Confluence Retirement

In an effort to consolidate USGS hosted Wikis, myUSGS’ Confluence service is scheduled for retirement on January 27th, 2023. The official USGS Wiki and collaboration space is now SharePoint. Please migrate existing spaces and content to the SharePoint platform and remove it from Confluence at your earliest convenience. If you need any additional information or have any concerns about this change, please contact myusgs@usgs.gov. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
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Introduction: This group will serve as an example to similar groups to help foster collaboration on the development of approaches, generic algorithms, and actual software used to analyze hydrographic networks. Earlier, Roland set up a preliminary wiki space as a  vision for how this group might record and exchange information and sent an email to a number of colleagues. Since then, based on broad interest, we are hosting a discussion forum on the page you're reading now. The purpose is to develop what are currently very preliminary ideas into a more cohesive vision that the group would like to work under.  Once that is done, the original wiki space will be updated accordingly.

Email notification: No account is needed to read these pages, but you will need one to interact any further. See this link for information on getting an account (it's easy). Once you have an account, click the "Watch" button  at the top of this page to ensure email notifications any activity on this page. To post comments, contact rviger@usgs.gov for privileges for the Data Themes Working Group.

Posting to this page: Please do! Use the "Write a Comment" box at the very bottom of the page to posit an idea or ask/answer questions.

Summary/Take-away Points

After an initial email thread, we (see list of participants) wanted to capture some ideas in a more permanent form.  These were:

  • Build a "community rallying point" that lends itself to sharing ideas on processing and/or building hydrologic data, and bringing together data producers, folks from large projects (like SPARROW, StreamStats, EPA WATERS, MoWS Nat'l Hydrologic Modeling Framework, The National Map, Streamer, NWIS Mapper, hydrofabric, etc), and others from smaller projects.
  • General software carpentry and code management would be a benefit to this community
  • Software version control
  • Open-source business models that folks are interested in:
    • open access: can we share source code from what is still a project-controlled repository?
    • open development:  integrating software contributions from outside a project/program
  • Guidance on general best practices (USGS policy considerations)
    • Sky Bristol (USGS) has kindly agreed to present information on this USGS Fundamental Science Practices.
    • BUTST GitHub guidance http://butst.usgs.gov/open-source/ (Internal USGS page)  
    • understanding what's interpretive vs. non-interpretive
  • Workflows: beyond just getting an education or an uptake of software carpentry principles and tools, we would like to build ideas on how to readily integrate or build this type of collaboration into ongoing projects.
  • Timely major renovations
    • NHDPlus methodology is undergoing a major revision of codebase as it is being applied to NHD-HiRes. This software re-factoring process is an important opportunity to engage a community like this.
    • StreamStats is already using version control and is also undergoing a major revision of their code base.  This is an important opportunity to inform a community like this.
    • EPA WATERS has suite of web services that might be of interest to a group like this.
  • Advanced topic: Making software findable/browsable: Once in repository, how can project scientists best/most efficiently search for and access relevant software?
    • could think about using something like ScienceBase to create a metadata catalog. If using one of the git repositories (github, gitlab, stash), and if project maintainers follow a metadata/documentation protocol then  ScienceBase could figure out how to pull that content into metadata records which are more broadly "discoverable."   Also, ScienceBase could be used to create a *.gov mirror repository (probably under Stash) of any USGS product.  After a product is "finalized", the Stash version will become the "USGS product of record."
  • Initial meeting (likely after July 4th)
    • quick scrum on broad directions, define/schedule series of topic areas
    • quarterly/biannual regroups
    • will send out doodle poll


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  1. Make sure you add your name to the participants list if you want to be included on the Doodle poll and emails on the initial meeting.