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Content about data

August 26, 2015

Researchers in Africa are hunting for a different kind of treasure. This treasure comes in the form of archived weather records tucked away in remote meteorological offices, and they just may foretell the future of the African continent. African nations have joined the quest to digitize these old records and gather new data to improve local climate modeling.

August 12, 2015

The Earth sciences, like geology, oceanography, and astronomy, generate vast quantities of data. The vision of the EarthServer project is to offer researchers ‘big Earth data at your fingertips’, so that they can access and manipulate enormous data sets with just a few mouse clicks.

July 22, 2015

Discover a musical performance from the Montreux Jazz Festival that was created by converting data collected from CERN's Large Hadron Collider into musical notes.

March 11, 2015

In a TED talk video, Altimeter industry analyst Susan Etlinger discusses the ethical implications of collecting big data, and gives her perspective on how to best analyze data that both extracts real insights and builds trust.

iSGTW recently followed up with Etlinger on her proposed framework and how she believes we should approach traditional analytics methodologies to ensure they account for the variations and complexities of big data.

March 11, 2015

Researchers in Switzerland have taken inspiration from fossils to discover how DNA could be used to reliably store data for over two million years. They stored 83 kilobytes of data — containing the text from the Swiss Federal Charter of 1291 and the English translation of the Method of Archimedes — on DNA, which was subsequently encapsulated in silica to mimic the protective shell provided by fossilized bone. 

March 4, 2015

With the world facing unprecedented environmental challenges, it’s time to establish the field of ‘environmental computing’, argues Matti Heikkurinen, a senior advisor at Germany's Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. 

November 26, 2014

Video courtesy EUDAT.

EUDAT is facilitating efficient research by contributing towards a collaborative data infrastructure in Europe. Its vision is to enable European researchers and practitioners from any research discipline to preserve, find, access, and process data in a trusted environment.

October 29, 2014

Rainforest Connection uses simple devices created from discarded cellphones to listen out for illegal logging activities and provide rangers with real-time alerts. The organization was founded in 2012 by Topher White, who gave a talk about his work at TEDxCERN last month. White’s system has already helped stop illegal logging in Indonesia and further pilot projects are set to be launched soon in both Brazil and Cameroon.

October 8, 2014

Last month, iSGTW attended the EUDAT Third Conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. EUDAT is facilitating efficient research by contributing towards a collaborative data infrastructure in Europe. This will enable researchers to share data easily both within and between communities. It will also facilitate preservation of research data.

"The longer we wait, the more complex it becomes to solve the challenges around building the collaborative data infrastructure," says Kimmo Koski, managing director of Finland’s IT Center for Science (CSC), which is the organization coordinating the EUDAT project. "The time has come to do this now: Today’s global economic situation highlights the need for broad collaboration to solve these challenges."

September 3, 2014

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is set to hold its Fourth Plenary Meeting in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, later this month. Hilary Hanahoe, the future coordinator of RDA Europe, tells iSGTW about the important work the organization has been carrying out in the run up to the event.

September 3, 2014

Video courtesy German National Library of Economics.

Huge bodies of specialized knowledge exist online, carefully curated and maintained by libraries, archives, museums, digital repositories, and other professional organizations. But this knowledge is invisible to most users.

August 27, 2014

Video courtesy the Research Data Alliance.

The RDA Fourth Plenary Meeting in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is now just under one month away!

August 20, 2014

The newly launched European Ontology Network (EUON) will be holding its first ever workshop on 25 September 2014 as part of the EUDAT 3rd Conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. iSGTW speaks to EUON co-chairs James Malone and Yann Le Franc to find out more about the network.

August 13, 2014

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) seeks to build the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing and reuse of data, so as to address the cross-border and cross-disciplinary challenges faced by researchers. This September, the RDA will be hosting its Fourth Plenary Meeting in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Ahead of the event, iSGTW speaks to Gary Berg-Cross, general secretary of the Spatial Ontology Community of Practice and a member of the US RDA advisory committee. Berg-Cross is also co-chair of the RDA working group on data foundation and terminology.

July 23, 2014

The Third EUDAT Conference will be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, from 24-25 September. iSGTW talks to Per Oster about the event and the progress EUDAT is making in realizing its vision of a collaborative data infrastructure. Oster is director of research infrastructures at Finland’s IT Center for Science (CSC), which is the organization coordinating the EUDAT project.

July 2, 2014

National archives play a vital role in safeguarding information and enabling access to it. However, the exact approaches taken to achieve these goals vary widely across Europe. As such, there is a critical need for an overarching methodology for archiving data that can become the gold standard throughout the continent. The E-ARK project was launched earlier this year to develop such a methodology. 

April 9, 2014

With global data output growing rapidly, it is vital that researchers come together to build the social and technical bridges required to enable open sharing of research data. The organization charged with achieving this is the Research Data Alliance (RDA), which recently celebrated its first anniversary.

Last month, the RDA held a plenary meeting in Dublin, Ireland. The 497 attendees at the event engaged in discussion on a wide variety of topics, ranging from the role of publishers and persistent identifiers to heritage data and legal interoperability. Data applications discussed also included geospatial information, marine observation, food production, and urban quality of life indicators.

April 9, 2014

Discover Data Avenue, a service that makes transferring large amounts of data between distributed computing infrastructures simple.

April 2, 2014

Yannick Legré was recently appointed director of, which coordinates and manages the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI). iSGTW speaks to Legré about his vision for the organization, as well as the challenges it faces, ahead of next month’s EGI Community Forum in Helsinki, Finland.

March 26, 2014

iSGTW is attending the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Third Plenary Meeting in Dublin, Ireland. The RDA seeks to accelerate international data-driven innovation and discovery by facilitating research data sharing and exchange, use and reuse, standards harmonization, and discoverability.

March 26, 2014

Manuel Peitsch, co-founder of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, will chair a session on high-performance computing in the life sciences at ISC’14 in Leipzig, Germany, in June. He tells iSGTW about the exciting advancements being made in this field.

Peitsch argues that bioinformatics — enabled by advances in high-performance computing — has a major role to play in tackling the grand challenges of the 21st century, such as environmental protection, energy supply, public health, and sustainable food production.

March 19, 2014

iSGTW speaks to Milena Žic Fuchs ahead of her keynote talk at the Research Data Alliance Third Plenary Meeting in Dublin, Ireland, later this month. A prominent researcher in the field of cognitive linguistics, Fuchs has served as Minister of Science and Technology in her native Croatia and she recently chaired the Standing Committee for the Humanities of the European Science Foundation.

March 5, 2014

Research output amounts to much more than just academic papers. It is important that datasets, and the software used to analyze them, are also properly cited and that the researchers behind these are given credit for their work. Preserving software and making it citable is also vital in ensuring that scientific results are reproducible by other research groups.

February 26, 2014

iSGTW speaks to Mark Parsons, who was recently appointed secretary general of the Research Data Alliance. This global organization celebrates its first anniversary next month and will be holding its third plenary meeting in Dublin, Ireland, from 26-28 March, 2014.

Parsons tells iSGTW why it is important for researchers to share their data and explains how the RDA is seeking to harness enthusiasm within the community to bring about a 'culture change' in the way researchers deal with data. He also argues that the greatest barriers to increased data sharing are often social, rather than technical.

February 26, 2014

Last week, representatives of major research institutions and leading IT companies came to CERN for a data analytics workshop organized by CERN openlab.