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The Virtual Research Vessel
Tools: Composition and Access

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Virtual Research Vessel

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"Sea Beam Classic" bathymetry of the East Pacific Rise, 9-10°N. 80-m grid by D. Toomey, Fledermaus visualization by D. Wright (v.e. = 20x).

Click image to enlarge

Research in the earth sciences routinely yields a wealth of observational data and results spanning a range of disciplines, including geophysics, chemistry, theoretical fluid mechanics and biology. As yet though, this complementary information has not been fully utilized. Most of it exists either in inert, noninteractive form (e.g. journal publications) or as unlinked and incompatible data sets and models. Scientists studying mid-ocean ridges have taken the first steps in data archiving, but mere collections of publicly available data will not be sufficient. Scientists will need a wide range of sophisticated programming support to coordinate the use of data, computational tools, and numerical models across distributed networks of computers.

Tool Composition: VRV-ET

Faculty: Jan Cuny and Doug Toomey (U of O)
System Designer: Joshua Rogers (U of O)

In conjunction with our VRV-1 research, we are building a prototype set of tools that support web-based collaboration. These tools, which will eventually form the interface for the VRV-1 environment, are being used, tested, and evaluated in building an exhibit entitled, the Volcanic Galapagos (Figure 1). The tools are designed to allow scientists/educators at remote locations to participate collaboratively in the design and evolution of our exhibit. This will allow us to keep the web-based content current with the diverse scientific efforts of a team of researchers and it will enable other researchers to add material.

Figure 1. Sample pages from Volcanic Galapagos, part VRV-ET.
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Web-Based GIS

Faculty: Dawn Wright (OSU)
Student: Liz O'Dea (OSU; now at the Irish Coastal & Marine Resources Centre)

Spatial data can be viewed using Arc Internet Map Server (ArcIMS), an online GIS that allows users to perform GIS functions such as spatial query, buffering, clipping, and spatial network analysis over the Internet (Figure 2). ArcIMS has the potential for allowing simultaneous access to both web data from the server and local data from the client's desktop, as well as the ability to dynamically edit and annotate maps. EPR data are being compiled from several resources to create a Virtual Research Vessel prototype atlas powered by ArcIMS, thereby facilitating a simpler way for finding and viewing data, translating between formats, and encouraging future data submission to archives.

Figure 2. ArcIMS offers a method of dynamically viewing spatial data on-line.
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ArcIMS Data Access Links

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Java Viewer (IE on Windows NT or 2000 only)


Last update: September 9, 2005
© 2001, D. Wright and OSU Webworks