Cyberinfrastructure Research

OpenTopography is engaged in number of research and development activities that are related to, or significantly leverage, our existing cyberinfrastructure. These projects are exploring new data management and processing approaches (e.g. cloud-based platforms), integration of other data types (e.g. full waveform lidar), and building interoperable data discovery and access pathways. These projects are being conducted by members of the SDSC Advanced CyberInfrastructure Development (ACID) group and our collaborators.


CyberGIS: Software Integration for Sustained Geospatial Innovation

    The CyberGIS project is funded by the NSF Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation program with the goal of establishing a fundamentally new software framework encompassing a seamless integration of cyberinfrastructure, geographical information science (GIS), and spatial analysis and modeling capabilities. Incorporating ideas from NSF TeraGrid Science Gateway program, the CyberGIS project will build a GIS framework that can handle large data volumes and complex computations through the application of high-end cyberinfrastructure and software for high-performance geospatial data analysis. Through the CyberGIS project, OpenTopography data access mechanisms and Web service-based processing tools will be integrated with other CyberGIS tools.

    CyberGIS is led by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and in addition to the OpenTopography Facility at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, project partners include the Computer Network Information Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Georgia Institute of Technology, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University College London Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (England), University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, the University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Washington, the U.S. Geological Survey, and Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (Australia).

NASA Lidar Access System (NLAS)

    This project is funded by the NASA ROSES ACCESS Program to develop a NASA Lidar Access System (NLAS) to serve laser altimetry data from the NASA space-based ICESat system and the airborne LVIS platform through the OpenTopography system. The goal of the project is to provide integrated access to existing NASA lidar data products, as well as on-demand processing capability, and enhanced QA/QC metrics to make these data more easily accessible and usable to a range of scientists. New web services will connect the NASA data archives at Goddard Space Flight Center (LVIS) and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (ICESat) to the OpenTopography portal and the data and processing capabilities available there. Integration of these distributed data archives via an easy to use web portal will enhance exposure of these data and significantly streamline user access.

    The NLAS project is a collaboration between UNAVCO, the National Snow and Ice Data Center, OpenTopography at San Diego Supercomputer Center, and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

CloudStor: Data Intensive Computing in the Cloud

    The objective of the CloudStor project is to explore new strategies and technologies for data-intensive cloud computing; investigate application profiles that benefit from this paradigm; and, develop corresponding applications. The CloudStor group is interested in evaluating the performance and price/performance of alternative, dynamic strategies for provisioning data intensive applications based on parallel database systems versus Hadoop.

    We are currently investigating applications involving remote-sensed lidar data, in conjunction with the OpenTopography project. The project is running a series of performance evaluation experiments. Cloud platforms with thousands of processors and access to hundreds of terabytes of storage provide a natural environment for implementing OpenTopography processing routines, which are highly data-parallel in nature.

    Funding for the CloudStor project come from the National Science Foundation Cluster Exploratory (CluE) program (Award# IIS-0844530), the SDSC Triton Research Opportunities (TRO) program, and an Amazon Web Service (AWS) in Education grant.

Integration of cloud based on-demand geospatial processing services into community earth science data facilities.

    A Microsoft Azure for Research Award to explore integration of the cloud with OpenTopography infrastructure. A prototype OpenTopography image was posted to the Azure VM depot that allows any cloud user to quickly deploy a subset of the OpenTopography software stack on an appropriately sized Azure compute resource. Once deployed, could be pulled from the SDSC storage cloud for processing in Azure.
    Press release: New Azure for Research Awards Announced