Geospatial Building Blocks Project integrating Globus Online with HUBzero to Make Global Spatial Data Accessible

The GABBs project (NSF DIBBS: geospatial modeling and data analysis building blocks in HUBzero) aims at developing middleware and toolkits to support web based, interactive geospatial modeling, data analysis and data sharing needs for the broader science community. Building on the open source HUBzero platform for scientific collaboration, the GABBs team is integrating geospatial data sharing, processing and visualization, as well as large data transport and distributed data repository infrastructure to support the geospatial data needs from researchers, educators and the public.

Our approach is software development driven by scientific and education use cases, prototyping and developing smaller building blocks in a highly iterative software engineering process, and validated by continuous integration with the driving use cases. n Year one of the project, the team integrated with Globus Online data transfer software with HUBzero, among other components.

One of motivating use cases is from the Geoshare network (check out GEOSHARE project on  The goal was to make the Global Gridded Crop Model Intercomparison data archive widely accessible. The AgMIP ( group ran a suite of global climate models and crop models to estimate historical and future changes in yields for crops under different climate change and irrigation scenarios. This archive consists of more than 36,000 global grids with spatial resolution of 0.5x0.5 and organized in complex layers of folders, indexed by many variables, hence quite difficult to navigate and locate the data of interest. While this data is freely available, users would have to overcome significant technical barriers (e.g., setting Globus client and access endpoint, provisioning storage space, dealing with netcdf data format, etc) in order to exploit this information.

Working with the AgMIP archive creators and the GeoShare project (, the GABBs team integrated Globus Online service with HUBzero, and helped develop the AgMIP Aggregator tool that allows users to select and aggregate the model outputs to country, country-AEZ, or any user-defined level, and view create thematic maps of the selected data, all via the tool’s graphical user interface in a web browser.

This tool is freely available at

This work will be presented in the upcoming HUBzero annual conference in September 29-30, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Screenshots of the tool's data selection and visualization tabs:

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  1. AgMIP
  2. GABBs