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CDI Monthly Meeting - June 8, 2016

The Community for Data Integration (CDI) meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

WebEx: - Under the Meeting Center tabs, search for meeting name: "Community for Data Integration" 

USGS/DOI Dial In Number: (703) 648-4848 (for USGS and DOI offices)
Toll Free Dial In Number: (855) 547-8255 (for other offices and telecommute locations)
Conference Code: 47919# (same for both numbers)

Webex Recording

Webex recordings are available to CDI Members approximately 24 hours after the completion of the meeting. Please login to view the recording. If you would like to become a member of CDI, please email


Agenda (in Eastern time)

11:00a Welcome and Announcements, Leslie Hsu, CDI Coordinator  [.pdf]

11:05a Scientist's Challenge Updates

11:15a  CDI FY15 Project Presentation: USGS Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Data Management Opportunities and Challenges Brent JohnsonUSGS

Presentation: Slides are available to CDI Members. Please login to download the slides. If you would like to become a member of CDI, please email

Abstract: As Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) technologies advance, so do the sensors they carry. This results in hundreds or even thousands of gigabytes of data in a single flight. Where do these data go, who can access them, and does it adhere to standards? These and similar questions are ones that need to be addressed with the increasing use UAS technologies. This project developed mechanisms and protocols to make such data available to the public and government agencies on a streamlined, structured, and managed way. As the USGS, and other government agencies, conduct more UAS missions, we need to address how we conduct data management activities associated with data acquired by UA.

Questions & Answers

Lance: Reminds me of some other datasets that we have.I have a question about the interface for agencies and vendors to load information. What type of information are they loading and is that tied to metadata?

Brent Johnson: That will be a web form and the agency/vendor would have to enter specific metadata explaining the data and there will be a place to upload the data here, as well.

Brent Nelson: Designed so that vendors in the field would have access from the field to the site to load the data initially, so we can turn it around fairly quickly and they would then have access to all of those data from our site.

Lance: Thank you, defining vendors really helped. That was great.

Leslie: You mentioned that there are evolving sensors and evolving types and that its important to capture the metadata. Who's responsibility is it to capture the right metadata? At what point in the process do people need to start thinking about the metadata and what metadata is captured?

Brent Nelson: Yes, that is really key. Things are moving very quickly, so we are working to develop software so that it can be adapted in the future.  Long term goal will be for the project or people flying the mission to enter the metadata and we are trying to make it as intuitive as possible. We will work with the vendors to ensure that we get that metadata because it is really essential to have the metadata to understand the data.

Brent: At the moment, there is not a standard, but the webform will be standardized at on our end.

Leslie: There are some teams out in the USGS who are interested in starting to use UAS technology. Do you have any advice on how to get started, especially with respect to UAS and data management?

Brent: First thing would be to get in touch with Joe Adams and I believe he is on the line.

Joe Adams: You can start exploring UAS at You are also welcome to call me, Josip Adams. I can help you navigate these waters and help you get started.

Leslie: Are you seeing in increase in the use of this technology?

Joe: It has been relatively level. There is a lot of buzz about UAS in the media; however, UAS are treated as aircraft within the Department of the Interior and the FAA rules and the safety protocols present a number of road blocks for the use of UAS in the USGS. We are hoping some of these rules will change here in the future; however, we have been able to get flights flown for pretty much anyone who wants this type of data for a project. Also, there have been a number of examples of projects using contractors to fly UAS flights.

Rich: Is there an established way for delivering high resolution terrain data? Is there a way to view them in a performant way in a web browser?

Joe: I have not seen a standard for online delivery of UAS data.

Brent: I do not believe there is a standard for viewing these.

Joe: This is where USGS can lead the way. Everything is moving very fast.

Rich: So that is an area where CDI can help out?

Joe: Yes, certainly. There are also a number of technology groups coming on board. ESRI is developing Drone2Map. Also, Structure from Motion is another tool out there. I expect big changes in the near future. 

Leslie: Is USGS speaking with other federal agencies or organizations to see how they are dealing with their UAS data and Metadata?

Brent: Ryan Longhenry has had some other conversations with BLM but can't speak to other conversations outside of the USGS.

