graybeal's blog

MMI software in ESIP Federation space

To become a post about MMI's semantic repository being selected as an ESIP repository.

Testing an image




Designing Your Sensor Network in 3 Easy Rules

The Problem

Say you're in charge of your lab's project to collect some environmental data. Your boss specified the sensors, or at least specified their capabilities, and expects you to put everything else together to make the data really work. How can you build this system so the data really is the Right Stuff?

Next Gen Web: Identifier Reality

Resource identifiers on the World Wide Web. By now we've all had the chance to study up on these identifiers, play with them, proclaim our favorite types, even build something with them. Universal, unique, uniform, resource-y, resolvable, digital, persistent, discoverable, cool—what's not to like about identifiers? Especially because they are so … purposeful.

Many Multifaceted Marinexplore Metadata Multiplying

(Full disclosure to MMI community: I work at Marinexplore.)

The MMI Survey

MMI has posted a survey to learn what its members think of its capabilities and its future direction. You can participate in the survey at

If you have comments about the survey or MMI, as a member you can add your thoughts here. Let us know!

The Best Parameter Vocabulary

Let's say I want to find the best vocabulary out there for describing things in the environment that can be observed—variables, parameters, phenomena, observable properties, whatever you might call them. If you are doing earth science on your laptop, these might be the labels you put in the top row of your spreadsheet.

How can I find that best vocabulary for a given domain and situation, like environment science (especially oceanography) observations in an infrastructure project? Shall we try?

Jobs on OOI Cyberinfrastructure project

OK, so it doesn't take long to make the point here: I think this OOI Cyberinfrastructure is a cool project, and if you're a sophisticated data management or cyberinfrastructure person, you probably will too. This is your classic 'rich metadata' environment.

There are a significant number of new positions, and the hiring pace is picking up now. So if this might be the thing for you, get in gear and apply already. Help this leading-edge project be successful!

good user interfaces: a computer generated voice call I liked

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I got a computer-generated phone call that I actually enjoyed. Well, in a wonky sort of way.

My health care provider put a very solicitous recorded voice on the line, asking if they could communicate with me about their services. All I had to do was say yes or no, so I played along. They asked a few "how do you like what we're doing" questions, slipped in a reminder about being able to change my doctor any time, pointed me to a web site for some other information (and offered to send me a link to it!), and finally provided a health tip.

The Good Enough Data System

I was describing good future data practices to a panel considering ocean science needs for 2030, and was asked a good question after the talk: What are the qualities of a 'good' data system?

Hopefully our Guides on MMI give some ideas about that question, but the Guides are really focused on metadata. And they don't put it all in a neat summary.

So here are my proposals for what makes a good data system, with suitable weasel words for the wide array of projects that need data systems.

On Versions


Without having extensively surveyed the literature, these are some thoughts I've put together (as part of my OOI Cyberinfrastructure job) on what it means to talk about a data product version. Your comments are appreciated.

In this document, I call a Version a form of relationship in which one thing is the same as another in some conceptual sense, but has differences as the result of other attributes not being the same. To be specific:


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