Sevilleta LTER Khoros Group Collaboration

Network News Spring 1992, Vol. 11 No. 1
Site News

Khoros is an integrated software development environment for information processing and data visualization, which is being used as a foundation to improve productivity and promote software re-use across a variety of application domains. The National Science Foundation partially sponsored its development and has recently funded Jim Gosz (Sevilleta, SEV) and John Rasure (Khoros Group) to extend the application of this technology to a number of other LTER sites to demonstrate its value and versatility. Participating sites are Konza Prairie, North Inlet Marsh, and Virginia Coast Reserve. Donna Koechner (SEV/Khoros Group), a member of the Khoros development team, spent a week at each site during February and March of 1992.

A team of computer engineers and Sevilleta LTER scientists at the University of New Mexico developed the Khoros software system to provide a productive computing environment for biologists. They are using Khoros for near-ground-level image classification, lightning strike data analysis and animation, raster-based GIS, and ecosystem modeling. The Konza group hopes to use Khoros to produce a “fly-by” animation of the prairie by combining imagery and elevation data, and to perform image processing on remotely-sensed data. North Inlet scientists are using Khoros to more easily access SAS statistical software programs and import/export SAS data for 2D and 3D plotting. One of the highlights of the North Inlet training course was the use of the concert program to simultaneously display a video animation of “ibis” counts at the University of New Mexico and at North Inlet. This program allows both sites to control the display of the data and share interpretations.

The goal of the collaboration is to develop a low- cost common software environment for computational biology and collaboration. Positive feedback and constructive criticism from participating sites is being used to improve the capability and design of Khoros. Key to the eventual success of the project will be whether its capabilities help reduce barriers to collaboration.

Khoros software is available at no cost and runs on almost all UNIX workstations. For information on obtaining and installing Khoros: Donna Koechner, UNM, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Albuquerque, NM 87131,