One of the questions that attendees to the 2011 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) grapple with frequently is: how good are the data I’m using? As data availability has increased, along with tools to enhance data usability, this question becomes increasingly important. And one of the ways to address it is to utilize data provenance – which means knowing where the data came from and how it was processed, from beginning to end.
Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) scientist Dr. Greg Leptoukh will give a presentation on Thursday, July 28 at the IGARSS meeting on the subject of data provenance. Co-authored with GES DISC engineer Dr. Christopher Lynnes, the presentation will define data provenance and discuss why it is becoming increasingly important. One of the main reasons for data provenance is that it allows scientific users to know the history of the data, and thus, “… data users can make educated assessments of the scientific results derived from the data”.
The presentation will discuss several aspects of data provenance, including the vital topic of data quality. Another aspect of this issue is processing provenance, which involves capturing all of the steps and calculations required to produce data that the user sees. Processing provenance information is sometimes contained (at least partially) in metadata provided with data files, but may also be found in supporting documentation.
Other aspects of data provenance that Leptoukh will discuss are harmonization, which allows combination of information from different sources; delivery, which includes the best ways to provide provenance information to the user; and visualization, which addresses the conversion of technical information into clear and accessible descriptions and explanations useful to scientists.
Dr. Leptoukh’s presentation will take place on Thursday, July 28, 2011 during afternoon sessions at IGARSS 2011, which is being held at the Vancouver Convention Center. The convention center features the world’s largest green roof, a 5-acre area landscaped with more than 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses, which provides a natural habitat to birds, butterflies, insects, small mammals, and even honey-producing bees.
Read the full extended abstract for the presentation here: