The Polar Information Commons (PIC) Cloud is an organised, virtual storage space for all types of polar data. Researchers from any part of the globe can use this virtual storage space to deposit their data. In depositing their datasets, data originators by default agree to be bound by the norms of the Polar Information Commons research community. These norms are not policed but are expected behaviours of the community and are designed to increase the availability and re-use of polar datasets.
The PIC Cloud repository is a simple data storage and retrieval facility with a deliberately limited range of capabilities. Over time this simple repository will be augmented by an associated network of participating polar data centres. These complementary facilities will add the infrastructure required to boost the capacity needed to manage, integrate, synthesise and publish polar datasets in collaboration with the polar scientific community. For the moment, however, the PIC Cloud permits:
- A data originator to deposit up to 10 data files (max 20Mb each) per data submission,
- Minimal metadata entry to provide accompanying information for datasets,
- Discovery and download of submitted data,
- Publication of the metadata to a metadata registry and a metadata system with subsequent exposure of the metadata and associated data packages to public search engines.
- Access to the Cloud metadata and data via a Registry web service API.
- A user to subscribe to a dataset upload notification service.
The PIC Cloud was developed and built by the Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing (TPAC) and the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) in collaboration with the Australian Research Collaboration Service (ARCS) and the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). The backbone of the cloud architecture uses the ARCS Data Fabric and the ANDS Research Data Australia metadata system and registry.