Title of Presentation: GeoBrain Web Service-based Online Analysis System (GeOnAS)

Primary (Corresponding) Author: Liping Di

Organization of Primary Author: George Mason University

Co-Authors: Peisheng Zhao, Weiguo Han


Abstract: Earth System Science (ESS) research and applications often involve in collection, analysis and visualization of distributed heterogeneous geospatial data. Traditionally, scientific analysis of geospatial data takes place at scientists’ local machines with local data collection and software. In order for such a scenario to work, scientists have to buy the computer and storage devices, spend a lot of time to install and learn a variety of software at local machines, obtain the data from various data sources, preprocess the data locally for ingesting the data into the analysis package, and analyze the data by using the analysis packages at the local machines. This everything-locally-owned-and-operated paradigm makes the analysis and application of geospatial data very expensive. Recent advances in geospatial web services and interoperability technologies are shifting the geospatial data and analysis from the everything-locally-owned-and-operated paradigm to the everything-shared-over-the-Web paradigm (The Web-and-Service-Centric paradigm). Currently, a significant number of geospatial datasets are available over the Web. Many of those datasets are served through standard data access interfaces, such as the Web Coverage Services (WCS) of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). A number of Web-based geospatial processing services have also been developed and deployed over the Web. These services perform various geospatial processing functions. It is not exaggerated to say that in the near future almost all data and analysis functions scientists need for their research will be available on the Web. The question is how to make those data and analysis service resources easily accessible and usable for the user community.

With the above backgrounds, we have developed a Web Service-based Online Analysis System (GeOnAS), a fully extensible online analysis system for discovering, retrieving, analyzing and visualizing geospatial and other network data based on GeoBrain Web services. The most distinguished characteristics of GeOnAS are 1) online--users only need to have an Internet-connected PC with a Web browser; 2) OGC standard-based data access—the system provides a single point of entry to the geospatial data from any OGC compliant data services worldwide; 3) Web service-based analysis--all functions are provided through interoperable Web services so that users of the system can easily perform a specific analysis by integrating new services or chaining built-in services. The basic functions of GeOnAS includes data discovery, data analysis and data visualization. The GeOnAS provides user an OGC catalog interface for discovering and accessing a wide variety of distributed geo-resources (i.e. geospatial data, applications, and services) through searching distributed catalog services, such as GEOSS Clearinghouse, NASA ECHO, and GeoBrain catalog. Moreover, the GeOnAS allows users to register their own data and services for use and sharing. The GeoBrain itself provides more than 100 geospatial Web services for manipulating and analyzing vector and raster geospatial data. Users, through GeOnAS, can use these services to perform data analysis and data mining against any OGC-compliant online data sources. If an analysis task is too complex to be performed by an individual service, the GeOnAS provides a workflow editor for user to build a chain of services to perform the task. For data visualization, the GeOnAS provides a Web Map Viewer -- a dynamic Web mapping application that spatially infuses information to provide a data visualization from various disparate data sources and applications. It supports most popular OGC specifications and standards, including OGC context documents for easy access to previously created maps. In conclusion, the GeOnAS brings us a new interoperable way of integrating and analyzing distributed heterogeneous ESS data over the web. It is a realization of the Web-and-Service-Centric paradigm in the geospatial domain.