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Home > iSGTW - 4 March 2009 > iSGTW Feature - Get it all with GridGuide

Feature - Get it all with GridGuide


Click on the map above for an interactive guide. 
Image courtesy of GridGuide

Want to know what science is on the grid, who the scientists are and where they work? Help is at hand with a new website launched today. GridGuide is an innovative introduction to the sites — and sights — that contribute to global grid computing, a technology that connects computers from around the world to create a powerful, shared resource for tackling complex scientific problems. The launch of GridGuide comes as part of the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) User Forum.

While still a work-in-progress, the GridGuide website already allows visitors to explore an interactive map of the world, visiting a sample of the thousands of scientific institutes involved in grid computing projects. Sites from 23 countries already appear on the GridGuide, offering insider snippets on everything from research goals and grid projects to the best place to eat lunch and the pros and cons of their jobs.

GridGuide is an EC-funded project, and most of the sites included so far are European. But the GridGuide team are very keen to extend this — for example, they are working closely with OSG and TeraGrid to add more sites in the Americas, and anticipate adding more sites from 
Africa, Asia and Oceania.

“We’re thrilled to see the GridGuide bringing grid sites to life,” said Bob Jones, head of EGEE. “This site shows that people from all over the world are contributing to the success of grid computing.”

GridGuide has been developed by the EU co-funded GridTalk project. Sarah Pearce, GridTalk project manager, says that sharing this human face of grid technology is essential to the continued success of e-science.

“Grid computing is powering research into issues that affect us all: global warming, renewable energy, drug discovery and more,” said Pearce. “GridGuide tries to show what it’s like to be part of that, encouraging each of us to be aware of and involved in the global research effort.” 

Using satellite imagery from NASA, the Real Time Monitor displays the Grid as it is geographically spread over the world. In near real time (3 minute delay) it shows running and scheduled jobs, job transfers and detailed information on resource brokers and computing elements for each site. Image copyright of GridPP's Real Time Monitor.  

“Grid computing helps modern science facilities make an important contribution to large-scale international collaborations,” said Mihai Petrovici, head of the Hadron Physics Department of the National Institute for Physics and Nuclear Engineering, Bucharest, one of the sites featured in the guide. “By being part of the GridGuide, we also help to substantiate the initiative for a ‘grid of excellence’ at the European level.”

The GridGuide is non-profit and inclusion is free for institutes using grid computing for their research. The site aims to increase its global coverage over the next twelve months and is working with GridPP’s Real Time Monitor to create an interactive 3D version of the site.

Other GridTalk projects include GridCafé, a website that acts as a beginners guide to grid computing, created in 2003 and recently relaunched to keep the public informed about advances in grid computing; iSGTW — a joint project between Open Science Grid in the U.S. and GridTalk in Europe; and GridBriefings — jargon-free articles that provide timely summaries of policy-oriented issues in grid computing. The briefings target non-technical policymakers in government and industry, as well as scientists and the public.

Cristy Burne, GridTalk

Anyone wishing to add a profile of their institution to GridGuide should contact gridtalk@gridtalk-project.eu for details.

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