Overview of conference on hydrologic data networks


  • W. B. Langbein


This conference is the latest involving conferences whose research includes work in what is called the design of data networks. The broader scope of this conference reflects, in my view, movement toward greater sophistication in research and in subject matter, and it is good that these kinds of critical inquiry are going on. The rough estimates mentioned at the conference show data collection to be big business, even though data storage and retrieval tend to attract most public attention. The design of data systems, that is, the efficiency and effectiveness, must also be concerned with the manner of collection, the places and numbers of observations, their costs, and their utility. These matters constitute the fundamentals. Yet in the face of the wide range of present and prospective uses, the complex range of objectives, and the diversity of variables the products of research and critical inquiry appear to find few applications. That subject as well as the needs and opportunities were examined at this conference.