BCube Informatics Project: Overview

What is BCube?

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b-cube logoBCube is a two-year project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Titled “A Broker Framework for Next Generation Geoscience,” the project began in September 2013 and is addressing the need for effective and efficient multi-disciplinary collaboration between researchers.

BCube, short for “Broker Building Block,” is part of NSF’s EarthCube program: “A Community-Driven Data and Knowledge Environment for the Geosciences.” EarthCube seeks to engage Earth, atmosphere, ocean, computer, information, and social scientists, educators, and data managers in an effort to transform the conduct of research by developing community-guided cyberinfrastructure that integrates data and information across the geosciences.

What are the challenges?

Today’s grand challenges in the geosciences require working across traditional disciplinary boundaries. The need for expanded collaboration has increased as science addresses the complex challenges of understanding and predicting Earth’s environment. Scientists must find, access, and use diverse and increasingly large volumes of data.

Technology for managing and accessing scientific data is advancing rapidly, but leveraging these developments for interdisciplinary research remains a challenge.

What is the project about?

The BCube team explores brokering technologies: how software components that mediate interactions between existing and emerging information systems, and how these can make it easier for scientists to discover, share and access data. Another focus of the project is improving access to difficult to find, yet valuable data by developing web crawlers to discover descriptions of data and services that are ready to be brokered.

Project social scientists and educators are working on fostering effective communications between communities, and improving technology engagement and adoption.

BCube is initially working with scientists in four domains: hydrology, oceans, polar, and weather.

Who is involved?

BCube brings together an international team under the leadership of the University of Colorado Boulder. The team includes geoscientists, cyberinfrastructure experts, social scientists, and educators. NSIDC scientist Siri Jodha Singh Khalsa leads the  project as principal investigator. Co-investigators include NSIDC researcher Ruth Duerr, Stefano Nativi from Italy's National Research Council (CNR), and Jay and Francoise Pearlman of Jay & Francoise Enterprises. 

Related resources and publications

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