Community Services Status Report
April - September 2004

Work referenced within this report is based on advocacy, community outreach, and identifying new data sources and distribution trends within the community, associated with "Endeavor 1: Responding to a broader and more diverse community" and "Endeavor 2: Comprehensive Support Services, [Data services, systems, and tools]" from the Unidata 2008 Proposal. There is overlap of external activities in the areas of "Real-time, self-managing data flows" (Endeavor 3), Endeavor 4: Software to analyze and visualize geoscience data", along with "Distributed, organized collections of digital material" (Endeavor 5), and "Improved data access infrastructure" (Endeavor 6).

Note: This is the first Community Services report that combines the activities of Linda Miller, Jo Hansen, and Jeff Weber.

Community Outreach

  • Coordinated Unidata seminars. The seminars are a mix of Unidata staff presentations and other important activities taking place at UCAR/NCAR and other external activities important to Unidata. All seminars are available for review on the Web Portal, linked above. Seminars during this reporting period include:
    • GIS Initiative: Developing an Atmospheric Data Model for GIS
      Olga Wilhelmi and Jennifer Boehnert
    • A technical overview of the Abstract Data Distribution Environment (ADDE)
      Don Murray
    • MeteoForum: An International Network of Meteorological Training Centers for the 21st Century
      Tom Yoksas and Tim Spangler
  • Participated in NOAA Stakeholder's Meeting - Washington, DC, 16 April 2004
  • Attended the NOAA Integrated Surface Observations Forum/Working Group Meeting, 20-22 July 2004, NCDC-Asheville, NC
  • Attended the NWS Partners' Meeting - Silver Spring, MD, 24-25 June 2004
  • Co-Chair and Organizer of the International Conference of Interactive Information Processing Systems (IIPS) Symposium, to be held 9-13 January 2005 in San Diego, CA
    • Co-Chair of Internet Applications, Web Portals, and Cyberinfrastructure session. (DeSouza Community Award will be arranged prior to the session on Wednesday, 11 January 2005)
  • Organizing an American Geophysical Union AGU Fall Meeting Session. The special focus session is, "Cyberinfrastructure for Earth Systems Science."
  • Organizing a European Geosciences Union (EGU) special session to be held 25-29 April 2005 in Vienna, Austria.. The session's title is, "Earth Systems Science Data Access, Distribution, and Use for Education and Research." This session will include co-convenors Elen Cutrim, Western Michigan University, Stefano Nativi, Institute of Methodologies for Enviornmental Analysis of the Italian National Research Council, and Mohan Ramamurthy, UCAR/Unidata.
  • Met with Professor Geerd Hoffmann, Director General, Deutscher Wetterdienst and Vice President of Commission for Basic Systems, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for a half-day meeting. The nature of the meeting was an information exchange, based on the Future WMO Information System (FWIS). The FWIS will "be used for the collection and sharing of information for all WMO and related international programmes," according to Hoffmann. We will monitor this development and provide input and assistance as it develops. They hope to have a phased implementation of the FWIS beginning in 2007.
  • In April we initiated a monthly online newsletter in response to a request from the Users Committee. To improve the flow of information to the community, we have also bumped up the postings to the "News" section on our home page.
  • A collection of articles written by seven of the presenters at the Users 2003 workshop was submitted to the AMS bulletin in early April. The format for the collection resulted from a suggestion from the editor after a meeting summary had been submitted. Instead he suggested an alternate format:
    • Anton Kruger, Mark Laufersweiler, and Michael Morgan: Introduction
    • MayYuan: Beyond mapping,
    • Scott Shipley: "Dr. T's forecasts"
    • Alex DeCaria: lightning density case
    • Ted Haberman: explanation of GIS and how it will change Unidata
    • OlgaWilhelmi: current status of the GIS initiative at UCAR
    • Sam Williamson: description of the intersection of the Federal Coordinating office and the needs of the developing GIS community
    • Mohan Ramamurthy: basic tasks for Unidata for the next 5 years.

At this time (October) edited articles are in the hands of individual authors for their review. Publication could occur as early as December 2004 or as late as February 2005.

Data Access and Distribution

  • Level II data expansion is underway with Unidata providing the topologies for the <.edu> sites.
  • Sites feeding from CRAFT site (OU) are being moved to the other two providers (Purdue and Education Research Consortium of the Western Carolina's) to even the load. This needs to be completed by October 2004.
  • Data Interactive Publications: These data interactive publications are built on top of several data delivery, access, discovery, and visualization tools developed by Unidata and its partner organizations. These "case studies" illustrate how components of this process fit together in hopes that the community will adopt this approach to case study development. It is the UPC's goal to
    have the community create and contribute case studies via these mechanisms: the Local Data Manager (LDM), Open-source Project for a Network Data Access Protocol (OPeNDAP) and Abstract Data Distribution Environment (ADDE) services, Thematic Realtime Environmental Distributed Data Service (THREDDS) cataloging services, and the Integrated Data Viewer
    (IDV). See Examples of Data Interactive Publications for additional information.


  • Serving on the UCAR/NCAR/UOP Metrics Committee with the task of collecting data service information from the entire organization to create a Metrics/Matrix.

Linda Miller
Community Services, Unidata
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research