES

  1. DigiVol citizen science transcription site available from https://volunteer.ala.org.au/ accessed 1 August 2017
  2. Geoscience Australia eCat Record http://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/112965, created 28 Aug 2017

Biography:

John Pring holds a Masters of Management Studies (Project Management/Technology and Equipment) from the University of New South Wales and an Electrical Engineering Degree from the University of Southern Queensland.

He has been Senior Project Manager within the Environmental Geoscience Division of Geoscience Australia for some 10 years and has run a number of projects associated with the management of the agencies data and physical collections over that time.

He has held similar roles within other government agencies prior to joining Geoscience Australia.

Breathing new life into old collections – Using citizen science to revitalise Geoscience Australia’s Microscope Slide Based collections

Mr John Pring1, Dr Richard Blewett1, Mr Billie Poignand1, Mr Oliver Raymond1, Dr David Champion1, Ms Irina Bastrakova1, Mr Neal Evans1, Mr Peter Butler1, Dr Alastair Stewart1

1Geoscience Australia, Canberra, Australia, john.pring@ga.gov.au, richard.blewett@ga.gov.au, billie.poignand@ga.gov.au, oliver.raymond@ga.gov.audavid.champion@ga.gov.au, irina.bastrakova@ga.gov.auneal.evans@ga.gov.aupeter.butler@ga.gov.au, alastair.stewart@ga.gov.au

DESCRIPTION

Since soon after the federation of Australia in 1901 Geoscience Australia, and its predecessors organisations, have gathered a significant collection of microscope slide based items (including: thin sections of rock and micro fossils) from across Australia, Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, the Asia Pacific region and beyond. The samples from which the microscope slides were produced have been gathered via extensive geological mapping programs, work conducted for major Commonwealth building initiatives such as the Snowy Mountain Scheme and science expeditions. The cost of recreating this collection, if at all possible, would be measured in the $100Ms (AUS) even assuming that it was still possible to source the relevant samples.

While access to these microscope slides is open to industry, educational institutions and the public it has not been easy to locate specific slides due to the management system. The management of this collection was based largely on an aged card catalogue and ledger system. The fragmented nature of the management system with the increasing potential for the deterioration of physical media and the loss of access to even some of the original contributors meant that rescue work was (and still is) needed urgently.

Achieving progress on making the microscope slides discoverable and accessible in the current fiscally constrained environment dictated a departure from what might be considered a traditional approach to the project and saw the extensive use of a citizen science approach through the use of DigiVol and reference to a small number of onsite volunteers.

Through the use of a citizen science approach the proof of concept project has seen the transcription of some 35,000 sample metadata and data records (2.5 times our current electronic holdings) from a variety of hardcopy sources by a diverse group of volunteers. The availability of this data has allowed for the electronic discovery of both the microscope slides and their parent samples, and will hopefully lead to a greater utilisation of this valuable resource and enable new geoscientific insights from old resources.

One of the other benefits of the use of Digivol has been increasing Geoscience Australia’s positive exposure to a totally new section of the general public.  It has highlighted the role of the agency to an audience that had previously had little or no involvement with the geosciences.

REFERENCES

  1. DigiVol citizen science transcription site available from https://volunteer.ala.org.au/ accessed 1 August 2017
  2. Geoscience Australia eCat Record http://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/112965, created 28 Aug 2017

Biography:

John Pring holds a Masters of Management Studies (Project Management/Technology and Equipment) from the University of New South Wales and an Electrical Engineering Degree from the University of Southern Queensland.

He has been Senior Project Manager within the Environmental Geoscience Division of Geoscience Australia for some 10 years and has run a number of projects associated with the management of the agencies data and physical collections over that time.

He has held similar roles within other government agencies prior to joining Geoscience Australia.

