The sustainable interaction between mankind and the dynamic natural system provides a great number of hydraulic and environmental engineering challenges. The paradigm to confront these challenges one-project-at-a-time, while attractive from a budget management perspective, results in grave inefficiencies in the development and maintenance of the basic elements that are invariably involved: data, models and tools.
Hardly any project is by itself of sufficient scale to comprehensively develop easy accessible high quality data archives, state-of-the-art model systems and well tested practical analysis tools under version control. As a result research and consultancy projects commonly spend a significant part of their budget to set-up some basic infrastructure, most of which dissipates again once the project is finished.
OpenEarth is the open source intiative to archive, host and disseminate Data, Models and Tools for marine & coastal scientist and engineers. It aims to remedy the above-described inefficiencies by providing a project-superceding approach.
To facilitate steady and continuous development and growth of these building blocks even beyond the man-made boundaries of projects Subversion repositories are utilised for storage, back-up and version control of raw data, scripts and source code. Products are shared freely via various web based tools. As a result research and consultancy projects no longer need to waste valuable resources by repeatedly starting from scratch. Rather they can build on the preserved efforts from countless projects before them.