While it is generally accepted that environmental data are critical to understanding environmental phenomena, there are yet improvements to be made in their consistent collection, curation, and sharing. This thesis describes two research efforts to improve two different aspects of hydrologic data collection and management. First described is a recipe for the design, development, and deployment of a low-cost environmental data logging and transmission system for environmental sensors and its connection to an open source data-sharing network. The hardware is built using several low-cost, open-source, mass-produced components. The system automatically ingests data into HydroServer, a standards-based server in the open source Hydrologic Information System (HIS) created by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences Inc (CUAHSI). A recipe for building the system is provided along with several test deployment results. Second, a connection between HydroServer and HydroShare is described. While the CUAHSI HIS system is intended to empower the hydrologic sciences community with better data storage and distribution, it lacks support for the kind of “Web 2.0” collaboration and social-networking capabilities that are increasing scientific discovery in other fields. The design, development, and testing of a software system that integrates CUAHSI HIS with the HydroShare social hydrology architecture is presented. The resulting system supports efficient archive, discovery, and retrieval of data, extensive creator and science metadata, assignment of a persistent digital identifier such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), scientific discussion and collaboration around the data and other basic social-networking features. In this system, HydroShare provides functionality for social interaction and collaboration while the existing HIS provides the distributed data management and web services framework. The system is expected to enable scientists, for the first time, to access and share both national- and research lab-scale hydrologic time series in a standards-based web services architecture combined with a social network developed specifically for the hydrologic sciences.These two research projects address and provide a solution for significant challenges in the automatic collection, curation, and feature-rich sharing of hydrologic data.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Open-source hardware, Sensor networks, Environmental monitoring, Open-source software, Time series data, Digital objects, Social networks, Metadata, Web systems