Calgary, AB (December 2, 2011) – To coincide with International Open Data Day, a cloud-based, open web platform that collects and shares water and environmental data, from across geographical and watershed boundaries, has launched its beta web version and project profile video. The Water and Environmental Hub (WEHUB) features a water data catalogue and an application programming interface (API), which enables water-based, customized applications for computer tablets or smartphones to be easily developed. The project is led by the University of Lethbridge, with financial and technical support from Cybera, Tesera Systems, and the University of Calgary Biogeoscience Institute.
Robin Winsor, President and CEO of Cybera, sees the WEHUB project as an example of the benefits that open source projects can provide to communities. “It also demonstrates the ground-breaking cyberinfrastructure technologies developed in Alberta by companies such as Cybera, which can aid large-scale cloud projects to share a vast amount of data with researchers and society at large,” says Winsor.
The open web platform was developed to be an online source of data, and will help academia, government, industry, non-governmental organizations, and the general public, to find, use, share and enhance water and environmental data. In addition to providing information uploaded by organizations and individual users, the WEHUB actively seeks out and aggregates open data from across the Web. Water and environmental data that previously would have required extensive searching across many different websites can now be found in one place, saving users significant time and resources.
“The WEHUB is one of the largest sources on the web for North American water and environmental data, and this video and beta version of the web portal will help users understand how extensive and accessible it is,” says Alex Joseph, Executive Director of the WEHUB project. “We expect the WEHUB to become the go-to site for anyone searching for geospatial data related to water or the environment.”
The WEHUB also offers a real-time data collection service and output tool (API) that allows companies, software developers, and other users to develop customized water applications for computer tablets or smartphones. Users can also embed water and environmental data into their organizational processes using the WEHUB web platform.
“We want businesses to become aware of the potential for WEHUB to provide commercial opportunities in analyzing and manipulating this data,” says Dr. Dan Weeks, Vice-President, Research at the University of Lethbridge. “Applications, such as home water-saving tools, or systems that display river or lake water levels and temperatures, can be built on the data that this web platform provides.”
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About the University of Lethbridge
Since its founding in 1967, the University of Lethbridge has evolved from a small and very successful primarily undergraduate university to a research-intensive, comprehensive university with a focus on both undergraduate and graduate studies. Today, the University of Lethbridge provides a personal, supportive learning environment for more than 8,500 students. The University offers relevant, progressive programs and more than 150 degree/program options through six Faculties and Schools: Arts & Science, Education, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Management and Graduate Studies. Undergraduate and graduate students alike learn with inspired scholars who combine teaching, creativity and research. The strong tradition of research excellence at the University of Lethbridge has secured the institution’s place as one of Alberta’s primary research universities. The University of Lethbridge is the home the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN) and the inaugural Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) Polaris Award; the Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy; the Water Institute for Sustainable Environments; and many of Canada’s brightest minds and most accomplished researchers.
For more information, please visit the University of Lethbridge’s website.
Cybera is a not-for-profit organization that works to spur and support innovation, for the economic benefit of Alberta, through the use of cyberinfrastructure. Cybera collaborates with public and private partners to accelerate research and product development in priority areas such as health, energy, environment, and emerging technologies. Cybera operates CyberaNet, a high-speed high-bandwidth advanced network in Alberta, and provides project management services to WestGrid / Compute Canada, a consortium that provides advanced computing in support of research across Canada.
For more information, please visit Cybera’s website.
About Tesera Systems
Tesera Systems Inc., established in 1997, is an Alberta-based, employee-owned and service-oriented consulting company. Tesera’s team of interdisciplinary professionals operate in a collaborative and integrated working environment to deliver advanced information management, geomatics, resource planning, modeling, analysis, statistics, and data solutions. Tesera has substantial cloud-based processing and server capacity, and remote access software that enables the most complex projects to be managed with elastic scalability. Tesera advocates open source solutions and open data initiatives as a means to promote innovation and value-add opportunities.
For more information, visit Tesera’s website.
About the University of Calgary Biogeoscience Institute
The Biogeoscience Institute provides and supports high quality research and research clusters in the Canadian Rockies and adjacent areas. Its goals are to: improve understanding of ecosystem and geoscience processes through research studies that take into account spatial and temporal variations; provide innovative, robust, and accessible information services and tools; cultivate a diverse and creative workforce, and a scientifically literate and engaged community; and provide state-of-the-art facilities and services conducive to environmental research and education. The Institute operates two field stations: the Barrier Lake Station in Kananaskis Valley and the R.B. Miller Station in Sheep River provincial Park.
For more information, visit the University of Calgary Biogeoscience Institute’s website.