Building an Effective Service-Oriented Cyberinfrastructure Portal to Support Sustained Polar Sciences

Project: Research project


Project Summary Overview: Polar regions become increasingly important as places for 1) natural resources, 2) sensitive indicators of human activities and global, environment, climate changes, 3) preserving histories of the Earth and biological evolution, and 4) space-Earth interactions and answers to many other 21st century challenges. To facilitate the research, explorations, and developments for better understanding, utilizing, and protecting the polar regions, a Polar CyberInfrastructure (CI) is needed to help us collect data, integrate information, and model the polar science phenomena to support better decision making. A key component of the polar CI is a resource sharing system for polar communities. We propose to research and develop a sustainable and cloud computing-based polar CI portal to support the sharing of polar data, information, and resources based on our past experience on developing web portals and spatial data infrastructure for geosciences and arctic regions by: (1) integrating a polar CI portal for resource discovery, search, access and a quality checker of polar data/services to provide guidance on selecting data; (2) developing a large-scale web crawling capability that continuously mines the Internet and identifies dispersed geospatial polar data and resources; (3) developing a polar science ontology and semantic reasoning for intelligent query expansion and search recommendation; and (4) leveraging Rich Internet Application (RIA) for integrating user interactions into a well-designed, user-friendly web portal. Intellectual Merit: (1) A cutting-edge polar CI portal optimized for polar data management will provide a one stop comprehensive big data sharing platform to enable users to effectively discover polar data, information, tools, and resources. (2) The proposed crawling technique for the portal would automate the large-scale discovering of polar resources to keep the portal up to date with new resources to advance polar studies. (3) The establishment of polar science ontology will assist the polar community to better organize, classify and conduct scientific discoveries. Meanwhile, the ontology-enabled semantic reasoning will provide smart navigation for scientists to find most needed polar dataset or services. (4) The intuitive, interactive and responsive Graphic User Interface (GUI) designed using spatiotemporal patterns and developed by leveraging advanced RIA technologies would enable users effectively discover and visualize polar data and information. (5) The service-oriented modularized design of polar CI building blocks provides interoperable interface for remote communication, thereby improving the inter-module interoperability, integrity and reusability. Broad Impact: (1) The advanced techniques developed in this project will be made open source to be broadly shared with peers and reused by other CI and polar projects as we did for the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) clearinghouse. (2) Algorithms, workflows and visualization methods developed in the project for facilitating polar data discovery can be used as guideline for data discovery in related fields. (3) The polar CI portal will provide a comprehensive data sharing entry to benefit polar scientists, data scientists, data providers and general public who are interested in polar related topics. (4) The polar CI portal will be used for college education in climate, polar science and earth science related subjects. The proposed Polar CI portal will be collaborated with relevant polar research organizations and sustained through the NSF spatiotemporal center and will make long term contribution to the polar research and CI construction. We will also conduct outreach through American Geophysical Union (AGU), Association of American Geographers (AAG), Cross agency Polar Program at U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and other venues. We will follow our tradition in successful recruiting underrepresented students in this STEM field by involving woman and Hispanic students.
Effective start/end date1/1/1412/31/16


  • NSF-GEO-PLR: Office of Polar Programs (OPP): $333,971.00


polar region
twenty first century
data management
Earth science
spatial data
geological survey
natural resource
human activity
climate change