News and views from Cybera’s project front

As the newest Communications Officer at Cybera, I must say what a pleasure it has been to learn about the important and incredibly innovative projects that are being organized here! With this in mind, I would like to kick-start a regular blog feature describing updates on, or interesting sidenotes to, Cybera's projects.

These days, the use and promotion of open data applications has been a key concept running through many of Cybera's projects.

For example, the Geospatial Cyberinfrastructure for Environmental Sensing (GeoCENS) project has recently released a Sensor Observation Service (SOS) wiki. This is a scalable program for managing deployed sensors and retrieving sensor "observation" data. It meets Open Geospatial Consortium standards, is accessible from many programming libraries and tools, and offers a web service for users to upload data.

Moving over to the space sector, the Cloud-Enabled Space Weather Platform (CESWP) project has reported early success with running a member's model software on its cloud machines. The model performed at twice the speed of previously-used hardware. The CESWP group is optimistic that this performance can be scaled up to larger groups of machines.

CESWP's predecessor, the Canadian Space Science Data Portal (CSSDP), will begin winding down within the next month '€” though work on the sharing of space science data will by no means diminish!

On a final note, the Water and Environmental Hub (WEHUB), a project focused on sharing open-source water data, has been keeping close tabs on the trends and applications of other open data initiatives. Executive Director, Alex Joseph, recently tweeted about a Montreal-based blog discussing "open data" and its emergent use across a variety of sectors. The blog author, James McKinney, notes the importance of making data available and transparent, and lists various apps that are trying to do just that. Most of these relate to governments or health institutions€” analyzing politicians or healthcare workers' backgrounds and pay, as well as what they are doing or "voting on" now.

The underlying message here is that matters of the public interest need to be made public. However, the need for "open data" resonates in other aspects of our lives, besides healthcare and politics. Programs pushing for this can be found in many different areas, including our own research projects (just look at the mission statements for WEHUB, CSSDP or GeoCENS).

Sharing research and collaborating on ideas is a common theme in Cybera initiatives, one that will likely recur in the future. Watch this spot!

Do you know of any other interesting data-sharing projects? Let us know by leaving a comment!