Ecoinformatics Conference Service, Environmental Information Management 2008

EarthGrid Web Services for Accessing Heterogeneous Data Systems

Jing Tao, Matt Jones, David Vieglais, Arcot Rajasekar, Lucas Gilbert, Benjamin Leinfelder

Last modified: 2008-08-21


EarthGrid services are web services which provide a high-level programmatic interface for existing data and computer services. It is a lightweight layer that can be implemented easily to expose data from existing systems using a shared web service interface. Any data system wrapped by the EarthGrid API can be accessed by a common client, making it easier for client systems to access multiple data servers. Currently, several data management systems have implemented the EarthGrid interface, including Metacat for ecological and environmental data and metadata,
Digir for natural history collection specimen data, and SRB for scientific data from several disciplines. Each of these systems has implented EarthGrid interfaces for metadata query and data retrieval, and some have also implemented the interfaces for user authentication, data deposition, and other advanced services. The EarthGrid provides a registry for systems that have implemented one or more services, making it easy for clients to discover data systems that are available through the EarthGrid. The Kepler scientific workflow system is an example client that
uses the EarthGrid to seamlessly and transparently access multiple heterogeneous data systems for analyses and simulation.