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Widening the Circle of Engagement Around Environmental Issues using Cloud-based Tools

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Abstract

Environmental data are being generated and collected at unprecedented rates. However, the diversity in form and format of these environmental assets poses challenges for collaborative and reproducible science. Moreover, access constraints that surround environmental data lead to difficulty in use and interpretation of results. Cloud computing offers high potential to break down such barriers and engender collaboration, attribution, reuse, and reproducibility. In this article we review the design of the Environmental Virtual Observatory pilot (EVOp) that was conceived as a cloud-enabled virtual research space for different users interested in environmental science, ranging from domain specialists to the general public. We discuss the key technologies and processes used: a hybrid cloud infrastructure; standard service interfaces; a unified service delivery platform; and a test-driven development cycle. We also discuss the methodology by showcasing one of the exemplars developed in EVOp, stressing the importance of weaving stakeholder engagement from the beginning and throughout the process. We also briefly highlight some of the lessons learnt of working in an interdisciplinary team.

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©2019 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.