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EarthCube enables geoscientists to address the challenges of understanding and predicting complex and evolving solid Earth, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and space environment systems. Through the use of advanced technological and computational capabilities, EarthCube fosters community-governed efforts that develop a common cyber-infrastructure for the purpose of collecting, accessing, analyzing, sharing and visualizing all forms of data and related resources.

EarthCube envisions a dynamic, community-driven cyberinfrastructure that supports standards for interoperability, infuses advanced technologies to improve and facilitate interdisciplinary research, and helps educate scientists in the emerging practices of digital scholarship, data and software stewardship, and open science.earthcube wordcloud

EarthCube, which began in 2011, is a joint initiative between the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) and the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI). EarthCube is a new way for NSF to partner with the scientific community and a call to the many academic, agency and industry stakeholders in the geo-, cyberinfrastructure, computer and social sciences to create new capabilities for sharing data and knowledge and conducting research.

Achieving EarthCube objectives requires a long-term effort, which NSF anticipates supporting until at least 2022. It also requires a community desire to identify common solutions and best practices, adapt and respond to change as cyberinfrastructure evolves, and adopt new technologies and approaches.

EarthCube’s short term objective is to create greater data availability and associated tools and services to geoscientists; the long term objective is enhanced knowledge availability for society.

The Spatial Information Systems Lab has several projects under EarthCube. Two main projects include CINERGI and GEAR.

The goal of CINERGI is to compile a unique inventory that would unify the wealth of geoscience information readily available in digital form, across domains. Developing mechanisms to ensure that different resources have consistent and easy-to-interpret descriptions, traceable origins, and documentation that is as complete as possible, are crucial parts of this project.

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GEAR seeks to integrate traditional information system components developed in various branches of the geosciences with a number of gear 1 editemerging technologies that support scholarly communication, self-organization and social networking in order to create an enterprise architecture that enables more comprehensive, data-intensive research designs and knowledge sharing within EarthCube. EarthCube is conceptualized as an evolving, community-governed cyberinfrastructure supporting geoscience research and education enterprise. It is considered from five distinct perspectives: as an open federation of systems, as an environment for scholarly communication, as an environment for cross-domain information integration, as a system to enable efficient execution of research workflows, and as an environment for alignment of stakeholder interests.

We are also working on the EarthCube projects GeoWS and DigitalCrust.

The Geoscience Web Services approach is to enable search, discovery, and access by similarly constructed URLs containing a traditional directory structure and query parameters in the URL. Each GeoWS partner has a base URL from which their services can be accessed.

The goal of DigitalCrust is to build a 4D data system that integrates the existing data, and allows scientists to visualize and contribute to its content, conduct syntheses for detecting emerging patterns (e.g., Macrostrat), and derive 3D gridded data products such as crustal permeability for simulating fluid flow.

We are on the EarthCube’s Technology Architecture Committee which facilitates the development of technology that is part of EarthCube. TAC_button

For more information about EarthCube please visit, and for more information on the individual EarthCube projects please visit the corresponding hyperlinked webpages.