Ecohydrology Models without Borders?

Using Geospatial Web Services in EcohydroLib Workflows in the United States and Australia
  • Brian Miles
  • Lawrence E. Band
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 448)


Ecohydrology models require diverse geospatial input datasets (e.g. terrain, soils, vegetation species and leaf area index), the acquisition and preparation of which are labor intensive, yielding workflows that are difficult to reproduce. EcohydroLib is a software framework for managing spatial data acquisition and preparation workflows for ecohydrology modeling, while automatically capturing metadata and provenance information. The goal of EcohydroLib is to enable water scientists to spend less time acquiring and manipulating geospatial data and more time using ecohydrology models to test hypotheses, while making it easier for models to be shared and scientific results to be reproduced. This increased reproducibility, ease of sharing, and researcher productivity can enable both model inter comparison of interest within a country, and site inter comparison of interest across national borders. Currently, EcohydroLib allows modelers to work with geospatial data stored locally as well as high spatial resolution U.S. national spatial data available via web services, for example 30-meter digital elevation model and land cover data, and 1:12,000 scale soils data. While researchers working in watersheds outside the U.S. can use EcohydroLib, they must manually download data for their study areas before these data can be imported into EcohydroLib workflows. Though national agencies in the U.S. and Australia offer some datasets via web services, with a few exceptions these are either lower resolution datasets or data made available via Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS) interfaces of use primarily for cartography, rather than via OGC Web Coverage Service (WCS) or Web Feature Service (WFS) interfaces needed for integration with numerical models. In this paper we explore: (1) availability of high-resolution national geospatial data web services in the United States and Australia; and (2) integration of Australian web services with EcohydroLib.


hydroinformatics workflows ecohydrology modeling RHESSys 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Miles
    • 1
  • Lawrence E. Band
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for the EnvironmentUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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