GISandbox: A Science Gateway for Geospatial Computing

Date and Time: 
Monday 2018 Apr 2nd
CG Auditorium
Davide Del Vento

Davide Del Vento, Eric Shook, Andrea Zonca, and Jun Wang

Science gateways provide easy access to domain-specific tools and data. The field of Geographic Information Science and Systems (GIS) uses myriad tools and datasets, which raises challenges in designing a science gateway to meet users’ diverse research and teaching needs. We describe a new science gateway called the GISandbox that is designed meet the needs of researchers and educators leveraging geospatial computing, which is situated at the nexus of GIS and computational science. The GISandbox is built on Jupyter Notebooks to create an easy, open, and flexible platform for geospatial computing. Jupyter Notebooks is a widely used interactive computing environment running in the browser that integrates live code, narrative, equations and images. We extend the Jupyter Notebook platform to enable users to run interactive notebooks on the cloud resource Jetstream or computationally-intensive notebooks on the Bridges supercomputer located at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. A novel Job Management platform allows the user to easily submit a Jupyter Notebook for batch execution on Bridges (and eventually Comet), monitor the SLURM job, and retrieve output files. GISandbox Virtual Machines are created in Jetstream’s Atmosphere interface and then deployed and configured using a series of Ansible scripts. When properly used, Ansible scripts allow to create an easily reproducible and scalable system. In this talk we will highlight use cases of GISandbox, give a bird’s view on how we have met their requirements in our implementation and discuss future plans including how it could be applied in other domains.

Speaker Description: 

Davide Del Vento is Software Engineer at National Center for Atmospheric Research, where he works since 2008 as a High Performance Computing Specialist. In this role, he provides assistance to the UCAR computing community of scientists and programmers on a variety of topics, including optimization and tuning, parallel computing, data analysis and debugging. He contributes to design, development, testing and maintenance of local software packages. Davide also serves as a Software Engineer for the XSEDE Novel and Innovative Projects (NIP) group and for the XSEDE Extended Collaborative Support Services (ECSS) program.

Moreover, Davide is the Chairman of the Software Engineering Assembly since 2010.

In a previous life, he worked as a member of the control team for the Visible InfraRed Thermal Imaging Spectrometer onboard the Venus Express mission from the European Space Agency. The mission was operational around the planet Venus from 2006 to 2014.

PDF icon GISandbox_seaconf2018.pdf2.74 MB

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