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Advancing Open and Reproducible Water Data Science by Integrating Data Analytics with an Online Data Repository
  • Jeffery Horsburgh,
  • Scott Black,
  • Anthony Castronova
Jeffery Horsburgh
Utah State University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Scott Black
Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc.
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Anthony Castronova
Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc
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Scientific and related management challenges in the water domain require synthesis of data from multiple domains. Many data analysis tasks are difficult because datasets are large and complex; standard formats for data types are not always agreed upon nor mapped to an efficient structure for analysis; water scientists may lack training in methods needed to efficiently tackle large and complex datasets; and available tools can make it difficult to share, collaborate around, and reproduce scientific work. Overcoming these barriers to accessing, organizing, and preparing datasets for analyses will be an enabler for transforming scientific inquiries. Building on the HydroShare repository’s established cyberinfrastructure, we have advanced two packages for the Python language that make data loading, organization, and curation for analysis easier, reducing time spent in choosing appropriate data structures and writing code to ingest data. These packages enable automated retrieval of data from HydroShare and the USGS’s National Water Information System (NWIS), loading of data into performant structures keyed to specific scientific data types and that integrate with existing visualization, analysis, and data science capabilities available in Python, and then writing analysis results back to HydroShare for sharing and eventual publication. These capabilities reduce the technical burden for scientists associated with creating a computational environment for executing analyses by installing and maintaining the packages within CUAHSI’s HydroShare-linked JupyterHub server. HydroShare users can leverage these tools to build, share, and publish more reproducible scientific workflows. The HydroShare Python Client and USGS NWIS Data Retrieval packages can be installed within a Python environment on any computer running Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS, or Linux from the Python Package Index using the PIP utility. They can also be used online via the CUAHSI JupyterHub server (https://jupyterhub.cuahsi.org/) or other Python notebook environments like Google Collaboratory (https://colab.research.google.com/). Source code, documentation, and examples for the software are freely available in GitHub at https://github.com/hydroshare/hsclient/ and https://github.com/USGS-python/dataretrieval.