Data Services Newsletter : Volume 19 : No 1 : Spring 2017

IRIS Data Services External Data Coordination: Providing Access to Data in the Developing World

IRIS Data Services has an active program related to support for data efforts in the developing world. This coordination of data efforts has three major components, 1) Data workshops, 2) Regional Exchange of Earthquake Data (REED) projects, and support for 3) open source seismic network operations software.

Data workshops take place roughly every 16-20 months depending on resources within IRIS Data Services. The 9 workshops that have taken place so far have been held in three parts of the world 1) Africa and Middle East, 2) Latin America, South America, and the Caribbean, and 3) SE Asia. The 10th workshop is planned to take place in South Africa in the summer of 2017. Locations of the Data Workshops are shown by the yellow squares in the figure below. The green square shows the location of the next workshop in Pretoria, South Africa, which will be the first workshop in sub-Saharan Africa. Workshops focus on a variety of topics such as issues related to siting and installing seismic stations, creation of proper metadata for the stations, training in the SeisComp3 system openly available from Germany, methods of interacting with the IRIS DMC and other FDSN Data centers, and the manipulation and use of the data from FDSN centers as well as data from the local network using software tools such as ObsPy.

REED projects focus on acquiring small equipment and supplies that enable networks to share their data with neighboring networks and with the DMC. Often REED projects involve acquisition of telemetry equipment for a network, assisting in paying the fees for Internet connectivity to a data center or the fees associated to in-country telemetry costs such as those that use cellular modems for transmission of data in real time from stations to the network data center. In some cases REED projects included making surplus pieces of hardware available to networks in the developing world, including servers and sensors. There have been approximately 20 projects in 15 countries over the past several years. REED projects have been very successful in improving the coverage of seismic stations in the developing world available to researchers while at the same time helping the networks. The REED projects have been in the countries designated with the red squares in the figure below.

One of our latest REED efforts, currently in progress, is the transfer of compute servers that were phased out of DMC operations and made surplus by the NSF. IRIS staff preinstalled the SeisComp3 software on these servers and shipped them to Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, and Malawi. These networks all belong to the Eastern and Southern African Rift Seismic Working Group (ESARWG ) that monitors seismicity in the African Rift. Since SeisComp3 supports FDSN web services this will enable these networks to become part of the Federated system that was discussed in previous IRIS Data Services Newsletters (see links below)

Figure 1
The locations of IRIS Data Services Data Workshops (yellow), a 2017 workshop (green) and various REED projects around the globe (red). These projects greatly improve the coverage of the earth and make data available to the global seismological community at relatively low costs while helping develop human and hardware infrastructure in developing countries

The third component of IRIS Data Services’ data coordination efforts relate to support for open source seismic network management software for use around the world. A number of improvements have been supported to the SeisComp3 system. The most recent example was IRIS Data Services support to include FDSN web services in SeisComp3. This enabled the development of a Federated system of data centers that has been growing over the past years where many of the FDSN Data centers rely on the SeisComp3 system to manage their networks.

Also see:
DS Newsletter Volume 18 No.1 The IRIS Federator Includes More Data Centers and Matlab Client Support

DS Newsletter Volume 18 No.3 FDSN Federation of Data Center Expand

by Tim Ahern (IRIS Data Management Center)