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A Virtual Global Magnetic Observatory Network: VGMO.NET


Since the mid-1990s, many geomagnetic datasets began appearing on the World Wide Web. Often these data were not submitted to the World Data Centers as recommended since the International Geophysical Year (1957- 58). As a result, existing data become naturally distributed creating an urgent need for more sophisticated search engines capable of identifying and retrieving the data from Web for scientific analyses. We introduce a Virtual Global Magnetic Observatory concept for “pulling” geomagnetic data distributed worldwide. The VGMO moves information exchange from simple file transfers to a higher level of abstraction, forming the distributed databases through establishment of self-organizing data nodes. We present the first working VGMO prototype: an “on-demand” objects-building Internet application that is transparent in its internal data management to the external users/clients. The VGMO server continuously builds data-objects only from client requests by going through a pre-set list of Web-based data nodes (including WDCs). As the retrieved data are added to the server (or node) database, future requests of the same interval would not force a new Web search. Furthermore, new nodes can be made available to others through the VGMO network, building the worldwide geomagnetic data “fabric” in a platform-independent and location-neutral environment of newly “webbed“ digital data. Application is on a server at


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Correspondence to Anshuman B. Saxena.

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Papitashvili, V.O., Petrov, V.G., Saxena, A.B. et al. A Virtual Global Magnetic Observatory Network: VGMO.NET. Earth Planet Sp 58, 765–774 (2006).

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Key words

  • Geomagnetic field
  • data management
  • virtual observatory