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AGU, Days 4 and 5 (posted 17 Dec 2010)


I’m tired. I’m wet (50 degrees and sunny aren’t synonymous). Honestly, I’m a bit grouchy. I’m ready to go home. Still: Will try to blog.

##Day 4:

Have you heard of Versant? Apparently, it lets you serialize and store entire java objects, kinda like what permafrost tries to do with javascript. I talked to a guy about this that was using it to store massive amounts of geophysics data. He seemed pretty happy with it! I’ll have to see later if I wrote down the name of the project.

I then went and did some research on OPeNDAP (which I will just call “opendap” from here on out–screw weird caps). In some ways, it’s surprisingly cool! It’s basically a document database with a RESTish interface for requesting large amounts of geoscience data.

It has some warts, though. For example, check out this completely non-standard ad-hoc data structure that opendap makes you put up with. Still, quite possibly worth checking out.

I also saw this adaptation of RSS feeds for geophysics real-time stuff called Datacasting. It reminded me a bit of pubsubhubbub, but the execution seems to be more aimed towards extending RSS feed clients to do something intelligent with geophysics data.

I smell potential for data mash-ups.

In the afternoon, I watched a presentation by someone I met from UCLA that did a pretty neat presentation on evidence of lightning on Venus. I don’t really know much about space tbh, but the presentation went over very well, and the results seem pretty significant. Afterwards, I tagged along with the UCLA peeps to a bar and made a total ass of myself. I’m mildly embarrassed, but I’m pretty sure everyone had a good time! I know I did. ;)

##Day 5:

I woke up mildly hung over. It was totally worth it alrite?

I learned that the BART wouldn’t be running early enough tomorrow to take me to the airport, so I made plans to spend the night there. I decided to hang out with the stackvm team until late afternoon, then make the trip to SF to check out the posters around 5:00 or so.

I grabbed lunch at Subway with James before catching the BART. Did you know that California Subways have baby spinach? Alaskan Subways do not have baby spinach. Though, I’m pretty sure Alaskan coffee places give you three shots standard in a 20 oz container, whereas 2 shots is the standard here. It’s funny learning that Alaskans have a collective caffeine “problem” in comparison to the lower 48.

Unfortunately, I forgot that my computer’s time is an hour behind Pacific, so I didn’t get to Moscone until nearly 6:00. While the convention center was still open, most of the presenters leave around 5:30. Still, I ran into one guy using semantic web technologies such as XSL and sparql to embed formatted data into associated drupal and wikipedia pages. I should have his poster somewhere; if I can find it, I will post a link later. It sounded pretty cool, and the guy was fun to talk to, but I’m not really convinced that the w3c semantic web tools are the best way to do this sort of thing. Has anybody used sparql and/or xsl in the Real World? Any experiences to share? I would love to chat about it.

So, it’s raining dogs outside, and for some reason I thought that warm temperatures meant it’d be sunny. No dice. I really don’t like being so wet, and I didn’t even have a hat! So, in desparation, I made one out of an AGU schedule. It works surprisingly well, and I feel like Calvin wearing it. I’ll post a picture later when I’m feeling less lazy.

So, the AGU conference is now over, and I’m in a Starbucks typing this because I was kicked out of Moscone. My plan for now is to wait until I’m hungry for dinner, find some nearby food, and then maybe take the BART to the airport and try to get myself comfortable.