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As part of its ‘cyberinfrastructure’ initiative, the U.S. National Science Foundation is supporting the Hydrologic Information System (HIS) project of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc. (CUAHSI). Cyberinfrastructure is the use of high-speed telecommunications to integrate networks of computers and provide advanced data access and computational resources beyond what an individual scientist would normally have available.

The integration of multiple data sets—which can have inconsistent metadata styles over a wide variety of spatial and time scales—into formats that can be easily used by researchers with varied software and operating system preferences is a challenging task. No such information system presently exists, and a central task of the HIS program is to design and develop this system.