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As the Earth's ecosystem is a spatially and temporally complex system by nature, it is not sufficient to observe such events and phenomena locally; problems must be solved on a global scale. Therefore, the accumulation of knowledge about the Earth in various forms and a scientifically correct understanding of the Earth are necessary. The authors have been leading the ldquoGlobal Earth Observation (GEO) Gridrdquo project since 2005, which is primarily aimed at providing an e-Science infrastructure for the worldwide Earth sciences community. In the community, there are wide varieties of existing datasets including satellite imagery, geological data, and ground sensed data that each data owner insists own licensing policy. Also, there are so many related projects that will be configured as a virtual organization (VO) enabled by Grid technology. The GEO Grid is designed to integrate all of the relevant data virtually, again enabled by Grid technology, and is accessible as a set of services. In this paper, first we describe design principles of the GEO Grid that are determined based on accommodating users requirements for publishing, managing, and using data. Second, software architecture and its preliminary implementations are specified where we take the Grid computing and Web service technologies as the core components that comply with a standard set of technologies and protocols. In addition, GEO Grid has been recognized to contribute to GEO or Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) as a part of the Japanese government's commitment.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2008