Joe: DOI has a GIS position open focusing on Data Management and protecting data and privacy. They are looking at that very closely don't want to get in trouble with privacy concerns. Conversations about this happening at a high level. 

Leslie: We have compiled a few links about UAS in preparation for this call and discussion. There is a lot of activity out there. If you are interested in learning more about UAS activities, there are a few links on the CDI Blog to get you start. ESIP has drone cluster that meets frequently. Had a presentataion from ESRI for viewing drone technology. 

Rich: Sharing a link for displaying UAS data "An experiment: drone-derived DEM+Ortho in TerriaJS:"


11:45a Introduction to the CDI 2016 Virtual Trainings - Leslie Hsu, USGS (.pdf slides 8-10)

Leslie: Please submit your questions about reproducibility for the Workflows and Reproducibility Training so that April can address USGS-related questions during the training event. Please submit through the CDI Idea Lab

CDI Calendar now available on the wiki: CDI Calendar. Please note that default time zone for your calendar might not be your current time zone.

12:00p  Working Group Reports

  • Citizen Science - Sophia Liu and Dave Govoni 
    • Sophia gave a Congressional briefing on the panel Citizen Science: Empowering a Robust National Effort. It was video taped and will be available in a couple of weeks. We haven't met as a working group lately but I am focusing on developing a steering committee to develop generic information requests and work with other DOI bureaus. Starting to develop a website specific to this area and a way to update the myScience piece of this work. There will be a USGS leaders blog post on this issue this month and we hope to gain more interest and perspective on where we want to go with citizen science.
  • Communications - JC Nelson and Marcia McNiff
    • Thrid monthly call yesterday. Working with Leslie on getting communication plan for CDI drafted and working on a slide deck for "Selling CDI" to other groups. Still looking for more members. We recently had two people join. Feel free to email if you would like to join. 
  • Data Management - Heather Henkel and Viv Hutchison
    • No DMWG meeting in May. Next meeting is June 13th at 2:00 ET. We have a DMWG subteam lead by Cassandra Ladino with Fran Lightsom and JC Nelson and they have put together a strategy document template for science centers when thinking about how data management is being done at their center. The template helps centers to think through how data management is being done. They are working on putting it on the DM website, but if you would like to see it sooner contact Viv Hutchison, Fran Lightsom, JC Nelson, or Cassandra Ladino. 
    • We have done some updates to the DM website with respect to Data Release:
    • Bureau Approving Officials in OSQI are making national attempt to engage centers around the country. They are presenting on the new data management and open data policies. SDM has been following up with a presentation on tools and best practices on how to implement the new policies. 
    • Alaska is also working to reach out and explain how they are meeting these policies in their center.
    • Cassandra: I was surfing CDI wiki space and a lot of legacy focus groups material, it is really unclear whether anyone is actively doing work on those groups or whether it was superseded. We may want to impose some archiving of that material. 
    • Leslie: Thank you for that comment, we will work on putting together a plan for archiving some of that material.  
  • Earth-Science Themes - Roland Viger 
  • Semantic Web  - Fran Lightsom 
    • We have skipped a couple of months but we are planning on meeting tomorrow to discuss our progress on using controlled vocabularies as well as some pain points for putting USGS linked data online. 2:00 ET tomorrow via webex. 
  • Tech Stack  - Rich Signell
    • We have moved tech stack talks into ESIP tech dive talks and using their meeting technology. Last month presentation on Leaflet time dimension. If you work with time gridded data, you should check out that presentation. Next meeting June 9 at 3:00pm ET. There will be a talk on Docker. 
  • Connected Devices - Tim Kern and Lance Everette
    • Last May Connected Devices discussed software release IMs and what it is going to take to do code review, especially for mobile apps. Dave G. gave briefing on EPA's work last month. Next meeting is June 23rd at 12:00pm ET. Presentation on Fisheries Harvest in developing countries and discuss their plans for mobile app development. They are trying to determine if they should use an existing app or start fresh.  Also an overarching view of Angular2/Ionic2/Electron2 – building web, mobile, and desktop apps from one set of Typescript components. Background info at (also built on angular) for building Windows, Linux, and OS X apps.

    • . In July we have a different framework discussion for those it the .net framework. Email if you would like to get on the mailing list.

12:30p  Adjourn

Presentation Q/A


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