Hydroshare: Sharing Diverse Environmental Data Types and Models as Social Objects with Application to the Hydrology Domain
The types of data and models used within the hydrologic science community are diverse. New repositories have succeeded in making data and models more accessible, but are, in most cases, limited to particular types or classes of data or models and also lack the type of collaborative and iterative functionality needed to enable shared data collection and modeling workflows. File sharing systems currently used within many scientific communities for private sharing of preliminary and intermediate data and modeling products do not support collaborative data capture, description, visualization, and annotation. In this article, we cast hydrologic datasets and models as “social objects” that can be published, collaborated around, annotated, discovered, and accessed. This article describes the generic data model and content packaging scheme for diverse hydrologic datasets and models used by a new hydrologic collaborative environment called HydroShare to enable storage, management, sharing, publication, and annotation of the diverse types of data and models used by hydrologic scientists. The flexibility of HydroShare's data model and packaging scheme is demonstrated using multiple hydrologic data and model use cases that highlight its features.