Status Report: April 2013 - September 2013
Tom Yoksas, Jen Oxelson, UPC Staff
Strategic Focus Areas
The Group Name group's work supports the following Unidata funding proposal focus areas:
- Enable widespread, efficient access to geoscience data
Unidata User Support enables access to geoscience data by supporting the use of tools created and/or supported by the UPC.
- Build, support, and advocate for the diverse geoscience
The user support provided by the UPC is recognized throughout the atmospheric science community. Unidata's outreach efforts are routinely called out in surveys of the NCAR/UCAR community.
Activities Since the Last Status Report
- The UPC participated in a Pan American Advanced Studies Institute (PASI) an workshop on 27 May - 7 June at the Escuela Naval de Cadetes Almirante Padilla (National Naval Academy) in Cartagena, Colombia. The workshop was attended by 35 early career scientists from the U.S. and 12 countries in Latin America (Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Trinidad).
- The UPC will participate in a regional workshop hosted by Millersville University of Pennsylvania on October 21-23. The workshop will also include a presentation and hands-on session showcasing the GEOScience Probe of Discovery (GEOPOD), a National Science Foundation funded project that leverages Unidata's IDV to create an interactive 3-D learning environment where students can navigate a virtual probe through real geophysical data and actuate devices to explore and discover the atmosphere.
Relevant User Support MetricsSince January 26, 2006 over 37960 user support "transactions" (new inquiries and follow-ups) have been processed through the Unidata inquiry tracking system.
Support by Category
Fig. 1: Above are histograms that portray the number of Unidata email responses for categories of support for a one year period ending September 26, 2013. The histograms are arranged by yearly activity averages with the highest on the left and lowest on the right. Each quarter year within the period is depicted from oldest to newest from left to right. The number of responses has been normalized to weekly averages so that the support load over the various periods can be easily compared.
Individual support activities included in the categories depicted above are listed in the following table.
|Category||Packages, Groups, and Lists|
|data||casestudies, casestudies-list, conduit, c2-linda, craft, craft-nws, craft-ty, datastream, difax, level2, level2-linda, level2-ty, noaaport, noaaport-ty, noaaportldm|
|dods||dods, dods-core, dods-list, dods-tech, dods-team, linda-dods, opendap, opendap-core, opendap-list, opendap-tech, opendap-team|
|idd||cluster, idd, idd-antarctic, idd-brasil, idd-caribe, idd-inject, idd-status, scoop, suominet, tigge|
|idv||idv, idvlist, idvsteering, metapps, visad-list, visad-renderer|
|mcidas||mcdevelop, mcidas, mcidas-list|
|miscellaneous||esupport, fxlinux, license, misc, network, notrack, platforms, wxp, wxp-list|
|netcdf||data-models, libcf, ncml, netcdf, netcdf-misc, netcdfgroup-list, netcdf-hdf-list, netcdf-java, netcdf-perl|
|outreach||agu-linda, agu-ty, ams-linda, announce, argentina-ty, barbados-ty, brazil-ty, cbmet-ty, chile-ty, egrants, egu-linda, external, iai-ty, meteoforum-ty, mexico-ty, noaa-linda, nws-linda, unidata, workshop|
|thredds||java-dev, java-dev-list, thredds|
|utilities||decoders, ldm-mcidas, udunits|
Support by Topic
Fig. 2: Above are histograms that portray the number of Unidata email responses for individual topics of support for a one year period ending September 26, 2013. The histograms are arranged by yearly activity averages with the highest on the left and lowest on the right. Each quarter year within the period is depicted from oldest to newest from left to right. The number of responses has been normalized to weekly averages so that the support load over the various periods can be easily compared.
- The total support provided by the UPC remains high, and yearly totals have been relatively constant for the past two years. Overall support activities vary by somewhat by quarter. Spikes in support for individual packages is largely correlated with the release of new distributions, and, for the IDV in particular, jumps after training workshops.
- Support for netCDF continues to be substantial, and is understandable given the large number of users of the package worldwide.
- The IDV support load is second only to that for netCDF; no large increases have been seen over the past 6 months.
- Support for netcdf-java continues to grow steadily.
- Support for the legacy visualization packages GEMPAK and McIDAS continues to be substantial.
- Support for LDM, IDD, and data continues at a high level and shows some variability throughout the year.
- Taken as a whole, the support required for visualization packages (GEMPAK, IDV, and McIDAS) is comparable to the support related to data reception (LDM, IDD, noaaport).
- The high numbers for outreach reflect the high level of activity in a variety of activities including organizing sessions at various national meetings.
These numbers and conclusions should not be taken too literally, for several reasons:
- For some packages, multiple responses in the same thread may be bundled into a single archived email. Other packages have each response in a thread counted separately.
- After a new release of software, there may be a flurry of the same or similar questions, which can be answered in separate emails or in a single mailing list posting.
- The graph primarily represents support of end users and site administrators, not developers. Support for non-Unidata developers in projects such as THREDDS, IDV, GEMPAK, and McIDAS requires significant resources, but is difficult to assess.
- Not all support records were indexable for this report. Given this, the above numbers are an underestimate of the actual support being provided by the UPC.