[Esip-discovery] Tools Casting

Sky sbristol at usgs.gov
Wed Jul 20 19:01:36 EDT 2011


I thoroughly enjoyed attending my first ESIP meeting last week. There's certainly a wealth of good work going on, and I look forward to tying in much of our similar work from USGS.

Along those lines, I had a great conversation today with Alison LaBonte with OSTP who gave a talk last week in one of the Energy and Climate cluster sessions on some work she is doing with a "Wind-Wildlife Federal Task Force." They are seeking to navigate the somewhat muddy waters of the many decision support tools available and forthcoming that are designed to help resource management agencies determine placement on wind development projects in relation to wildlife concerns. I wasn't there for it, but I understand that the Energy and Climate group ended up coming up with a proposal for a "dynamic online catalogue of decision tools."

In looking this week at how we in USGS can add datacasting and servicecasting conventions and package the ATOM feeds from our ScienceBase cataloging platform, it occurs to me that we could look toward a toolscasting concept for this dynamic catalog of tools. In a lot of ways, the existing servicecasting conventions that I see referenced from a JPL source already fit the bill. Most of the decision support tools would fall into the category of a "rel=human" interface of one stripe or another. I can think of at least one example we're working on with NOAA that actually does take the form of a machine interactive service. The real work will be in developing the conventions for both basic descriptive information and possible "customElement" definitions (to borrow from the DataCasting concept) that would apply to the domain of decision support tools.

So, does the description of a tool that might range from an actual web application to a web service to a static map to a discussion of a decision support methodology fall within the existing concept of ServiceCasting? Or does this area deserve its own branch of the concept into ToolsCasting? Would folks from the Discovery Cluster have an interest in collaborating with folks from the Energy and Climate Cluster, the USGS, OSTP, and this federal task force in developing a conceptual architecture for a solution and helping to set it in motion? Is this the kind of thing that goes on within this community space (for the barely initiated and not quite ESIP'd me)?

Sky Bristol
USGS Core Science Systems

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