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Online Tool Highlights

This page provides a brief insight into the various tools available on the NEEShub. It includes project Warehouse, PEN, inDEED, NEESAcademy and NEES Cyberinfrastructure.

The 14 NEES equipment sites and a central data repository are connected to the global earthquake engineering community via the NEEShub, an advanced community-driven collaboration and interactive website.

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The NEES website, is powered by HUBzero software developed at Purdue University specifically to support the scientific community in sharing resources and collaborating. The cyberinfrastructure, connected via Internet2, provides interactive simulation tools, a simulation tool development area, a curated central data repository, animated presentations, user support, telepresence, mechanisms for uploading and sharing resources, and statistics about users and usage patterns.

As a model for others, its HUB platform capability of running software tools in the “cloud” eliminates the need for software download and installation on local computers, which is a significant and useful process for community members. Using Wiki technology, members may jointly create and edit documents. Tool users may post questions with correct and appropriate answers chosen and voted on by the NEES community. Community members may also use WebEx services from the website, which offers online meeting management tools so that remote colleagues may present, share applications, and co-edit documents. In short, the NEEShub cyberinfrastructure provides an environment in which community members may be more engaged in collaboration and contribution. features more than 80 online tools (most are open source) for use during research and education including some for data management, education and outreach, simulation, telepresence, and visualization. The full list may be viewed at the Tools page.

Some especially notable elements of the website include:

Project Warehouse , OpenSees, PEN-Project Explorer for NEES, inDEED, Specimen Authoring Tool, RDV, Tools to support investigations in Engineering Seismology / Ground Motions, NEESacademy, GOYA

The NEES Project Warehouse provides earthquake engineers a web-based, centralized data repository for managing, sharing, storing, and publishing data. Researchers may search for and/or contribute experimental data easily. Visitors may search the project database by keyword, funding, member name, and start and end date. Each project is organized to facilitate exploration of all experiments within a project by including extensive details such as dates, equipment, project team members, experiment photographs and videos, test data, specimen types, materials, sensor lists, and publications. Researchers can further investigate test data through an online tool, inDEED, which enables plotting of data from any sensor in an experiment.

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One powerful simulation tool hosted on NEEShub is OpenSees. OpenSees is a software framework for developing and analyzing models to simulate the performance of structural and geotechnical systems subjected to earthquakes. There are three basic tool types: 1. Tools for submitting OpenSees scripts to OpenSees interpreters running on sequential and NSF Teragrid resources. 2. Tools for educational use to instruct students on the response of structures. 3. Useful Tools for performing practical tasks. Use of this powerful tool on is free and may offer significant advantages in terms of execution speed, especially when repetitive runs or large models are considered. OpenSees is accompanied by related tools including buildingTcl and OS Navigator. These tools will be updated constantly.

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PEN - Project Explorer for NEES, based on University of Texas program, Singleshot 0.8.3, is a new Java tool intended to run in the hub or on a remote workstation. The primary purpose of PEN is to upload and download data to and from the NEES Project Warehouse while a project is in active development.

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inDEED is a tool to quickly process, visualize, compare, and analyze research data. The inDEED visualization and analysis tool allows users to plot experimental and numerical simulation data for projects in the NEES Project Warehouse. With inDEED, researchers can create single-sensor or multi-sensor plots for viewing and analyzing data. These plots can be modified by changing axes, data sources, titles, plot colors, and limits; zooming in on particular parts of the plot; and raising or lowering plots relative to one another. The inDEED tool also allows researchers to calculate and plot the average of two or more data sets as well as the difference between two data sets. Graphs created in inDEED can be exported to both comma delimited files or image files, and there are multiple image file formats available. inDEED can also be used to investigate experimental or simulation data stored on a personal computer, in a group drop box, or in a community member’s personal NEEShub space. inDEED is important because it offers significant analysis capabilities for post-processing experimental and numerical simulation data, not only for a researcher’s own project data but for all community shared data archived in the NEES Project Warehouse. It provides a visual way for researchers to “tell the story” of their project to the NEES community and to NEEShub users across the world.

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Specimen Authoring Tool - Additional information about the project and sensors will enhance inDEED visualization and analysis. The Specimen Authoring Tool at NEEShub is an easy-to-use tool for creating project views and adding the sensor information used by inDEED to make sensor selection and graphing easier and more powerful.

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Many of the online tools are contributed by NEES network community members, making the cyberinfrastructure a true community product. An example of such a tool is the Real-time Data Viewer (RDV), which provides an interface for viewing and analyzing live or archived time-synchronized data either locally or streamed across a network from a Data Turbine server. RDV is capable of displaying textual and numerical data, still images, and video. The playback rate can be adjusted so data is presented slower or faster than real time to aid in analysis. Recently added features include: support for panning and zooming of an image with a clickable navigation frame; filmstrip interface to view images sequentially; image thumbnail support; a new data view called DialViz; the ability to export data in a MATLABfile format; and support for port knocking authentication.

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Other contributed tools support investigations in engineering seismology/ground motions PulseSnapper (Identify pulse amplitude and period in near-fault ground motions) and SigmaSpectra(Ground motion selection and scaling); geotechnical engineering: DEEPSOIL (One-dimensional site response) and Strata (One-dimensional site response); and structural engineering: Frame3DD(Analysis of 2D and 3D Frames), LARZ 2D (Nonlinear analysis of reinforced concrete structures), SAPWood (Seismic Analysis for Woodframe Structures), and ZEUS-NL (MAE Center Finite Element Analysis Software).

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NEESacademy, a virtual formal learning institution, is a portal within NEEShub dedicated to individual learning through online modules and collaborative design with the goal of making research data and research-grade simulations and models accessible to educators and students of all ages. While currently still under development, NEESacademy will ultimately incorporate materials for all audiences, including K-12, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and practitioners. 

Using NEEShub collaboration and visualization tools, students can remotely operate an educational shake table located at Purdue to explore structural dynamics principles. In collaboration with the Wood Education Institute, NEESacademy will host an online curriculum for wood structure analysis and design. Teachers and students can understand characteristics of earthquake records using the Make Your Own Earthquake software and curriculum, downloadable from the NEESacademy. Quakequest, a virtual world for collaboration, may be used to connect community members from around the world to share materials. Most recently it was used to share posters for a workshop on research related to the Haiti earthquake. 

As a unifying tool for EOT, NEESacademy provides the multiple advantages of disseminating EOT resources to broad audiences, supporting EOT expertise at equipment sites and on NEES research projects, and increasing the potential for consistent and high-quality learning resources for the earthquake engineering community. Some educational tool highlights on NEEShub include the following:

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GOYA is an educational tool designed to improve intuitive understanding of structures through repetition, allowing students to solve problems of increasingly complexity with relative ease. There are several versions of GOYA, each with a particular focus:

  1. GOYA-A: Truss analysis: Users may draw nodes and forces and analyze arbitrary trusses in this tool.
  2. GOYA-C: Beam analysis.
  3. GOYA-F4: Multi-Story frame analysis.
  4. GOYA-F5: Three-hinged frame analysis.
  5. GOYA-I: Moment of inertia analysis.
  6. GOYA-N: Cantilever beam analysis.
  7. GOYA-S: Simply supported beam analysis.

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