GABBs is an NSF-funded project to create a powerful Web-based system that will allow researchers worldwide to manage, curate, share, analyze and visualize geospatial data for purposes ranging from predicting damaging floods to projecting climate change effects on the poor. The project builds geospatial data hosting, processing and sharing capabilities into Purdue’s HUBzero platform.

Funded by the NSF DIBBS program, the first phase of GABBs project project has created new capabilities of geospatial data management, processing, analysis and visualization in HUBzero®, an open source software stack for creating dynamic web platforms for scientific collaboration. HUBzero powers more than 60 research community websites that makes computational tools, scientific data sets, research results and training materials available to the broader community and public. These sites, also known as science gateways, support research and education in a wide range of domains including nanotechnology, materials research, cancer care engineering, extreme weather, hydrology, and agricultural and food sustainability. As geographically referenced data are widely collected and available, its usage in research and education is increasing rapidly. Traditionally, one needs to have in-depth knowledge and computer programming expertise of Geographical Information System (GIS), as well as computing resources to process, analyze and view geospatial data. The GABBs software produced from this project helps lower the barriers in dealing with such data. Integrated with the HUBzero platform, GABBs is helping make scientific datasets such as satellite imagery of land use, earth features, water quality data, and crop health information, and simulation outputs more accessible and usable by anyone with a web browser and an Internet connection. Tools of general usage and domain specific applications have been created and are being used by users from multiple disciplines and sectors

Funded by the NSF CSSI program, the second phase of GABBs project aims to develop an extensible geospatial data framework (GeoEDF) to address prevalent geospatial data challenges, support domain science needs, and contribute to a national geospatial data and software ecosystem. Specific objectives include:

  • development of a plug-and-play data framework (GeoEDF),
  • use of the framework to address domain science needs, 
  • development of interoperability with other cyberinfrastructures, and
  • dissemination of GeoEDF to the broader community.

Use of modular plug-and-play application programming interfaces (APIs) would enable integration of domain-specific geospatial data in a meaningful and accessible manner, leveraging an existing cyberinfrastructure capability (HUBzero) to facilitate adoption and dissemination without reinventing existing components. The project engages a substantial number of domain scientists from a variety of stakeholder communities; by incorporating the framework into HUBzero-powered sites, the team anticipates having access to more than 750,000 users. Training will be provided to the next-generation of researchers and professionals; internship programs are planned for undergraduate and underrepresented groups. The project allows users / scientists to connect a range of data sources, potentially increasing interdisciplinary work. The ultimate goal is to put easy-to-use tools and platforms into the hands of researchers and students to conduct scientific investigations using findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) science principles.