Status Report: April 2013 - October 2013

Sean Arms, Jen Oxelson, Jeff Weber

Strategic Focus Areas

The Rosetta group's work supports the following Unidata funding proposal focus areas:

  1. Enable widespread, efficient access to geoscience data

    The initial goal of Rosetta is to transform unstructured ASCII data files into the netCDF format; once in this format, standard tools, such as the THREDDS Data Server, IDV, Python, and other analysis packages, can take advantage of these datasets with relative ease.

  2. Develop and provide open-source tools for effective use of geoscience data

    Although the primary goal of Rosetta is to get data into the netCDF format, the transformation process does not stop there. The Rosetta group realizes that not everyone knows how to work with netCDF files, and may feel more comfortable working with other formats. Therefore, Rosetta includes the ability to transform from one format to another (e.g. netCDF to .xls), thereby reducing data friction.

  3. Provide cyberinfrastructure leadership in data discovery, access, and use

    Metadata contained in netCDF format file (no longer locked away in a separate README file) can be automatically extracted, facilitating the discovery of data in these files. Additionally, the Rosetta development plan includes the creation of a standard ASCII and spreadsheet representations of the CF-1.6 DSGs.

  4. Build, support, and advocate for the diverse geoscience community

    Promote the use of standard formats in the dissemination of data, while allowing flexibility to transform into other formats, as needed, to enable users to "do science". For commonly used formats, such as User Defined ASCII format or an unstructured spreadsheet, create and advocate for the use of a standard representations based on the CF-1.6 DSGs.

Activities Since the Last Status Report

Name change

Based on feedback from the Policy Committe, the name of the project has been changed from ρζητα to Rosetta.

Live demos to various groups

Live demos have been given to the ACADIS Data Advisory Committee (ADAC), the ACADIS NSF Review Panel, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and NCAR EOL.

AMS 2014 Abstract Submission

An abstract, titled Rosetta - Unidata's Web-based Data Translation Tool: Progress and Future Plans, has been accepted for presentation at the 30th Conference on Environmental Information Processing Technologies to be held at the 94th AMS Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

White paper (revised)

A white paper on the challenges of sharing observational datasets and how Rosetta can help.

Accomplishments of Note

  • Live instance of Rosetta hosted at Unidata for testing
  • Released the Rosetta source code on github
  • Infrastructure for User and API documentation in place


Planned Activities

Ongoing Activities

We plan to continue the following lines of development:

  • Increase the number of CF-1.6 discrete sampling geometries handled by Rosetta
  • Begin collecting metrics for the instance of Rosetta hosted at Unidata
  • Continue documentation efforts, including the investigation of screencasts for User documentation
  • Solicit examples from the community

New Activities

We plan to enhance Rosetta in the following ways:

  • Release the Rosetta source code on github
  • Investigate csv and xls(x) representations of the CF-1.6 Discrete Sampling Geometries
  • Enable Desktop (local) use of Rosetta
  • Incorporate TDS capabilities into Rosetta, allowing for TDS services (like point subsetting of grids) to easily be applied to local files


Relevant Metrics

We've received a handful of support questions regarding the availability of Rosetta, as well as requests for demonstrations.