Extending the GI Brokering Suite to Support New Interoperability Specifications

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Enrico Boldrini, Fabrizio Papeschi, Mattia Santoro and Stefano Nativi, CNR - IIA, Sesto Fiorentino-Firenze, Italy
The GI brokering suite provides the discovery, access, and semantic Brokers (i.e. GI-cat, GI-axe, GI-sem) that empower a Brokering framework for multi-disciplinary and multi-organizational interoperability.

GI suite has been successfully deployed in the framework of several programmes and initiatives, such as European Union funded projects, NSF BCube, and the intergovernmental coordinated effort Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Each GI suite Broker facilitates interoperability for a particular functionality (i.e. discovery, access, semantic extension) among a set of brokered resources published by autonomous providers (e.g. data repositories, web services, semantic assets) and a set of heterogeneous consumers (e.g. client applications, portals, apps).

A wide set of data models, encoding formats, and service protocols are already supported by the GI suite, such as the ones defined by international standardizing organizations like OGC and ISO (e.g. WxS, CSW, SWE, GML, netCDF) and by Community specifications (e.g. THREDDS, OpenSearch, OPeNDAP, ESRI APIs).

Using GI suite, resources published by a particular Community or organization through their specific technology (e.g. OPeNDAP/netCDF) can be transparently discovered, accessed, and used by different Communities utilizing their preferred tools (e.g. a GIS visualizing WMS layers).

Since Information Technology is a moving target, new standards and technologies continuously emerge and are adopted in the Earth Science context too. Therefore, GI Brokering suite was conceived to be flexible and accommodate new interoperability protocols and data models.

For example, GI suite has recently added support to well-used specifications, introduced to implement Linked data, Semantic Web and precise community needs. Amongst the others, they included:

  • DCAT: a RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between Web data catalogs.
  • CKAN: a data management system for data distribution, particularly used by public administrations.
  • CERIF: used by CRIS (Current Research Information System) instances.
  • HYRAX Server: a scientific dataset publishing component.

This presentation will discuss these and other latest GI suite extensions implemented to support new interoperability protocols in use by the Earth Science Communities.