SI2-S2I2 Conceptualization: Geospatial Software Institute

2018-04-29T17:45:20Z (GMT) by Shaowen Wang
Throughout the globe, changes and concerns such as emergency management, population growth, and rapid urbanization are creating scientific and societal challenges that are both localized and interdependent across space and time. Data related to location (i.e. geospatial data) collected and used for academic, governmental, and industrial purposes urgently needs innovative geospatial software to allow such data to be transformed into valuable insights and significant scientific knowledge. Fields such as agriculture, ecology, emergency management, environmental engineering and sciences, hydrology, geography and spatial sciences, geosciences, national security, public health, and social sciences all require geospatial data and software to make important advances. This project seeks to conceptualize a Geospatial Software Institute (GSI) as a long-term hub of excellence in software infrastructure that will bring together the diverse research communities that use advanced geospatial analysis software to do their research. This project will develop a strategic plan for such a Geospatial Software Institute, that is, develop the vision and roadmap of the Institute by mobilizing the relevant communities and stakeholders. The central goal of this project is to understand how to structure and implement a GSI as a long-term hub of excellence in advanced geospatial software infrastructure, that can bring together and serve the advanced and diverse geospatial software and science research and education communities. The project will bring together the perspectives of diverse academic, governmental, and industrial institutions as well as international partners.to better understand the requirements for a GSI, identify potential software contributors, and then develop the mission, vision and plan for the GSI. A community report will additionally be produced, that will assess critical science and engineering needs as well as promising solutions for high-performance geospatial software. Finally, this project will make useful contributions to the strategic objectives of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI). <br><br>The project will conduct a number of activities, consisting of three workshops as well as a number of engagement and outreach activities. These activities will consist of an initial, in depth survey of science drivers and user needs to be completed within the first month of the project, with the goal of identifying a preliminary list of community needs and requirements. This survey will help focus the three workshops; the project team will use the results of the survey to develop the key foci, agenda, and desired outcomes of each workshop. This information will also be used to advertise the workshops and solicit applications for participation. The project will reach out to underrepresented groups, target a small set of minority institutions (e.g. Harris-Stowe State College in St. Louis) and communities (e.g. social sciences) by leveraging existing activities by at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), engage national museum programs, and collaborate with professional organizations (e.g., IEEE TCPP and UCGIS Body of Knowledge Committee) to understand the needs of education and workforce development, as well as develop effective mechanisms for leveraging these organizations to ensure that the findings and recommendations of the project related to curriculum and education materials are disseminated to broad communities. Finally, this project is well-aligned with the strategic objectives of the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) and will contribute to increasing coherence between technology for modeling and simulation and data analytics, increasing the capacity and capability of an enduring national HPC ecosystem, and to to developing U.S. government, industry, and academic collaborations.