A survey of attitudes, perceptions and experiences around data sharing and the concept of open data in the Australian Earth Science community

Prof. Brent Mcinnes1, Prof. Joel  Cutcher-Gershenfeld2

1Curtin University, Perth, Australia, b.mcinnes@curtin.edu.au

2Brandeis University, Waltham, USA, joelcg@brandeis.edu

 

This work reports on the findings of a 2017 national survey of attitudes, perceptions and experiences around data sharing in the Australian Earth Sciences community. The survey, which is the first of its kind in Australia, provides a benchmark metric for the adoption and utilisation of open data concepts by Australian Earth Scientists, and to determine where Australia sits in the “open data” spectrum relative to counterparts in the United States and Europe.

A total of 249 Earth Science professionals from academic (69%), government (22%) and industrial/other organisations (9%) participated in the survey.  The responses were evaluated on the basis of self-identification of gender, disciplinary focus (geoscience, eResearch and interdisciplinary) and age cohort.  Notable findings include:

  1. For all respondents, there are large gaps between the importance of finding, accessing, and using data within across fields/disciplines and the ease of doing so. The gaps are smaller across fields/disciplines, but are present.  Interdisciplinary researchers value finding, accessing, and using data within and across fields more than others, while also having a larger gap in perceived difficulty of accessing this data.
  2. Women value finding, accessing, and using data within and across fields more than men, while also having a larger gap on difficulty. The most senior cohort sees using data from other fields as being of less importance than others.
  3. For geoscience and interdisciplinary respondents there is not strong perceived support from employers or colleagues for bridging across fields and disciplines, or open sharing and reuse of data. In contrast, those whose primary identity is eResearch do experience such support. Interestingly, the lowest perceived support is among those with the most experience.
  4. The current state of geoscience eResearch infrastructure is not seen as sufficient to ensure effective data preservation. Confidence around eResearch concepts is low, except for respondents that identified as eResearch professionals. All agreed on the importance of improving mechanisms for credit and that tenure/promotion policies are a substantial barrier to creating an open data environment.
  5. Sharing data on physical samples is seen as important by all, and very important by eResearch professionals, however it is perceived as being hard to do. The actual sharing of physical samples is not seen as hard to do however.
  6. Geoscientists and interdisciplinary scholars do not see leaders clarifying common directions and aligning efforts in sharing data, models, and software; eResearch professions do see that leadership and do see this as aligned with their work.
  7. There are challenges around cooperation and open sharing of data within the Geosciences, within eResearch, and between the two. The challenges are even greater when it comes to end-user knowledge and training around accessing open data ecosystems.

 

Biography:

Brent is the Director of the John de Laeter Centre (JdLC), a Curtin-based research infrastructure hub operating $33M of research grade analytical facilities which employs 25 staff that supports research, education and training in the minerals, petroleum and environmental sectors.

Research ID: researcherid.com/rid/B-7408-2013

ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-2776-0574

ASCI, a Service Catalog for Docker

Mr John Marcou1, Robbie Clarken1, Ron Bosworth1, Andreas Moll1

1Australian Synchrotron, Melbourne, Victoria, robbie.clarken@synchrotron.org.au, john.marcou@synchrotron.org.au, ron.bosworth@synchrotron.org.au, andreas.moll@synchrotron.org.au

 

MOTIVATION

The Australian Synchrotron Computing Infrastructure (ASCI) is a platform to deliver users easy access to a remote desktop to process their experiment  data. Every experiment  station, or beamline, can start and connect to their own desktop environment with a web-browser, find their specific processing applications, and access their experiment data.

ASCI acts as a Service Catalog for Docker. It is used to start remote interactive desktops or processing services which run inside Docker containers.

KEY FEATURES

  • Remote Desktop instances
  • Web-browser based
  • User home folders
  • Desktop sharing feature between users
  • CUDA and OpenGL on NVIDIA support
  • Run multiple sessions on multiple nodes in parallel
  • Label-based scheduler to distribute the load on cluster

ARCHITECTURE

ASCI is a stateless  micro-services  solution.  Every  component  runs within  a Docker container.  The  infrastructure   is  based  on  the  CoreOS  Container  Linux  operating system, providing the main tooling to run containerized  applications.  This operating system is deployed using Terraform which is an infrastructure management tool supporting  multiple  providers,  and  allows  automated  machine  deployment.  With ASCI,  we  use  Terraform  manifests  to  deploy  CoreOS  Container  Linux  to  virtual machines on VMware vSphere cluster, or as stateless operating system on bare-metal, using CoreOS Matchbox.

