NCSA 30 | Brown Dog software gets $10.5m in funding
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Brown Dog software gets $10.5m in funding

Brown Dog software gets $10.5m in funding

NCSA’s Image and Spatial Data Analysis division, partnering with faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Boston University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will develop two services to make the contents of un-curated data collections accessible. The Data Access Proxy (DAP) will chain together open/save operations within software applications in order to seamlessly transform unreadable files into readable ones. The Data Tilling Service (DTS) will serve as a framework for content analysis tools in order to automatically assign metadata to files within un-curated collections.

Rather than starting from scratch and constructing a single piece of software, the NCSA team is building on their previous software development work and aims to use every possible source of automatable help already in existence. By patching together these various components, they plan to build a “super mutt” of software, which they call “Brown Dog.”

The initial targets for the software are projects in geoscience, biology, engineering, and social science, but McHenry says the software could also be broadly useful to help manage individuals’ ever-growing collections of photos, videos, and unstructured/un-curated data on the web.