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Geospatial Data Project Puts Major Issues on the Map

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Crops growing in an Egyptian oasis, with the Pyramids of Giza in the background.

Technology is putting complex topics like severe weather and climate change on the map--literally.

Credit: Purdue University

A project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) aims to create a Web-based system for hosting, processing, analyzing, and sharing geospatial data.

The Geospatial Building Blocks (GABBs) project is developing a system using HUBzero, an open source Web platform developed at Purdue University that enables users to build feature-rich research and educational websites. GABBs eventually will lead to the development of numerous different tools for probing and presenting geospatial data.

One of the project's first efforts is a collaboration with the Agricultural Model Intercomparison Project (AgMIP) and the GEOSHARE project. The collaboration yielded a tool for modeling the impact of climate change on historical and future crop yields. The tool is useful because activists and researchers in various regions may not have the software skills necessary to make use of historical crop yield data; the tool handles the process for them. "The tool truly improves the usability of the data set, allowing experienced users to get results faster, and allowing the non-experts to explore," says principle project investigator Carol Song.

GABBs is supported by a $4.5-million, four-year grant from NSF's Data Infrastructure Building Blocks program.

From National Science Foundation
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Abstracts Copyright © 2014 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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