Environmental Information Management Conference
Data interoperability facilitates the integration, access, and delivery of information from a variety of sources to synthesize knowledge for scientific collaboration. Often the success of a workgroup-scale data integration project can be hindered by the insufficient computing expertise of the team, inadequate network resources, and limited funding to support cyberinfrastructure. We explore the utility of the free, cloud-based Google Apps to overcome these potential shortfalls and present a case study for the development of a hybrid web application, called GeoSymbio, that synthesizes global bioinformatic and ecoinformatic data of Symbiodinium, a group of uni-cellular, photosynthetic dinoflagellates that are found free-living or in symbiosis with a wide range of marine invertebrate hosts including scleractinian coral. Google Apps allowed our five member multidisciplinary group of biologists to develop a web-based tool to discover, explore, and visualize project data in a rapid, cost-effective, and engaging manner. Although the final product exceeded our expectations, there were certain limitations that we encountered including file data storage limits, the slow loading speed of some tools, and incomplete integration among applications. Traditionally, scientific data synthesis and integration has been presented as static journal review articles. Here, we demonstrate a path to develop a novel type of web-based, data-driven, and publically accessible review of scientific knowledge that allows the user to dynamically interact with the compiled information using Google Apps. GeoSymbio is located at https://sites.google.com/site/geosymbio/.
University of California