Engaging a community towards marine cyberinfrastructure: Lessons learned from the Marine Metadata Interoperability initiative
2005 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
Session IN44A - Building a Global Geoscience Cyberinfrastructure
MMI provides educational resources at several levels. For instance, short introductions to metadata concepts are available, as well as guides and "cookbooks" for the quick and efficient preparation of marine metadata. For those who are building major marine data systems, including ocean-observing capabilities, there are training materials, marine metadata content examples, and resources for mapping elements between different metadata standards. The MMI also provides examples of good metadata practices in existing data systems, including the EU's Marine XML project, and functioning ocean/coastal clearinghouses and atlases developed by MMI team members.
Communication tools that help build community:
1) Web site, used to introduce the initiative to new visitors, and to provide in-depth guidance and resources to members and visitors. The site is built using Plone, an open source web content management system. Plone allows the site to serve as a Wiki, to which every user can contribute material. This keeps the membership engaged and spreads the responsibility for the tasks of updating and expanding the site.
2) Email-lists, to engage the broad ocean sciences community. The discussion forums "news," "ask," and "site-help" are available for receiving regular updates on MMI activities, seeking advice or support on projects and standards, or for assistance with using the MMI site. Internal email lists are provided for the Technical Team, the Steering Committee and Executive Committee, and for several content-centered teams. These lists help keep committee members connected, and have been very successful in building consensus and momentum.
3) Regularly scheduled telecons, to provide the chance for interaction between members without the need to physically attend meetings. Both the steering committee and the technical team convene via phone every month. Discussions are guided by agendas published in advance, and minutes are kept on-line for reference. These telecons have been an important tool in moving the MMI project forward; they give members an opportunity for informal discussion and provide a timeframe for accomplishing tasks.
4) Workshops, to make progress towards community agreement, such as the technical workshop "Advancing Domain Vocabularies," August 9-11, 2005, in Boulder, Colorado, where featured domain and metadata experts developed mappings between existing marine metadata vocabularies, and made those mapped vocabularies available to users via web services. Most of the work of the meeting was performed in six small, carefully organized breakout teams, oriented around specific domains.
5) Calendar of events, where any event related to marine metadata and interoperability can be posted. Events listed on the site include a brief description, an estimate of relevance, contact and sponsor information, and a link to the event's website. Events added to the site are automatically entered on a calendar, created with CalendarX, a feature of Plone.
6) In addition to the communication needs and tools previously described, we have found the need to develop specific tools to reach agreements among distributed communities. For example, we developed a tool called Vocabulary Integration Environment (VINE), that allows the mapping of terms between vocabularies expressed in ontologies. VINE provides formalized agreements of mappings across different vocabularies and expresses them in machine readable format, so they can be made available via web services.
0910 Data processing
3094 Instruments and techniques
4294 Instruments and techniques
Ocean Sciences [OS]
Earth and Space Informatics [IN] MORE ONLINE DETAILS