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Software Tools

Google Groups

Google Groups supports the creation of discussion forums for virtual communities to share information via the internet. It is a free mailing list service and can provide open access. Groups can be open or closed. Users can be anonymous. Posts can be made through the web browser or by sending email. It also provides a variety of group management functions. Google Groups archives past posts/emails.

Additional Information:

Wikipedia entry about Google Groups: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Groups

Tags: collaboration,data integration,social networking Contributor: RS, MG Cost: Free
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Google Fusion Tables

Google Fusion Tables is a free Google Labs application for data management, integration and collaboration and visualizing data online. It allows the uploading and sharing data, merging data from multiple tables into interesting derived tables, and seeing the most up-to-date data from all sources. The Google Fusion Tables Application Programming Interface (API) lets the user query the data, insert rows, update data, and delete rows. It also provides authorization functionality so that data in Google Fusion Tables can be made accessible to applications as well as individuals.

Additional Information: Tags: data integration,visualization Contributor: Cost: Free
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Google Earth

Google Earth is a flexible mapping and display tool that is installed on a local computer, and accesses on-line data sources provided by Google. These data sources include aerial imagery at a variety of scales and additional data hosted by Google. The user needs to have internet access to view the data provided by Google. Once Google Earth is installed it allows the user to "zoom in" and view satellite and photographic images on any place in the world. The user can also change the perspective of their view to panoramic, and they can "fly" from one area of the globe to others as if in an airplane. It includes 3-D representations of topography and, of buildings (for selected areas), and provides street view photography for some locations. It includes links to a large number of external services that provide additional information, such as photos of points of interest. Time-controls allow you to select imagery from a number of different years for analyses of landscape change.

If you download or are given a file in KML or KMZ format, you can set your local computer preferences to automatically start Google Earth when the file is "clicked".

In addition to its display capabilities, Google Earth can also be used to create data through on-screen digitizing. It produces KML/KMZ files that can then be used with other GIS products such as Google Maps, ArcGlobe and ArcMap.

A limited version of Google Earth is available for mobile devices such as cell phones.

Google Earth is free, but professional versions that include additional capabilities are available for purchase.

Additional Information:

Users can convert GIS to KML/KMZ through tools available within standard GIS software projects.

Tags: geospatial,GIS,image,map,visualization Contributor: JP, MO Cost: Free
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Google Docs

Google Docs provides for web-based creation, editing and management of:

textual documents
Users can upload and download documents in different formats, and Google Docs can be used as a basic migration tool between them. The tool allows collaborative real-time editing by multiple users of the same document. It also allows users to share collections of documents with others. Different permission levels can be assigned to documents, restricting access to individuals, groups, or open to the public.

Additional Information:
Tags: collaboration,data entry,data storage,spreadsheet Contributor: HH, MD Cost: Free
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Google Charts

Google Charts is a combination of two application programming interfaces (APIs), Google Chart API and Google Visualization API. Google Chart API creates static visualizations of data and embeds them into webpages. Some HTML programming experience is recommended. Available visualization types include standard scatter, line, bar, pie, and box charts as well as Venn diagrams, dynamic icons or callouts, formulas, and connectivity graphs. In addition, maps can be made and embedded into webpages.
The Google Visualization API creates dynamic visualizations that allow for user interaction within a webpage. These visualizations are created with Java scripting, and Google provides links to Java script tutorials as well as source or example code in a Java library. In addition to the visualization types available with Google Charts API, Google Visualization API include timelines, heat maps, tree maps, word or term clouds, filters for other visualizations, and interactive Google Maps.
Data sources that can be used for both APIs include any file that can be imported as a two-dimensional table, including text files, spreadsheets, and database tables. The data must be retrieved using a retrieval protocol and the structured accordingly. Google provides Java, Python, and Google Web Toolkit (GWT) libraries for data retrieval, as well as an API to retrieve data from Google Spreadsheets.

Additional Information: Tags: graphics,visualization Contributor: Cost: Free
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GNU RCS (Revision Control System) is an open source revision control system for text files, source code, programs, graphics, and other documentation. It stores, tracks, logs, identifies and merges versions. Development continues as a volunteer effort under the Free Software Foundation.

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Tags: content management system,programming,version control Contributor: ST, DG Cost: Free
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Global Change Master Directory

The Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) contains collection / data set level metadata from repositories located around the world holding Earth or environmental science data. The GCMD website offers facetted search and browse for data sets by spatiotemporal extent, resolution, data center, location, instrument, platform, and project. In addition to discovery tools, the GCMD provides a variety of on-line and web-accessible tools for developing collection-level metadata that is NASA DIF, FGDC CGDSM, and ISO 19115 compliant.

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Tags: Contributor: RD, CS Cost: Free
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A distributed version control system (DCVS). Git provides a distributed development, giving each developer/user a local copy of a repository, which includes the entire revision history. Changes are copied from one repository to another. Branching and merging are easy to do. Users are not dependent on network access or a central server so Git is very fast and scales well when working with large projects. It provides cryptographic authentication of history and offers tools for both easy human usage and easy scripting to perform clever operations.

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Tags: computing,programming,version control Contributor: MS, TB Cost: Free
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GIMP (Graphical Image Manipulation Program)

GIMP is an open source and free alternative to Photoshop. It is intended for use with Raster graphics, and can be used for creating new images, retouching photographic images and converting files to different file types. Gimp supports most image file types as well as other graphical image manipulation program file types. It is also possible to create custom scripts to automate a variety of tasks.

Additional Information:
Tags: graphics,image,visualization Contributor: RO, ST Cost: Free
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GeoServer is a Java-based Open Source software map server that enables the sharing and editing of geospatial data on the Internet via open standards. It implements the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Mapping Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Web Coverage Service (WCS) standards. It can serve data that can be displayed on common mapping client applications such as ArcMap, Google Maps, Google Earth, Yahoo Maps, and Microsoft Virtual Earth as well as Open Source applications such as OpenLayers and MapServer. It can also read a variety of open and proprietary data formats including PostGIS, ESRI ArcSDE, shapefiles, MySQL, GeoTIFF, and JPEG2000 to name a few.

Additional Information:
Tags: Contributor: TB, GH Cost: Free
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