The impact of EPOS is not limited to the access of multidisciplinary data, which already represents a challenging goal for the entire solid Earth science. Data mining and data archiving is only a first step in the EPOS construction. Easy-to-find data and data products, as well as tools for visualization, processing and analysis, provide the best way to sustain an integrated approach to research and drive science forward, expanding the range of feasible research.
Geoscientists generate products, such as maps, earthquake models, and lava flow simulations, which can be further integrated and made accessible through the EPOS platform. In this way, researchers become new data product providers and will be involved in EPOS both as users and as providers.
The new e-science opportunities and the ICT innovation will facilitate users’ accountability and traceability to preserve data by adopting appropriate and shared access data policies.
Once EPOS integrated services are fully operational, the new e-infrastructure will further facilitate sharing the outcomes of research. Not only will data be linked to publications and be traceable and reusable, but researchers will also be encouraged to share the products of their investigations, thus generating new data products.
Building a research infrastructure as a platform for discovery will facilitate collaborations between Earth and IT scientists. The perspectives guaranteed by this federated approach to data provision for science have global relevance and impact beyond the Earth science and IT communities.
Last, but not least, the next generation of scientists must be trained in developing data-intensive applications and modelling. This will be promoted by using the new opportunities provided by e-science innovation.