THE CONTROL PLANE

The ASCI Control Plane provides two main components:

  • the ASCI Web UI contacts the ASCI API to interact with ASCI and start Desktops
  • the ASCI API contacts the Docker API on the compute nodes to schedule and manage new ASCI instance

All the proxy elements are used to route the request within the infrastructure in order to reach the Web-UI or a specific Desktop. The ASCI Admin UI is a convenient way to customize the scheduler and list the running ASCI instances.

THE DESKTO

The user connects to a web-interface which lists the environments available for creation. When a desktop is requested, the ASCI API schedules the Docker container on the cluster. When the user connects to a desktop, the ASCI API generates a one-time-password  and which is delivered to the user’s  web-browser  to establish  a VNC connection over WebSockets (noVNC).

The desktop  instance  is running  in a Docker  container.  A base image is built with standard tools and libraries, shared by  every  environment,   such  as  the  NVIDIA,  CUDA  and VirtualGL libraries, and the graphical environment (MATE).

This  image  is  use  as  parent  for  every  child  environment, which provides specialised scientific applications.

Users can store their documents in their home folder. The sharing feature allow users to share their Desktop with others.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                             ASCI architecture

 

OPENGL SUPPORT

Supporting OpenGL is complex since the Xorg implementation doesn’t allow multiple desktops attached to the same GPU to process GLX instructions. A solution is the VirtualGL approach. Under this system there is a single GPU- attached Xorg server, called 3DX, and multiple non-GPU desktops, called 2DX. When an application started on a 2DX desktop needs to process a GLX instruction, the VirtualGL library catches and forwards the instruction to the 3DX server for processing on the GPU.

VirtualGL architecture


I
NFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES

ASCI relies on the following infrastructure services:

  • DNSmasq provides DNS resolution for the ASCI DNS sub-domain
  • BitBucket is the Git repository manager used is this environment
  • ASCI delivered applications are built as RPM packages which are stored on a local YUM Repository
  • Autobuild is an application which builds Docker image on new commit event, and push them to the Docker Registry
  • Docker Registry stores the Docker images. These images are downloaded as needed by the Docker hosts
  • Matchbox  is  the  PXE  server  to  provide  Boot-On-Lan.  It  is  configurable  via  API.  This  system  is  used  to  boot  ASCI workers on the network

 The monitoring solution is built with these components:

  • JournalBeat  and  MetricBeat  run  on  every  monitored  system  and  collect  log  and  metrics  to  send  to  the  logging database
  • HeartBeat monitors a list of services to report theirs state in the logging database
  • ElasticSearch is a search engine used to store and index logs and metrics
  • Kibana is a Web interface for ElasticSearch
  • ElastAlert, the alert manager, watches logs and metrics to trigger alerts and notifications based on rules

 


Biography:

I work at the Australian Synchrotron as DevOps/HPC engineer.

Immersive Visualization Technologies for eResearch

Dr Jason Haga1, Dr David Barnes2, Dr Maxine Brown3, Dr Jason Leigh4

1Cyber-Physical Cloud Research Group, AIST, Tsukuba, Japan,

2Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform, Monash Univ., Melbourne, Australia,

3Electronic Visualization Laboratory, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, USA,

4Univ. of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu, USA

Title Immersive Visualization Technologies for eResearch
Synopsis

One Paragraph

It is well known that data is accumulating at an unprecedented rate. These troves of big data are invaluable to all sectors of society, especially eResearch activities. However, the amount of data is posing significant challenges to data-intensive science. The visualization and analysis of data requires an interdisciplinary effort and next generation technologies, specifically interactive environments that can immerse the user in data and provide tools for data analytics. One type of immersive technology is virtual reality (VR) and the Unity development platform, which together are becoming a viable, innovative solution for a wide variety of applications. To highlight this concept, we showcase two prototype VR applications: 1) for river disaster management using over 17,000 different sensors deployed throughout Japan, and 2) a “multi-player” collaborative virtual environment for scientific data that works across the scale of displays from desktop through ultra-scale CAVE2-like systems for two datasets: a segmented Kookaburra anatomy and an archaeological dig in Laos. These applications explore how combinations of 2D and 3D representations of data can support and enhance eResearch efforts using these new VR platforms. This presentation can also generate interest in the live demonstrations at the PRAGMA33 booth at eResearch.
Format of demonstration

