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Name of Collaboratory :


Baltimore Washington Regional Collaboratory (BWRC)


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Completed   Start Date : 1996 End Date : Info Last Updated : Wed, Dec 8 2010 1:00am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Community Data Systems  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :

  Virtual Learning Community, Distributed Research Center  

Domain(s) :

  land use dynamics, Ecology, Environmental assessment, Human impacts, Land use and land cover, Population and community ecology, Cities, Estuaries  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


The Baltimore-Washington Regional Collaboratory is developing innovative ways to create user-friendly Internet web sites, useful map products, and advanced visualization tools to portray the dynamic nature of the region's historic land-use and landcover patterns and trends. The Collaboratory represents multiple partnerships between local groups and county, State, and Federal agencies to share spatial data. The scientific goals of this research program are:

1. to provide a clearinghouse from which citizens and scientists alike can obtain useful historic and current information for the Chesapeake region in the form of maps, satellite images, and field collection data,
2. to use these data for understanding the impacts of human activities in the past and projecting the trends of human impacts for the future, and
3. to study the processes for interactions among the social, physical, and ecological components of the region.

The mission of the Collaboratory is to demonstrate the feasibility and utility of providing scientifically valid data in an easily understandable format to the general public and decision makers. The data provided through the Collaboratory include historic, comprehensive, and detailed information that is compiled into a spatial framework with geographic information systems (GIS) technology. These data sets are part of a comprehensive research program sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) and aimed at both quantifying the geography and ecology of the Chesapeake Bay region and delivering this information via an Internet clearinghouse. The Collaboratory also seeks to apply these data to community outreach activities with citizens, scientists, and managers.


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :

  Physical location of the Collaboratory's spatial database assets is distributed among the cooperating data providers and accessible via the Internet or in bulk media formats. Under the guidance of NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information Systems (EOSDIS) general protocols, a few nodes may have additional responsibilities to serve as part of a regional data center (RDC). A key design assumption for the Collaboratory is that data providers (e.g., NASA, USGS, NOAA) remain stewards of their data whenever possible, to maintain full metadata documentation, and provide updates and upgrades to data as appropriate. The Collaboratory will ensure that data resources included in the data catalog have complied with cooperative protocols for Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata.  

Access to People as Resources :


Funding Agency or Sponsor :

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Science Foundation (NSF)

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:


Notes on Participants/Organizations:


Communications Technology Used :


Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

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