Talkoot

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TALKOOT logo
Description: 

Talkoot is a historical project that was undertaken by the ITSC in 2010. Talkoot was a customizable “software appliance” used to build collaborative portals for Earth Science services and analysis workflows. Talkoot leveraged Drupal, an open architecture platform, to provide the core Content Management System capabilities required by an online collaborative portal. Drupal also has a vast array of specialized modules that were developed by its user community to provide additional features. Talkoot included Earth-Science-specific modules to provide data searching, processing, analysis plus many other capabilities.

Overview

On the emerging “Social Web,” millions of people offer their knowledge online in a collective knowledge system comprising an active community of motivated members posting problems and solutions in blogs, forums, mailing lists, collaborative portals and other Web 2.0 technologies. A small but growing number of scientists and researchers are beginning to harness these Web 2.0 technologies as a transformative way of doing science. Since communication is at the heart of science, these technologies provide researchers easy mechanisms to critique, suggest, and share ideas, data and algorithms. These technologies complement formal means of sharing knowledge via conferences and published papers, where it is impossible to share all the research details, and where negative results are rarely included.

At the same time, science software developers have embraced Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) and Systems of Systems such as GEOSS. Data processing, analysis, mining and visualization algorithms are being converted into publicly available web services, allowing researchers access to large suites of algorithms for data processing and science analysis. This model of chaining services to create analysis workflows provides the research community unprecedented opportunity to collaborate, sharing their workflows with one another, reproducing and analyzing research results, and leveraging colleagues’ expertise to expedite the process of scientific knowledge discovery. In many cases, the output of one workflow can be an input to others, leading to chained workflows with components shared by two or more researchers. A crucial component needed for this unprecedented level of cooperation within the research community is a reusable, extensible and customizable environment for building collaborative “open science” portals for managing these shared analysis workflows. Current collaborative portals (e.g., MyExperiment.org) have been one-time development efforts for specific science domains that cannot be easily extended beyond their initial features or reused by other science domains.

Talkoot (finish for barn raising) was a “software appliance” to build collaborative portals for Earth Science services and analysis workflows. Talkoot provided a solution to easily build customizable collaborative portals that will greatly facilitate community collaboration in science analysis. The key feature of Talkoot was that researchers (not just information technologists) were able to build collaborative sites around service workflows within a few hours. We envisioned online communities coming together, much like Finnish “talkoot,” to build a shared collaborative research space. The Talkoot software appliance consisted of a set of modules that could be mixed and matched based on the end user requirement. In addition, Talkoot was applicable to many different science domains, mission teams, research projects and organizations.

Talkoot Capabilities: What could you do with Talkoot?

Talkoot was a customizable "software appliance" to build collaborative portals for Earth Science services and analysis workflows. By leveraging Drupal, an open architecture platform, to provide the core Content Management System capabilities required by an online collaborative portal, Talkoot took advantage of a vast array of specialized modules that were developed by its user community to provide additional features.

Some capabilities of Talkoot included:

  • Talkoot allows you to install and configure an online collaborative portal faster, easier and cheaper. Talkoot allowed users to deploy a complete collaborative portal configured to their specific requirements in days.
  • Talkoot allows you to customize features for your collaboration needs ranging from simply sharing reports/notes between project team members to sharing full analysis workflows with data within a community.
  • Talkoot provides a core set of Drupal web 2.0 social networking features such as forums, chats, ratings, tagging, tag cloud for searches, etc to help you build an online community.
  • Talkoot allows you to customize access and capabilities to different sets of users.

Some examples of scenarios that Talkoot could aid in constructing collaborative portal solutions for included:

  • Data Portals
  • Field Projects
  • Science Mission Teams
  • Data Processing and Analysis Management
  • Citizen Science Effforts

Talkoot Modules

In addition to adding Earth-Science-specific modules to provide data searching, processing, analysis, and many other capabilities, Talkoot made use of the following pre-existing Drupal modules:

  • Service Registry
  • Experiment
  • Download Experiments
  • Project Reports
  • Data Search
  • Workflow
  • Workflow Queue
  • Workflow Clone
  • Workflow Composer
  • sFTP

Also of interest

If you're interested in Talkoot, you might also be interested in the historical Smart Assistant for Mining (SAM) project

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TALKOOT logo
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Category : 
Historical
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