View the Data-Oriented & Human-Centric Forum

DAsHER: Developing a Data-Oriented Human-Centric Enterprise Architecture for EarthCube


Conceptual Framework

Although various geoscience resources (e.g., data, tools, experts) have become available from cyberinfrastructure, geoscientists and other users still have to spend a significant amount of time to understand and process those resources to meet the requirements of their research. This Conceptual Design project is to design an EarthCube Enterprise Architecture (EA) to support EarthCube for facilitating data communication and human collaboration in pursuit of collaborative geosciences.


Technical Approach

The EarthCube EA framework is developed by leveraging several popular frameworks (i.e. Zachman, Gartner, TOGAF, FEAF, and DoDAF) that have been demonstrated to be efficient in practice. The design of EarthCube EA comprises three major components: 1) the overview of current geoscience resources and architectures, 2) the capabilities of the envisioned EarthCube EA, and 3) the synthesis of proposed changes in the communities that would help reshape geoscience cyberinfrastructure for achieving the goals of EarthCube.

This enterprise architecture conceptual design follows a spiral development approach, as shown in the figture. There are four spirals for the two years, including requirement analysis based on community inputs, initial development of enterprise architecture, revision with community engagement, and maturing the design for broad release and publication. Communication with EarthCube communities is tightly integrated through the development of the EarthCube architecture design.

The final design will be in a four-volume report containing different views which describe the EarthCube architecture from different perspective as laid out in the figure.


Science Drivers

The scientists are involved in the project at several stages:

  1. At the initial design stage, we analyze and extract information related to user requirements on data, information or computing requirements based on the EarthCube End User Workshop reports and EarthCube roadmaps. Each of the workshop reports and roadmaps presents the requirements from one community.
  2. During drafting of the design report, workshops are organized during ESIP meetings to engage domain experts to discuss EA in general, review the current design, and comment for improving the design. Meanwhile, the architecture will be presented at conferences and meetings to accumulate the ideas from the broader community.
  3. Workshops will be organized again during ESIP meetings before finalizing the design. The design results will be discussed with scientist to ensure the consistency between the design and scientists’ requirements.

Benefits to Scientists

The design results will provide a reference framework for building EarthCube and other geoscience cyberinfrastructures. The framework could be used as a comprehensive guide on developing geoscience cyberinfrastructure by different stakeholders in the EarthCube community and as a source of priorities that identify topics of highest interest in the community.




  • Linking Humans to Data: Designing an Enterprise Architecture for EarthCube, AGU 2013 (pdf)