Video, Live Demonstration, Slide Show

Video and Slide Show with reference to PRAGMA booth live demonstrations
Presenter(s)

Name, Title, Institution

Jason H. Haga, Senior Researcher, Cyber-Physical Cloud Research Group, AIST, Japan

David G. Barnes, Associate Professor and Director, Monash Immersive Visualisation Platform, Monash Univ., Melbourne, Australia

Maxine Brown, Director, Electronic Visualization Laboratory, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago

Jason Leigh, Professor, Univ. of Hawaii, Manoa

Target research community

One Sentence

Any research community looking for novel data visualization solutions.
Statement of Research Impact

One (short) Paragraph

Virtual reality and the Unity development platform are becoming a viable, innovative solution for eResearch. This Showcase presentation highlights two data visualization applications for which virtual reality is having a significant impact.
Request to schedule alongside particular conference session

Optional – List relevant conference sessions if any

Request to have our Showcase presentation early in the conference to provide sufficient time for people to visit the PRAGMA booth and experience live demos.
Any special requirements

Audio Visual Needs? Date/Time? Anything else…

 

 


Biography:

I am currently a senior researcher in the Cyber-Physical Cloud Research Group at the Information Technology Research Institute of AIST. My past research work involved the design and implementation of applications for grid computing environments and tiled display walls. I also work with cultural heritage institutions to deploy novel interactive exhibits to engage public learning. My research interests are in immersive visualization and analytic environments for large datasets. I have over 13 years of collaborative efforts with members of the PRAGMA community and continue to look for interdisciplinary collaboration opportunities.

orcid.org/0000-0002-6407-0003

 

Creating an Open FAIR-way to Connect Researchers, Publishers and Data Repositories: a New AGU-led Initiative in the Earth and Space Sciences.

Shelley Stall1, Lesley Wyborn2, Erin Robinson3, Brooks Hanson4, Kerstin Lehnert5, Mark Parsons6, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld7, Brian Nosek8

1American Geophysical Union, Washington, USA, sstall@agu.org

2National Computational Research Infrastructure, Canberra, Australia, Lesley.wyborn@anu.edu.au

3 Earth Science Information Partnership, Colorado, USA erinrobinson@esipfed.org

4American Geophysical Union, Washington, USA, bhanson@agu.org

5Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, New York, USA, lehnert@ldeo.columbia.edu

6Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA parsom3@rpi.edu

7Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, USA joelcg@brandeis.edu

8Center for Open Science, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA, nosek@cos.io

 

ABSTRACT

Open, accessible, and high-quality data and related data products and software are critical to the integrity of published research: they are key to ensure transparency of research and to support reproducibility and repeatability. Unfortunately not all research artifacts are saved in such a way that they can firstly be understood by other researchers reading the publication, then subsequently be reused and repurposed in multiple other research endeavors.

To accelerate this process, the American Geophysical Union and a set of partners representing the International Earth and space Science community including the Coalition for Publishing Data in Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS), the Earth Science Information Partnership (ESIP), DataCite, Research Data Alliance (RDA), and the Center for Open Science (COS) have been awarded a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to develop a collaborative solution across researchers, journals and repositories that will evolve the Earth and Space Science (ESS) publication process to include not just the publication, but all research inputs into that publication and related derived data products to help develop a unified process that is efficient and standardised for researchers and supports their work from grant application through to publishing [1].

