Can you describe what is GRIFIN?

GRIFIN is a software library for storage of computable geospatial models and their exchange over the Internet. Running two or more GRIFIN nodes on a TCP/IP network constitutes a platform, which is suitable for creation of scalable and sustainable geospatial information infrastructures.

It allows you to publish information via geospatial context - that is via a representation of space and time relatively to the planet Earth. The concept of geographic space is essential for definition, publishing, access and use of information in GRIFIN. GRIFIN enables Internet services with strong focus on:
✱ Interoperability,
✱ Decentralized architecture, and
✱ 3d and 2d visualization support.



How do you navigate through the content?

By giving a position in space and time. Thinking of Google Earth gives good (yet incomplete) clues, if you remove the 3d viewer/browser. Connecting a 3d viewer to GRIFIN may provide the same result as Google Earth, but other types of services are also possible.



What do you get when you have no viewer?

List of geospatial managed objects (GMO). The GMOs can provide an arbitrary geospatial content and/or functionality.



Does the name GRIFIN have a meaning?

GRIFIN is an acronym for “Geospatial Reference Interface for IP Networks", or "Geospatial Reference Interface For Internet Networks". It is a half bacronym when considering the original motives for naming of Grifinor Project.



What is/was the original goal?

In 2005 Jan Kolar got a concrete idea for exchange of computable geospatial models in a way that utilizes the concepts of managed code. The goal was to experiment with geospatial managed objects, but also to consolidate research on next generation of networked geographic systems. That should be achieved by designing a platform that could form a common core for R&D by the project participants as well as others.



Is it a software component/library, application, platform or infrastructure?

GRIFIN is a library of components that can set up a networked platform for exchange of computable geospatial models, workflows and services on the Interent. The aim is to provide a design that is universal to an extent that allows construction of geospatial information infrastructures.

In an analogy, think of the software components necessary for setting up intranet using World Wide Web technology, do not think of Dreamweaver of Firefox.



Does GRIFIN use its own way of organizing content?

Yes, a mechanism for organization and fast access to the relevant models associated with a given position is central. The way data are stored also facilitates visualization. GRIFIN, however, does not enforce any format of the actual data that should be provided.



What conceptual differences are addressed within GRIFIN?

✱ The World Wide Web and Geospatial internet

✱ Map projections and Geocentric coordinates

✱ Standards as fixed representation and Standards as execution machines and managed code

✱ Publishing static contents and Functional and interactive contents

✱ 2D representation of space and 3D space + time + scale



What GRIFIN is that WWW is NOT?

A three-dimensional information system in which the provided information is always linked to the real world. Technology providing a spatio-temporal network for navigable information and interactive content.



What is interesting for researchers?

✱ Share geospatial models and data easily, while having minimum constraints on the form of your model. This in turn facilitates improvement of research-level models and their communication even to non-scientists.
✱ Common means to organize and communicate representations of geospatial features and events.
✱ Sharing new models and data-representations with ease.
✱ Focus more on the qualitative and conceptual qualities of the models less on technical.
✱ Compare relevant models directly from your application.



What is interesting for industry?

✱ Facilitate burden of new standards and costs associated with their adoption.
✱ Compare, validate, contribute and share georeferenced content with others.
✱ Keep information on your own computers or delegate to subcontractors without licensing issues.
✱ Provide own services, such as LBS, through common geospatial context.
✱ Full control over what is public and what is private and secured.
✱ Focus on organizational and conceptual interoperability or security rather then on technical and semantic interoperability.
✱ Have your own or shared 3d model of the Earth or any of its part without the locks of proprietary and centralized systems.



What are the main software design values?

GRIFIN design tries to determine the minimum common basis that is needed by all geographic applications based on any kind of data models. To utilize the concepts of virtual machine, object-oriented and functional paradigms in order to make new models and components work seamlessly together with the legacy systems. To address standardization on a qualitatively different level compared to standard exchange formats.



Is GRIFIN another GIS?

GRIFIN is NOT a geographic information system (GIS). Certainly not in the sense of what is a traditional GIS software. But it is possible to build new generation of GIS using GRIFIN as a platform. New in the terms of exchange of computation, adaptability to old and new data models, dimensionality, and network capabilities.



Do you have a buzzword one-liner?

GRIFIN is an interoperable platform for dynamic computable geospatial models.



Do you have some multimedia files?

Computable Geospatial Model (VIDEO, 15 mins)