Let us envision iEMSs as an umbrella organization to support a number of
“threads”, or “themes” that are organized into on-going community projects that
evolve based on the open source principles. This means that we are encouraging
and appreciating the participation in these projects, and we are trying to
provide the infrastructure by developing web support and tools needed for these
There is the SourceForge.net that has been built to support open source software
development. Many of its components are very appropriate for what we envision.
However there may be certain elements that are missing, since modeling is not
just software development. We could start on SourceForge and at the same time
start thinking about our own forge focused on models and projects. If we wish we
can even start an eModelForge.net domain (the name is ours if we like it),
making it specifically designed to support environmental modeling projects.
eModelForge.net could then host either individual community models (say an open
source model for watershed dynamics) or projects (say on a framework to support
participatory modeling, or a project on environmental data mining).
The projects “live” on the web. They are open for others to join, to contribute,
to participate. The results are distributed under one of the open source
licenses (MIT, GPL, GPL 2, etc.) – this is at the discretion of the particular
communities that run the projects.
iEMSs conferences offer the opportunity for the iEMSs communities to meet in
person. Some of the sessions and workshops naturally extend the work in the
It would be good to have a couple of projects identified and proposed for this kind of efforts.
Perhaps the two Special Issues recently announced on the iEMSs web page could morph into this kind of community efforts in the future.
One project that we probably should announce is the design of an eModelForge
itself. That is, to decide what kind of functionality such a web framework
should provide to support research and modeling in addition to only software
Another one that I’d like to see started is on frameworks for participatory,
stakeholder modeling. For this one we also have an SI in the works.
Please let know if there are any other proposals that we could announce to the
members and seek their involvement. We can probably start with a wiki on our web
page, or go to SourceForge and use their tools to start the projects going.
After we see how its developing we can then consider investing some more effort
to create the eModelForge web site specifically designed to support this kind of
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