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IMPLEMENTING GEOSS

Announcing the GEOSS Portfolio for Science and Technology

By Hans-Peter Plag, University of Nevada, and Greg Ondich, The Scientific Consulting Group, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

A portfolio with attractive examples of how GEOSS can work for science and technology (S&T) communities has now been published as a website. This portfolio results from an activity promoted by the Road Map of the GEO Science and Technology Committee (STC), which has the goal of stimulating the broader involvement of science and technology communities in GEOSS, both as users and as contributors.

GEOSS has a reciprocal relation with S&T communities. This means that GEOSS depends on input from S&T communities and can not evolve to meet rapidly expanding user needs without this input. At the same time, GEOSS is a unique source of Earth observation data and related products essential for research in all nine of the Societal Benefit Areas (SBAs). The technological challenges posed by the implementation of GEOSS also stimulate technology development in many technology communities. GEOSS therefore nurtures cooperative, mutually beneficial relationships with many S&T communities both by promoting the use of GEOSS in these communities and by encouraging contributions from these communities to GEOSS.

The GEOSS Portfolio for Science and Technology compiled by GEO Task ST-09-02 will be used for outreach to S&T communities. Attractive examples for the portfolio were identified in cooperation with other GEO Work Plan Tasks. Based on a careful search through available GEO reports and documentations, over 30 invitations for submitting proposals were extended. The proposals received were reviewed by the ST-09-02 Task team, and eight were selected for inclusion in the portfolio.

Farmer working the land with a tractorIn general, the portfolio examples demonstrate the benefits of GEOSS for S&T communities. GEOSS provides access to many services, data sets and products of value for scientists, researchers and developers. In many cases, new research has been enabled that would not be possible without access to the Earth observation products accessible through the GEO portal. The examples demonstrate how the products accessible through the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI) work for S&T communities, and they illustrates the broad range of benefits S&T communities might obtain by relating to GEOSS, be it as credited and valued contributors, users that benefit from the Data Sharing Principles, or individuals and groups benefiting from stronger links to end users.

At the core of the publication concept for the GEOSS Portfolio for S&T is a website giving access to the portfolio, which is expected to expand and evolve together with GEOSS. The portfolio home page provides information on the background and goals of the portfolio, and a separate page describes in more detail the relevance of a well-developed relation between GEOSS and S&T communities. An overview is given on the available examples for each SBA and cross-cutting theme, and links are provided to the external pages maintained by the teams behind each example. Once this living portfolio has reached a broad and representative coverage of all the SBAs and of GEOSS, it will be complemented with a snapshot in the form of a book. Videos and slide shows for selected individual examples are also available through the website.

The GEOSS portfolio is open for additional examples that complement the currently available examples. The goal is to have at least two examples for each SBA. Proposals for new examples are invited and will be reviewed by the ST-09-02 Task team on a continuous basis. A template for the submission of proposals and contact information is available on the portfolio web site.