Design of Scalable and Effective Earth Science Collaboration Tool
Monday, 15 December 2014: 1:55 PM
Collaborative research is growing rapidly. Many tools including IDEs are now beginning to incorporate new collaborative features. Software engineering research has shown the effectiveness of collaborative programming and analysis. In particular, drastic reduction in software development time resulting in reduced cost has been highlighted. Recently, we have witnessed the rise of applications that allow users to share their content. Most of these applications scale such collaboration using cloud technologies. Earth science research needs to adopt collaboration technologies to reduce redundancy, cut cost, expand knowledgebase, and scale research experiments. To address these needs, we developed the Earth science collaboration workbench (CWB). CWB provides researchers with various collaboration features by augmenting their existing analysis tools to minimize learning curve. During the development of the CWB, we understood that Earth science collaboration tasks are varied and we concluded that it is not possible to design a tool that serves all collaboration purposes. We adopted a mix of synchronous and asynchronous sharing methods that can be used to perform collaboration across time and location dimensions. We have used cloud technology for scaling the collaboration. Cloud has been highly utilized and valuable tool for Earth science researchers. Among other usages, cloud is used for sharing research results, Earth science data, and virtual machine images; allowing CWB to create and maintain research environments and networks to enhance collaboration between researchers. Furthermore, collaborative versioning tool, Git, is integrated into CWB for versioning of science artifacts. In this paper, we present our experience in designing and implementing the CWB. We will also discuss the integration of collaborative code development use cases for data search and discovery using NASA DAAC and simulation of satellite observations using NASA Earth Observing System Simulation Suite (NEOS3).