Informatics Research at NSIDC: Projects

Current Projects

Data Conservancy
The Data Conservancy is a growing community promoting data preservation and re-use across disciplines with tools and services. The Data Conservancy Instance (DC Instance) is an implementation of both technical tools and organizational services for data collection, curation, management, storage, preservation, and sharing. NSIDC participates in the Data Conservancy community, and is also implementing a DC instance for ELOKA.

The Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA) at NSIDC supports local and traditional knowledge research, and community-based observations and monitoring, which are key components to any Arctic Observing Network (AON). ELOKA provide a data management and networking services for community-based research that keeps control of data in the hands of community data providers, while still allowing for broad searches and sharing of information. ELOKA brings an interdisciplinary focus to informatics concepts and solutions at NSIDC.

The NSIDC Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) supports the wider NSIDC informatics effort through directed initiatives to improve delivery and data use tools to our clientele. We prioritize informatics research and development to meet NASA data user needs in a manner that collaborates with other NSIDC-wide informatics efforts. Recent examples include upgrades to the NSIDC DAAC Search interface, which is shared with the rest of NSIDC and was a collaborative effort with other NSIDC projects.

Data Rods
Climate research often seeks to detect changes over time. With the growth of remote sensing data sets, however, Earth scientists are being overwhelmed with data. Much of the data is organized in directory structures that make it hard to find and difficult to analyze.

The Data Rods project is an effort to fundamentally reorganize the archival structure of remote sensing data sets at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Data sets will be stored in a pure-object database structure that permits rapid spatial and temporal subsetting, filtering, and algorithmic post-processing. The database format and user interface will also facilitate intercomparisons between data sets, enhancing inter-data-set correlations pattern detection capabilities.

Past Projects

The mission of the NSF-sponsored ACADIS program was to ensure the legacy of valuable Arctic data through data management support. To make all data re-usable by a wide audience – from the general public to the most skilled scientists – ACADIS data curators at NSIDC developed tools and services to help researchers find and use data. See Arctic Data Explorer as an example of an informatics-informed project from NSIDC ACADIS.

BCube was 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 addressed the need for effective and efficient multi-disciplinary collaboration between researchers. NSIDC is a BCube collaborator.

SSIII was a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded effort to enhance the interoperability of sea ice data to establish a network of practitioners working to enhance semantic interoperability of all Arctic data. SSIII was a collaborative project between NSIDC and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Tetherless World Constellation project. The project sought to build on the work initiated under the International Polar Year (IPY) and create a community of practice working to improve interoperability within the Polar Information Commons (PIC), the Sustained Arctic Observing Network (SAON), and broader global systems.

Libre was a project devoted to liberating science data from its traditional constraints of publication, location, and findability. Libre embodied the spirit of the Polar Information Commons (PIC), which was created to foster a collaborative polar community for open data sharing among researchers. Leveraging open-source technology and data management standards, Libre's Web-based tools and services made it easy for scientists to publish and advertise their data and share it with the world.