Dr. Thomas McGlynn / NASA/GSFC/HEASARC firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Raymond Plante / NCSA email@example.com
Dr. Joseph King / NASA/GSFC/NSSDC firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Richard A. White / NASA/GSFC/ADC email@example.com
Dr. Joseph Mazzarella / Caltech/IPAC firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Robert McGrath / NCSA email@example.com
In order to support the emerging Space Science Data Services information systems infrastructure, we propose to develop an interdisciplinary data location and integration service for space science. Building upon existing data services and communications protocols, this service will allow users to transparently query hundreds or thousands of WWW-based resources (catalogs, data, computational resources, bibliographic references, etc.) from a single interface. The service will collect responses from various resources and integrate them in a seamless fashion for display and manipulation by the user.
The distributed query and response system will be based upon the concept of profiles: standard descriptions of the attributes of data and information services that are needed to formulate queries. Both generic profiles, which span the space sciences and support locating information, and more discipline specific profiles, which enable more sophisticated but specialized queries, will be developed.
Information providers will provide resource descriptions which map the standardized terms of the profile onto site or service specific databases and catalogs. The resource descriptions will be maintained in a fully distributed database based on the Generateur de Liens Uniformes (GLU) system developed by the Centre de Donnees astronomiques de Strasbourg. By utilizing profiles and resource descriptions, an integrated data service can be implemented without having to redesign or reimplement the component services.
The project is a natural extension of the Astrobrowse data location service already developed by several of the proposal team members. Participants in the proposal team represent all major NASA astronomy data centers, the Planetary Data System, the National Space Science Data Center (which holds the largest collection of space physics data sets), and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (host of the Astronomy Digital Image Library, and noted developer of network information services and systems) assuring that much of NASA's space science data holdings will be available from within the system.
The profiles and resource descriptions will be kept simple in order to foster the broadest possible participation, including information services from non-NASA facilities. The system being developed is fully open and fully vested in the community, allowing any group to develop custom user interfaces, value added services, or working in collaboration with providers of similar data services, to extend profiles for specific needs.