Perspectives from current Grid projects and GIS Mike Mineter Research Fellow

Perspectives from current Grid
projects and GIS
Mike Mineter
Research Fellow
Institute of Geography
• Period of opportunity for both Grids and
• Glimpses of some geoScience Grid
• Developments in Geographical Information
• Some observations and possibilities
Resonances between Grid
technology and geoSciences
Early adopters of Grids had large datasets, big computation
requirements and fairly clear virtual organisations
GeoSciences have the first two, but also a wide range of disciplines
and VO’s, and could use Grid technology both within and between
these disciplines/VO’s
Grid technology is emerging, and addressing these areas, where
GeoSciences would challenge it
GeoSciences can be a dominant application area for emerging Grid
Grid technology can allow GeoSciences to better integrate data,
computation, knowledge in improved collaborations to enhance:
– research (“e-Science”)
– And also efforts towards sustainability and environmental stewardship
GEON: Cyberinfrastructure for geoScience
“ Integrated Earth System Modelling” (A term that demonstrates the
need for semantics!)
– PRISM (EU), ESMF (USA) – climate
– Earth Simulator (Japan)
GODIVA - Ocean Diagnostics Visualisation and Analysis
NEES- Network for Earthquake Simulation Engineering Monte Carlo simulation of climate change
NERC Datagrid – unified access to UK data (BADC)
Datagrids for Earth Observation archives
EQUATOR – sensors on Grids
– Urban air pollution, Antarctic life processes
CyberInfrasatructure for the Geosciences
Slide: 5 / MJMineter
GEOsciences Network
“GEON will help weave the separate strands of the solid
Earth sciences disciplines and data into a unified fabric. This
will give the geosciences an 'IT head start' for viewing the
complex dynamics of the Earth system as an interrelated
A BIG ambitious project!!
Data, computation, visualisation, collaboration,
Fully 3D geodynamic models
“bridge traditional disciplines”: semantics
Link diverse data sets : “efforts toward defining a Unified
Geosciences Language System (UGLS)”
Slide: 6 / MJMineter
Developments from GI Science
GI data increasingly available as web services
Standards from the Open GIS Consortium for maps and
…. not yet moving from Web to Grid services
GI Systems: moving to component-framework architectures
Use in grid-enabled GeoSciences:
for visualisation of data (GEON)
“wrap” GIS components within or as grid services
Result: expanding set of standards, tools useful to (some)
National Institute for Environmental e-Science
GIS-Grid workshop, December
Slide: 7 / MJMineter
• If planning “collaboratories” we must recognise the
centrality of IT for sharing resources to enable:
Data management
Collaboration (tools to support group-group interactions)
Knowledge management: semantics
• Paradigm shift from previous use of IT in geosciences,
that needs to be reflected in
– Strategic thinking – e.g. budgets
– Interdisciplinary R&D
– Technological strategies to converge with emerging Grid
– Model development: from programs to services to components
• Grid standards open:
– Scope for interoperability
– Opportunities for niche developments as well as massive eScience projects
– The IT world beyond science!!!!!
• Synergies with other emerging technologies??
– Environmental sensors: flocks of portable instruments with GPSon-a-chip
– Smart-dust?!
– Clarke (Parallel Computing, Oct 2003)
• We have x000 PCs in University labs, all idle overnight
– Grid-enable these for trivially parallelisable problems?
– (…financing the management as well as PC-Grid software! )
• A confusion to avoid:
– Grids enable flexible access to shared resources that can
include and link parallel processing architectures
– Not (primarily) a new way to get high performance
– Flexible, dynamic linking is the key!
The “Killer Application”?!
My suggestion:
Integrate data, models, knowledge across social, economic
and environmental domains
What goals?
To enhance the science
To assess impacts of climate change
To support sustainability and policy making
To educate
Slide: 10 / MJMineter