[Excellent article on how Web 2.0 tools are transforming science. The 2 projects mentioned have been funded by CANARIE in the latest NEP program amongst a total of 11 similar projects . For more examples of how web 2.0 is revolutionizing science please see my Citizen Science Blog. Thanks to Richard Ackerman for some of the FriendFeed pointers. Some excerpts from CBC website– BSA]
CANARIE NEP program
Described as an extension of the internet under the ocean, the Venus Coastal Observatory off Canada's west coast provides oceanographers with a continuous stream of undersea data once accessible only through costly marine expeditions. When its sister facility Neptune Canada launches next summer, the observatories' eight nodes will provide ocean scientists with an unprecedented wealth of information.
Sifting through all that data, however, can be quite a task. So the observatories, with the help of CANARIE Inc., operator of Canada's advanced research network, are developing a set of tools they call Oceans 2.0 to simplify access to the data and help researchers work with it in new ways. Some of their ideas look a lot like such popular consumer websites as Facebook, Flickr, Wikipedia and Digg.
And they're not alone. This set of online interaction technologies called Web 2.0 is finding its way into the scientific community.
Michael Nielsen, a Waterloo, Ont., physicist who is working on a book on the future of science, says online tools could change science to an extent that hasn't happened since the late 17th century, when scientists started publishing their research in scientific journals.
One way to manage the data boom will involve tagging data, much as users of websites like Flickr tag images or readers of blogs and web pages can "Digg" articles they approve. On Oceans 2.0, researchers might attach tags to images or video streams from undersea cameras, identifying sightings of little-known organisms or examples of rare phenomena.
The Canadian Space Science Data Portal (CSSDP), based at the University of Alberta, is also working on online collaboration tools. Robert Rankin, a University of Alberta physics professor and CSSDP principal investigator, foresees scientists attaching tags to specific data items containing occurrences of a particular process or phenomenon in which researchers are interested.
"You've essentially got a database that has been developed using this tagging process," he says.
If data tagging is analogous to Flickr or Digg, other initiatives look a bit like Facebook.
Pirenne envisions Oceans 2.0 including a Facebook-like social networking site where researchers could create profiles showing what sort of work they do and what expertise they have. When a scientist is working on a project and needs specific expertise — experience in data mining and statistical analysis of oceanographic data, for example — he or she could turn to this facility to find likely collaborators.
"It's a really exciting time," Lok says, "a really active time for Science 2.0."
it got lots of buzz on FriendFeed, there are multiple mentions of it
(The conference Eva's referring to is Science Online 2009.)