An integrated system for publishing environmental observations data

Jeffery S. Horsburgh, Utah State University
David G. Tarboton
Michael Piasecki
David R. Maidment
Ilya Zaslavsky
David Valentine
Thomas Whitenack


Over the next decade, it is likely that science and engineering research will produce more scientific data than has been created over the whole of human history. The successful use of these data to achieve new scientific breakthroughs will depend on the ability to access, integrate, and analyze these large datasets. Robust data organization and publication methods are needed within the research community to enable data discovery and scientific analysis by researchers other than those that collected the data. We present a new method for publishing research datasets consisting of point observations that employs a standard observations data model populated using controlled vocabularies for environmental and water resources data along with web services for transmitting data to consumers. We describe how these components have reduced the syntactic and semantic heterogeneity in the data assembled within a national network of environmental observatory test beds and how this data publication system has been used to create a federated network of consistent research data out of a set of geographically decentralized and autonomous test bed databases.