Title of Paper: Earth Science Markup Language: A Solution for Generic Access to Heterogeneous Data Sets

Principal Author: Mr. Rahul Ramachandran

Abstract: The Earth Science community is processing and analyzing a large amount and variety of data from space and ground-based observations and from models. These data are generally stored in different data formats, which forces the scientists to spend a significant amount of time in writing specialized, data format specific readers. One solution to the data format heterogeneity problem is to define a standard data format for all earth science datasets, but the science community has found this solution to be impractical. However, this preprocessing burden can by alleviated by using the Earth Science Markup Language (ESML). ESML is a specialized markup language for Earth Science metadata. Based on the eXtensible Markup Language (XMLTM), ESML allows data descriptions to be written in a standard fashion. The unique feature about ESML is that it not only describes the content and structure of the data, but also provides semantic information, such that the applications reading a data file can geo-temporally navigate the data and convert then into useful scientific quantities. ESML will allow wider interoperability of Earth Science services, enabling researchers to author, discover, and interpret Earth Science information, and to work with data in a variety of formats and structures. Another advantage is that the effort involved to describe legacy data formats in ESML will be small. In this paper, we shall describe the Earth Science Markup Language (ESML), being currently developed at the Information Technology and Systems Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.