Open Data for Open Science 2012, Australia

Melbourne – Tuesday, September 25, 2012  |  Sydney – Thursday, September 27, 2012






Welcome and Introductions

Speaker: John Warren, Microsoft Research Australia


Overview of Environmental Informatics Framework


Dan Fay, Microsoft Research Connections

Yan Xu, Microsoft Research Connections

Environmental Informatics Framework (EIF) is a strategy for using cutting-edge Microsoft technologies to advance environmental data discoverability, accessibility, and consumability. Environmental science is challenged by vast amounts of heterogeneous data. EIF uses the most advanced Microsoft technologies to make it easier for scientists to share, discover, access, and consume data, helping them to remain focused on science and efficiently transform data to information, knowledge, and social impact. 


Layerscape (and tutorial)

Speaker: Yan Xu, Microsoft Research Connections

A cloud-based user experience, Layerscape employs powerful, everyday tools to analyze and visualize complex Earth and oceanic datasets, thereby enabling scientists to gain environmental insights into Earth. Users can create and share 3-D virtual tours based on their discoveries and collaborate with the Earth-science community in ways that previously seemed impossible. Build your own virtual tours and experience the possibilities.

WorldWide Telescope (demo)

WorldWide Telescope (WWT) enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky, blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the Internet into a media-rich immersive experience.


WorldWide Telescope is a collaborative effort between Microsoft Research and a variety of academic and governmental agencies. Microsoft Research is making WorldWide Telescope available as a free resource to the astronomy and education community with the hope that it will inspire and empower people to explore and understand the universe as never before.



Speaker: Mohamed Ali, Microsoft (via Skype)

Microsoft StreamInsight is a platform for developing and deploying streaming applications, which need to run continuous queries over high data-rate streams of input events. StreamInsight uses a well-defined temporal stream model and operator algebra as the underlying basis for processing long-running continuous queries over event streams. This allows StreamInsight to handle imperfections in event delivery and to provide correctness guarantees on the generated output. StreamInsight natively supports a diverse range of off-the-shelf streaming operators. In order to cater to a much broader range of scenarios and applications, StreamInsight has recently introduced a new extensibility infrastructure. With this infrastructure, StreamInsight enables scientists to integrate their domain expertise within the query pipeline in the form of user defined modules (functions, operators, and aggregates.

11:00–11:15  Break 

Open Data Overview

Speaker: Andrew Conrad, Microsoft

The Open Data Protocol (OData) is a web protocol for querying and updating data that provides a way to unlock your data and free it from silos that exist in applications today. OData does this by applying and building upon web technologies such as HTTP, Atom Publishing Protocol, and JSON to provide access to information from a variety of applications, services, and stores. The protocol emerged from experiences implementing AtomPub clients and servers in a variety of products over the past several years. OData is being used to expose and access information from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, relational databases, file systems, content management systems, and traditional websites.


New Tools for Environmental Science

Speaker: Drew Purves, Microsoft Research Cambridge (via Skype)

The Computational Ecology and Environmental Sciences (CEES) group works to make actionable predictions about the environment, from the terrestrial carbon cycle to where undiscovered species are waiting to be discovered. Along the way, they have been developing the new tools necessary to do the job at hand. Learn about the CEES Tools 1.0 effort, which is now online and available for download. It includes high-level applications like FetchClimate—a cloud application delivering information about the climate anywhere in the world—to the more fundamental, like Filzbach—a flexible, fast, robust parameter-estimation engine.


Lunch and group photo


Faceted Search and PivotViewer (and demos) 

Speaker: Yan Xu, Microsoft Research Connections

Microsoft Silverlight PivotViewer makes it easier to interact with massive amounts of data on the web in ways that are powerful, informative, and valuable. PivotViewer lets us present thousands of things at once and visualize them in a way that exposes value from the group. PivotViewer experiences range in complexity to build. All involve the creation of a collection. PivotViewer is now available for you to begin building and embedding your collections directly onto your webpage. Load massive amounts of data from virtually any source, process in seconds, and model with powerful analytical capabilities.

15:00–15:30  Break 

HPC, Windows Azure Cloud Computing (includes deep dive into Hadoop), and Linux VM

Speaker: Wenming Ye, Microsoft

Windows Azure is an ideal environment for deploying existing and new compute-intensive apps that take advantage of the scale-on-demand capability of the cloud. The Windows Azure HPC Job Scheduler provides a cluster resource manager and a set of runtimes for developing parallel and scale-out apps. Learn how to create and deploy a High Performance Compute Cluster on Windows Azure and convert HPC applications in media rendering, engineering, finance, and weather forecasting to scalable compute services on Windows Azure. Also, learn about our Windows Azure application that takes advantage of Hadoop-based, open-source tools to tackle Big Data needs.


Bing Maps

Speaker: Yan Xu, Microsoft Research Connections

Bing Maps offer a rich set of tools to help you create amazing map experiences. Choose from our superfast AJAX Control 7.0, our REST Services API, our Bing Map App SDK for mash-ups hosted on, and our Windows Phone 7 SDK to find the solution that is right for you. Environmental related examples will be shown. 


Q and A 


Workshop concludes