ScienceBase Project Management and Development

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A screen shot of the ScienceBase web application.
A screen shot of the ScienceBase web application. USGS image.

The Core Science Analytics, Synthesis & Libraries’ (CSAS&L) ScienceBase project has become the backbone of multiple large scale science data collection, cataloging, discovery, and distribution efforts. ScienceBase has evolved into the tool for USGS scientists, and scientists from other agencies, when it comes to support for project needs. ScienceBase provides access to aggregated information derived from many data and information domains, including feeds from existing data systems, metadata catalogs, and scientists contributing new and original content. ScienceBase architecture is designed to help science teams and data practitioners centralize their data and information resources to create the foundation needed for their work. ScienceBase, both original software and engineered components, is released as an open source project to promote involvement from the larger scientific programming community both inside and outside of the USGS.

Supporting a project the size and scope of ScienceBase requires a diverse set of skills not usually found in a single team. The Fort Collins Science Center Web Applications team will work with CSAS&L and other USGS staff, developers from other science agencies, and university and non-governmental organization cooperators to build the next generation of ScienceBase capabilities. The technical focus of ScienceBase is the Applications Programming Interface (API). This API allows other portals, science projects, GIS specialists, and repositories to interact with millions of datasets and USGS assets in any number of platforms. Keeping the system state-of-the-art is of the utmost importance. The team will maintain currency with new data types, address scale challenges, and research new implementation approaches and software frameworks. These efforts will focus on ensuring both large projects and the lone researcher can access state-of-the-art data cataloging, discovery, and distribution tools. The USGS is committed to enhancing and expanding information sharing and sound data management practices by developing ScienceBase.