Geographic information is critical for building disaster planning, crisis management, and early-warning systems. Decision making in geographic information systems (GIS) increasingly relies on analyses of spatial data in map-based formats. Maps are complex structures composed of layers created from distributed heterogeneous data belonging to the separate organizations. This chapter presents a distributed service architecture for managing the production of knowledge from distributed collections of observations and simulation data through integrated data-views. Integrated views are defined by a federation service (“federator”) located on top of the standard service components. Common GIS standards enable the construction of this system. However, compliance requirements for interoperability, such as XML-encoded data and domain specific data characteristics, have costs and performance overhead. The authors investigate issues of combining standard compliance with performance. Although their framework is designed for GIS, they extend the principles and requirements to general science domains and discuss how these may be applied.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (Peng & Tsou, 2003) are systems for creating, storing, sharing, analyzing, manipulating and displaying geospatial data and the associated attributes. GIS introduce methods and environments to visualize, manipulate, and analyze geospatial data. The nature of the geographical applications requires seamless integration and sharing of spatial data from a variety of providers.