The aim of the project is to develop and implement a collaborative solution for researchers, journals and repositories that will connect publications in the Earth and space sciences with related data, samples and software in repositories, and then make these connections and data interoperable and discoverable across multiple publishers and repositories. A reference set of best practices will be developed for researchers, publishers, and repositories that will include: metadata and identifier standards; data services; common taxonomies; landing pages at repositories to expose the metadata and standard repository information; standard data citation; and standard integration into editorial peer review workflows.

The solution will include defining and managing the metadata requirements and storage requirements for data and derived products, and the incorporation of the changes needed into the submission and workflows for each publisher.  It will also provide support and oversight of the adoption process, best practices, and continued compliance of the requirements by both repositories and publishers ensuring a sustainable, scalable solution.

The project will be based around the FAIR guidelines as developed by FORCE11.org [2], which seeks to ensure that research artifacts that are input to and/or support the publication process will be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR). Research artefacts can include datasets, images, video, software, scripts, models, physical samples, and other tools and technology: all are an integral part of modern day research and hence by providing persistent identifiers for each and then being able to link their IDs to publications they provide the supporting evidence, reproducibility and integrity of the scientific record.

This project will build on existing work of COPDESS [3], ESIP [4], RDA [5], the scientific journals, and domain repositories to ensure that well documented data, preserved in a repository with community agreed-upon metadata and data standards, and through supporting persistent identifiers becomes part of the expected research products submitted in support of each publication.  The solution will also ensure that the submission of data and derived products supporting research have documentation that is machine readable and better meets the FAIR Data objectives.

In Australia, this initiative was supported by AuScope [6], the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) [7] and National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) [8]. The first meeting of the Advisory Board will be in Washington D.C.  on 15 November 2017 and will be followed by a 2-day Stakeholder Workshop that will bring together repositories and journals/publishers for a workshop on implementing standards and best practices.

 

REFERENCES

  1. American Geophysical Union Coalition Receives Grant to Advance Open and FAIR Data Standards in the Earth and Space Sciences. Available from http://news.agu.org/press-release/agu-coalition-receives-grant-to-advance-open-and-fair-data-standards/ Accessed 30 August 2017.
  2. The Force 11 FAIR data principles. Available from hthttps://www.force11.org/group/fairgroup/fairprinciples, accessed 30 August 2017.
  3. Coalition for Publishing Data in Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS). Available from http://www.copdess.org/ , accessed 30 August 2017.
  4. Earth Science Information Partnership (ESIP). Available from http://www.esipfed.org/ , accessed on 30 August, 2017.
  5. Research Data Alliance (RDA). Available from https://www.rd-alliance.org/ , accessed on 30 August, 2017.
  6. Australian National Data Service (ANDS). Available from http://www.ands.org.au/ , accessed on 30 August, 2017.
  7. AuScope. Available from http://auscope.org.au/ , accessed on 30 August, 2017.
  8. National Computational Infrastructure. Available from http://nci.org.au/ , accessed on 30 August, 2017.

Biography:

Lesley Wyborn is a geochemist by training and worked for BMR/AGSO/GA for 42 years in a variety of geoscience and geoinformatics positions. In 2014 she joined the ANU and currently has a joint adjunct fellowship with National Computational Infrastructure and the Research School of Earth Sciences. She has been involved in many NCRIS funded eResearch projects over the years. She is Deputy Chair of the Australian Academy of Science ‘Data for Science Committee’ and is co-chair of several RDA Interest Groups as well as a member of the AGU Earth and Space Science Executive Committee.

ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5976-4943

Digital Earth Australia (DEA): From Satellites to Services

Mr Neal Evans1, Dr Trevor Dhu2, Mr David Gavin3, Dr David Hudson4, Mr Trent Kershaw5, Dr Leo Lymburner6, Ms Alla Metlenko7, Mr Norman Mueller8, Mr Simon Oliver9, Chris Penning10, Dr Medhavy Thankappan11, Ms Alicia Thomson12

1Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Neal.Evans@ga.gov.au

2Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Trevor.Dhu@ga.gov.au

3Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Daivd.Gavin@ga.gov.au

4Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, David.Hudson@ga.gov.au

5Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Trent.Kershaw@ga.gov.au

6Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Leo.Lymburner@ga.gov.au

7Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Alla.Metlenko@ga.gov.au

8Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Norman.Mueller@ga.gov.au

9Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Simon.Oliver@ga.gov.au

10Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Chris.Penning@ga.gov.au

11Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Medhavy.Thankappan@ga.gov.au

12Geoscience Australia, Canberra, AUS, Alicia.Thomson@ga.gov.au

 

INTRODUCTION

The 2017/18 Budget identified over $2 billion of investments in monitoring, protecting or enhancing Australia’s land, coasts and oceans over the next four years including: the National Landcare Program; the Commonwealth Marine Reserves implementation; implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and water reform agenda; support for State and Territory governments to develop secure and affordable water infrastructure; improving water quality and scientific knowledge of the Great Barrier Reef.

Geoscience Australia’s efforts within this investment will be a program known as Digital Earth Australia (DEA) and will directly support these investments through the provision of an evidence base for the design, implementation and evaluation of policies, programs and regulation. It will also support Industry with access to stable, standardised data and imagery products from which it can innovate to produce new value added products and services.

WHAT IS DEA?

DEA is an analysis platform for satellite imagery and other Earth observations. Today, it translates 30 years of Earth observation data (taken every two weeks at 25 metre squared resolution) and tracks changes across Australia in unprecedented detail, identifying soil and coastal erosion, crop growth, water quality, and changes to cities and regions. When fully operational, DEA will provide new information for every 10 square metres of Australia, every five days.

DEA uses open source standards, building off the international Open Data Cube technology which is supported by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS)1.

 

       

           Figure 1: WOfS Gulf of Carpentaria, QLD                                        Figure 2: Intertidal model over Exmouth Gulf, WA

Initial examples of how DEA will support government, industry and the research community through improved data include Water Observations from Space (WOfS), a continent-scale map of the presence of surface water; and the Intertidal Extents Model (ITEM) that consistently maps Australia’s vast intertidal zone to support coastal planning.

WOfS is already helping to improve the Australian Government’s understanding of water availability, historical flood inundation and environmental flows, while ITEM has yielded the first continent-wide tidal extent map for Australia and is being used by the Queensland government to assist in their intertidal and subtidal habitat mapping program.

BENEFITS TO GOVERNMENT

DEA will benefit government departments and agencies that need accurate and timely spatial information on the health and productivity of Australia’s landscape. This near real-time information can be readily used as an evidence base for the design, implementation, and evaluation of policies, programs and regulation, and for developing policy advice.

DEA will also support agencies to better monitor change, protect and enhance Australia’s natural resources, and enable more effective responses to problems of national significance. Information extracted from Earth observation data will reduce risk from natural hazards such as bushfires and floods, assist in securing food resources, and enable informed decision making across government. Economic benefits are expected to be realised from better targeted government investment, reduced burden on the recipients of government funding, and increased productivity.

The DEA Program is developing joint projects to deliver products that address policy challenges across a range of Australian Government departments.

JOIN US

We invite you to be part of the future of DEA, as we build new products and tools to support Australian Government agencies to better monitor, protect, and enhance Australia’s natural resources.

Contact us to discuss how DEA can inform and support the work of your agency.

