In April 2006, relevant departments of the University of Tokyo established a collaborative initiative among researchers from various fields, such as public policy, global earth observation, information science and technology, disasters, and agriculture, which was named The Earth Observation Data Integration & Fusion Research Initiative (EDITORIA).
With the support of Japanese Government as one of the key national projects, EDITORIA has developed "Data Integration and Analysis System" (DIAS) - a demonstrative data system that effectively and efficiently integrates global observation data and information and has been disseminating novel research breakthroughs in the understanding, prediction and adaptation to global environmental changes, particularly with regards to changes in the water cycle and its influence on water management systems and society at the global- to river basin-scale.
In its second stage of development from 2011, the DIAS project has been reformed to the Data Integration and Analysis System Program (DIAS-P) with a goal to develop an operational framework by 2016.
The integration of data and information on the water cycle and water-related fields - such as climate, food, energy, health, biodiversity, disasters, and economics - will enable the promotion of a holistic understanding of the changes in these integrated system, improvement of prediction accuracy, quantitative evaluation of society impact, and establishment of appropriate adaptations, which are all essential elements for supporting the development of a sustainable society from both academic and practical perspectives.
The Water Cycle Data Integrator (WCI) unit will pursue exploitation of the DIAS information infrastructure for integration of various data and information on the water cycle and water-related fields, including observed data from satellites and the ground, numerical models, and socio-economic data. At the same time, we aim to implement the system in society through domestic and international arrangements and generate public benefits as well as provide systematic education using scientific knowledge acquired through data integration and its implementation.
The broad range of issues that need to be addressed in the water cycle and water-related fields requires integration of diverse and voluminous data and information. By exploiting DIAS, which was developed in collaboration with the information science and technology community, we aim to establish an inter-disciplinary academic base for creating scientific knowledge leading to real solutions for these issues.
Such real solutions, however, also require effective governance at global, regional, national, and community levels to foster interactive communication among stakeholders and experts that need to exchange experiences, knowledge and ideas as well as to share data and information to be able to properly evaluate various adaptation measures for increasing public welfare. Accordingly, we aim to establish a trans-disciplinary academic foundation for building a link between science and society and this aim is reflected in the educational curriculum.
We provide a new lecture for graduate students majoring in civil engineering, entitled "Environment, Disaster, Data and Information Integration Studies E". Moreover, an inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary approach via data and information integration will be embedded in existing courses of the Department of Civil Engineering such as "Environmental Restoration, Rehabilitation and Mitigation E", "Frontier of Civil Engineering I and II," and "Global Environmental Studies". This approach is also intensified in the school-wide open research seminar in the College of Arts and Sciences, entitled "Global and Regional Environmental Information."