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Description of HydroShare Resource Types and Metadata Terms

Generic Resource Type Description

A generic resource is an arbitrary collection of files that are logically grouped together as a resource. There may be any number of files, and files may be of any type. The generic resource type should be used for creating resources for which a formal content data model has not been specified in HydroShare. Generic resources are treated the same way as other resource types in terms of sharing and access control; however, no value added tools are provided given that HydroShare cannot anticipate what the contents of generic resources will be.

To describe the entities of a generic resource in HydroShare, we choose the Dublin Core Meta Data Elements as the resource science metadata, Each of these elements consists of sub metadata elements:


Time Series Resource Type Description

The time series is a sequence of individual data values that are ordered in time to record the changing trend of a certain phenomenon. As time series are widely used for hydrologic research and because they are also the primary granule of data sharing within the CUAHSI HIS, the time series will be an important resource type in the HydroShare system. Currently, we define a time series resource such that it can contain only one time series. To define the entities and attributes of a time series, we adopt the definition of a time series as specified by Version 2.0 of the Observations Data Model (ODM2) – see description of a time series result in ODM2 here

ODM2 does not limit the types of time series that can be supported. Any time series supported by the ODM2 information model will be valid for input as a time series resource in HydroShare. The specific implementation of ODM2 that will be used for storing time series in HydroShare is described in more detail in a subsequent section, but, in general, ODM2 describes a time series via the following entities:






Reference Time Series Resource Type Description

A Reference Time Series (RefTS) resource references a specific time series dataset hosted on an external web service. As time series datasets can grow (e.g. continuous daily observations), the advantage of using RefTS resource is that users can always retrieve the most recent data. The current RefTS implementation only supports CUAHSI HydroServer data sources. All HydroServer instances registered in the CAUSHI Water Data Services Catalog (http://hiscentral.cuahsi.org/) can be referenced using a RefTS resource.

Multidimensional (NetCDF) Resource Type Description

Multidimensional space-time data is one of the major data types used for hydrological modeling. For example, the precipitation or surface air temperature data that have two dimensions in space and one dimension in time. As Network Common Data Form (NetCDF) is widely used in hydrological and other geoscience modeling because it contains self-describing metadata and supports the creation of array-oriented datasets which may include three spatial dimensions, a time dimension and other user defined dimensions , we choose NetCDF as the file format to support the sharing of the multidimensional space-time data in HydroShare.

Currently, we define the multidimensional (NetCDF) resource such that it includes only one NetCDF file with ".nc" extension. Any multidimensional space-time data supported by the NetCDF format will be valid for input as a multidimensional (NetCDF) resource in HydroShare. To describe the multidimensional space-time data in NetCDF format, we will use the following entities:



Geographic Raster Resource Type Description

Geographic raster data are commonly used for representing and managing imagry, digital elevation, and other phenomena which is widely used in hydrological research. The raster can have a single or multiple bands (or layers) of data. A band is represented by a single matrix of cell organized into rows and columns where each contains a value representing information. We choose the GeoTIFF file format to represent the geographic raster data in HydroShare. The GeoTIFF refers to TIFF files which have geographic data embeded as tags within the TIFF file. The geographic data can then be used to position the image in the correct location and geometry on the screen of a geographic information display.

Currently, we define the geographic raster resource such that it includes only one geographic raster in GeoTIFF format which includes a single or multiple bands. Any raster data in GeoTIFF format will be valid for input as a geographic raster resource in HydroShare. To describe the geographic raster data, we will use the following entities:




Model Program Resource Type Description

A Model Program resource describes the software component of a generic model within the water domain. It aims to fully describe the software-related metadata of a given model program to enables scientists to seamlessly retrieve all the content and information required to get a model up-and-running on their local or server-side machine. This resource consists of uploaded content such as source code, compiled binaries, and documentation, as well as metadata describing the model's software. The Model Program resource can be related to many Model Instance resources (below) to completely describe a simulation and the exact software version used for a particular study, to make data replication possible. The specific metadata elements are as follows:












Model Instance Resource Type Description

A Model Instance resource defines the input and output data for a generic hydrological model, for a specific time and place. This resource consists of specific metadata to describe the model content as well as the Model Program resource that is used to execute a simulation. These specific metadata elements are as follows:



SWAT Model Instance Resource Type Description

This SWAT Model Instance resource is a specific case of the Model Instance resource that applies to the Soil and Water Assessment Tool. This resource extends the more generic Model Instance metadata terms to accommodate additional SWAT specific terms which have been derived from simulation input files. These specific metadata elements are as follows:






MODFLOW Model Instance Resource Type Description

This MODFLOW Model Instance resource is a specific case of the Model Instance resource that applies to USGS MODFLOW 2000 and later versions. This resource extends the more generic Model Instance metadata terms to accommodate additional MODFLOW specific terms which have been derived from simulation input files. These specific metadata elements are as follows:












Web App Resource Type Description

A Web App resource is a shortcut (or reference) to an external web application that can work with HydroShare data resources. A Web App might be a simple webpage, a resource viewer, a data editor, or a complicated scientific model. Third-party web applications can easily access HydroShare data resources using the HydroShare REST API, and can be linked to specific HydroShare resource types and made discoverable within HydroShare by registering them as a Web App resource.

Script Resource Type Description

A Script resource is intended to store any stand-alone programming script that has been written to perform a specific operation. The languages currently supported are Python, R, and MATLAB. The specific metadata elements are as follows:

Collection Resource Type Description

A collection resource is a resource that holds a list of other resources in HydroShare that the creator has logically assembled into a collection. Collections are intended to be a flexible way to combine resources associated with a specific purpose, such as a specific study, site, or experiment. HydroShare does not impose restrictions on the purpose for which resources may be placed in a collection or on the number, types, publication status or permissions settings associated with resources in a collection.

Composite Resource Type Description

A Composite resource is a resource which can include multiple files without file format limitations. This resource is designed to support metadata and data functions at both file level and resource level to better support data management in HydroShare. Each file may be annotated with general file type metadata. If a file, or group of files representing one logical object (e.g. multiple files for a shapefile) is in the format which represents a specific file type supported in HydroShare, the file will be supported with specific file type metadata and additional data functions established for that type (e.g. metadata extraction from TIFF or NetCDF file). The resource level metadata will be the same as metadata of the generic resource type. Each file within the resource will be associated with the following additional metadata terms:

All file types include additional terms that can be referred to Extended Metadata, Key, Value

Currently, composite resource type supports three file types including the generic file type. Any file uploaded to the composite resource by default becomes part of the generic file type. All the file types are associated with the terms shown above. In addition, when the user sets a generic file type to a specific file type, it will be associated with more metadata terms, which are derived from the corresponding resource types.

Geo raster file type

This file type includes additional terms that can be referred to Geographic Raster Resource Type

NetCDF file type

This file type includes additional terms that can be referred to Multidimensional (NetCDF) Resource Type