W: www.ga.gov.au/dea

E: Earth.Observation@ga.gov.au

REFERENCES

  1. Lewis, A., Oliver, S., Lymburner, L., Evans, B., Wyborn, L., Mueller, N., Raevksi, G., Hooke, J., Woodcock, R., Sixsmith, J., Wu, W., Tan, P., Li, F., Killough, B., Minchin, S., Roberts, D., Ayers, D., Bala, B., Dwyer, J., Dekker, A., Dhu, T., Hicks, A., Ip, A., Purss, M., Richards, C., Sagar, S., Trenham, C., Wang, P., L-W Wang, L-W., The Australian Geoscience Data Cube – Foundations and lessons learned, Remote Sensing of Environment (In Press). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.03.015
  2. CEOS. Available from http://www.ceosdatacube.org, accessed 28 Aug 2017
  3. Mueller, N., Lewis, A., Roberts, D., Ring, S., Melrose, R., Sixsmith, J., Lymburner, L., McIntyre, A., Tan, P., Curnow, S., Ip, A. Water observations from space: Mapping surface water from 25 years of Landsat imagery across Australia, Remote Sensing of Environment 174, 341-352, ISSN 0034-4257.
  4. Sagar, S., Roberts, D., Bala, B., Lymburner, L., 2017. Extracting the intertidal extent and topography of the Australian coastline from a 28 year time series of Landsat observations.Remote Sensing of Environment 195, 153–169. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.04.009
  5. GA eCat Record http://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/113041, created 28 Aug 2017

SMART’S Digital Living Lab embracing the IoT revolution

Mr Tim Davies1, Ms Tania  Brown1

1Smart Infrastructure Facility, University Of Wollongong,  Wollongong, Australia, tdavies@uow.edu.autaniabr@uow.edu.au

 

The SMART Infrastructure Facility, with the backing of the University of Wollongong, has embarked on a mission to become a technologically powered hub with the potential to improve the lives of every person in the community.

The establishment of SMART’s Digital Living Lab will see the region become home to a free-to-air Internet of Things (IoT) network, that enables us to fully embrace the IoT revolution. Designed to address key social and environmental challenges within the region, it will ultimately allow individuals, community groups and businesses the ability to connect like never before.

Over the next months and years, we believe this will lead to us truly becoming a smart city which will use broad-ranging, research-oriented projects to improve the ‘liveability’ of the city and the lifestyle of the people within it.

In collaboration with Wollongong City Council and Sydney Water, UOW is deploying a free-to-air Internet of Things (IoT) network across the region to support high impact community-orientated projects.

The Internet of Things (IoT) enables a cost effective mechanism to collect data from thousands of small digital devices (nodes) that inform real time applications. Current examples include smart home thermostats, smart street lighting or smart street parking finders.

IoT comes in many ways and forms. The LoRaWAN technology offers an open protocol and free-to-air connection to application developers and end-users. UOW is partnering with Meshed and The Things Network to deploy this network in the Illawarra region, allowing for cost effective community-orientated solutions.

The Digital Living Lab will connect individuals, community groups and businesses, helping them develop technology-based, research-oriented projects to improve the liveability of the city and the lifestyle of the people within it.

One of the first projects will use sensors to monitor the Wollongong city’s storm water network. The city’s topography bounded by an escarpment on one side and the ocean on the other, makes it especially vulnerable to catastrophic floods. Wollongong is a network of small streams that come off the escarpment very quickly, there is a real need to better understand how floods work and how streams rise and fall in various rainfall events. This is a great opportunity to collect a lot of data, and therefore further refine flood models, and allow people to be more confident about the flood impacts on their property.

Other projects will be developed to map the availability of wheelchair access to pivotal venues; monitor water flow in primary lagoons, benefit aged care homes; test air quality or develop improved transport options.

The Internet of Things network is designed for community use and this initiative is all about people working together to create a region that reflect the needs and desires of the people at its heart. The possibilities are endless.

The development of the Wollongong region as a Digital Living Lab would place it on the cutting-edge of a global revolution, allowing it to become Australia’s most dynamic and forward-thinking hub.


Biography:

Tim Davies works for the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong. He specialises in data visualisation and design.

CODATA Commission on Standards

Simon J D Cox1, Lesley Wyborn2, Marshall Ma3, Simon Hodson4, Geoffrey Boulton4

1CSIRO, Melbourne, VIC Australia, simon.cox@csiro.au

2Australian National University, Canberra, ACT Australia, lesley.wyborn@csiro.au

3University of Idaho, Moscow, Id, USA, max@uidaho.edu

4CODATA, Paris, France, simon@codata.org|G.Boulton@ed.ac.uk

 

ABSTRACT

CODATA, the Committee on Data for Science and Technology, was established in 1966 by ICSU to promote and encourage, on a world-wide basis, the compilation, evaluation and dissemination of reliable numerical data of importance to all fields of science and technology. CODATA has played a particular role in standardizing the values of some of the key physical constants – see http://www.codata.org/committees-and-groups/fundamental-physical-constants.

