Wiki on Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling: What and Why?


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During the 10th conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes the chairman of the Harmonisation Initiative (Helge Olesen, Denmark) announced that a so-called Wiki would soon be launched. The Wiki now exists - but is in its infancy. Its purpose is to facilitate pooling of experiences within the modelling community. A Wiki is a website that is especially suited for collaboration. The remainder of this page is an excerpt from the Helge Olesen's oral presentation.

[Direct link to the Wiki, http://atmosphericdispersion.wikia.com]

Introduction to the Atmospheric Dispersion Wiki

By H.R. Olesen, NERI, Denmark

One of the main ideas behind the Wiki is illustrated above: In the community of atmospheric dispersion modellers, sometimes some of us fall into pitfalls. We may do things in an inappropriate manner, and we are not always stopped.

Sometimes the mistakes are repeated - others fall into the same traps. We are not very good to convey our experiences to each other.

There is an unnecessary duplication of effort; too much work is forgotten and partly wasted.

I have been wondering whether we could find ways to use the Internet to communicate, and warn each others against some of the pitfalls we fall into.

There are some new developments on the Internet, which I find interesting, and which may help us. There is a concept called a Wiki.

This strange word is probably new to you and doesn't tell you very much.

A Wiki is a website that allows users to easily create web pages and edit pages others have created. Wiki's are based on the use of software that makes it very simple to create such web pages. Furthermore, the software has features that makes it excellent for collaboration, so anybody can contribute to web pages. It is not necessary that they are members of any particular group - they can contribute without any formalities.

A very prominent example of a wiki is the Wikipedia - a very comprehensive, free online encyclopedia. It has been created over a period of 4 years.

There are many web sites dedicated to atmospheric dispersion models.
However, the Atmospheric Dispersion Wiki site has the following unique qualities:

  • In contrast to traditional web sites, it is possible for anyone to contribute easily to its contents. Therefore, the site has the potential to become far more comprehensive than a site maintained by a single web master.
  • Warnings against pitfalls and common mistakes are of high interest. Researchers are encouraged to report on pitfalls they encounter, and which they would like to warn others against.
  • In contrast to traditional scientific publishing, you can add small bits of information - you do not have to wait, until you have prepared a complete scientific paper.
  • In contrast to existing email distribution lists, the information compiled here is archived in a structured manner. Furthermore, you can add information on findings that are only of interest for a very small audience, not for an entire mailing list.
  • Many knowledgeable researchers have pet subjects. They possess a vast experience, which newcomers to the field lack. Here, experienced researchers can in an informal way issue advice related to these pet subjects.

The Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Wiki can be found at http://atmosphericdispersion.wikia.com


hvids_sm.gif (2298 bytes) The conference is part of a series of conferences and other activities organised by the
Initiative on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes.

See also: Home page of the "Harmonisation..." initiative


This page is maintained by Helge Rørdam Olesen
It was last modified on June 1, 2006
The "Harmonisation..." web site is hosted by the Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University (Denmark)