A Perspective on Cyberinfrastructure for Water Research Driven by Informatics Methodologies.

Peter Bajcsy

Geography Compass, 2/6, p2040-2061 (2008)

This article presents a perspective on cyberinfrastructure (CI) for water research driven by informatics methodologies. This perspective is motivated by the fact that CI for water research should increase scientific productivity of a single investigator and dispersed teams in their exploratory studies of experimental observations and theoretical simulations.

In the digital era and within the context of CI, the scientific productivity is often determined by the efficiency of data-centric and collaborationcentric activities. These activities follow domain-specific methodologies and informatics approaches aiming at extracting information and knowledge from raw data. We present the concepts of data-centric and collaboration-centric activities supported by concrete examples, and outline the challenges and requirements on CI driven by these informatics activities. Then, we describe a set of common activities cutting across multiple earth science disciplines, and discuss some solutions that already exist or might have to be developed in order to support informatics methodologies. Our perspective emphasizes the importance of exploratory science that is frequently present in informatics methodologies.

The contribution of this article is in illuminating the CI development from a perspective that bridges daily activities of many water research scientists with the CI components and functionality.