CODATA is concerned with all types of data resulting from experimental measurements, observations and calculations in every field of science and technology, including the physical sciences, biology, geology, astronomy, engineering, environmental science, ecology and others. Particular emphasis is given to data management problems common to different disciplines and to data used outside the field in which they were generated.

Researchers across the science disciplines, the humanities, the social sciences need to create integrated data platforms that interoperate across discipline boundaries, and enable access to data by a diversity of users. The use of shared models and vocabularies makes data more easily re-useable, and thus more valuable.

The current landscape sees a variety of approaches to promulgating and maintaining community data models, formats, and vocabularies. These are generally organized within disciplines or groups of disciplines, with limited interoperability and linking between them. The emergence of the linked data paradigm, building on the key technologies of the World Wide Web, provides an opportunity to harmonize both tools and key content. The CODATA Commission on Standards aims to assist the science community to develop a coordinated approach, sharing best practices, and where necessary providing a platform for publication and governance of key cross-disciplinary ontologies and vocabularies.


Biography:

Simon Cox is a CSIRO research scientist, who has been working on standards related to environmental information since the dawn of the web era, through the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, Open Geospatial Consortium, ISO/TC 211, INSPIRE, Research Data Alliance, Australian Government Linked Data Working Group and W3C. He was awarded the 2006 OGC Gardels Medal and presented the 2013 AGU Leptoukh Lecture.

SKA Regional Centre Activities in Australasia

Slava Kitaeff1, Peter Quinn2, Andreas Wicenec3, Tao An4, Juan Carlos Guzman5

1 International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research/ Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Perth, Australia, slava.kitaeff@icrar.org / slava.kitaeff@csiro.au

2 International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Perth, Australia, peter.quinn@icrar.org

3 International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Perth, Australia, andreas.wicenec@icrar.org

4 Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Shanghai, China, antao@shao.ac.cn

5 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Perth, Australia, Juan.Guzman@csiro.au

 

Astronomy has a history and a tradition of using remote sites and space missions to gather large amounts of data. Australia hosts SKA pathfinders ASKAP and MWA, and will host SKA1-Low, producing orders of magnitude more data than any other astronomical instruments before. All this data will be used by hundreds of scientists working in multiple institutions across the globe. Australia participates and leads a number of major SKA science themes. In order to fully exploit the scientific potential of the instruments and enable ground-breaking scientific discoveries the SKA community needs to build the expertise and develop the technologies to support the science teams during their scientific exploration of the data products released by the SKA Observatory.

While SKA Observatory is responsible for generation of calibrated data products, the production of more advanced data products, such as science grade catalogues or very deep-stacked image cubes, are within the scope of SKA Regional Centres (SRC). The data volume and the individual sizes of datasets will be very large to be served via traditional data management models making the data centric processing as the preferred model for science data analysis. The data products need to be curated and served according to SKA policies. Multi-messenger data may need to be co-located and co-processed. Distributed science teams will need new tools, methods, frameworks and algorithms to maximise the scientific productivity.

Aiming at developing a prototype of the future infrastructure a three-year design study commenced in April 2017 called ERIDANUS Project. The project will deploy a prototype data intensive research infrastructure and middleware, between and within Australia and China, capable of addressing SKA-class data and processing challenges. The project will respond to the identified challenges, and will collaborate with the Advanced European Network for E-infrastructures for Astronomy with the SKA (AENEAS) project.

The poster outlines the current activities and future plans as undertaken by ICRAR, CSIRO and SHAO as part of the ERIDANUS project.


 

Biography

Dr Slava Kitaeff is the Project Engineer for the SKA Regional Centre and ERIDANUS National Project Lead at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science. Dr Kitaeff’s background is the radio astronomy instrumentation, high performance scientific computing and data management. http://linkedin.com/in/slavakitaeff/

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