Large scale Geographic Information Systems (GIS) require experts from different areas, such as data maintenance and handling, data rendering and displaying, and data processing. However, it is challenging to host data, processing capabilities, and experts in the same geographical location. To enable remote coupling of these data and processing services, interoperable distributed system architectures have been developed. This paper presents a distributed Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) framework for understanding and managing the production of knowledge from distributed observations, simulations, and analyses through integrated data-views. Open GIS standards enable us to develop such a distributed framework by defining the standard common data models and corresponding web service components. The composability nature of these components has inspired us to develop a federated information system framework enabling both application-based hierarchical data definitions and performance enhancing designs.
Key words: Geographic information systems, federation, web services, data models, metadata.
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