Resource Types

The fundamental unit of digital content in HydroShare is a "Resource." HydroShare supports multiple resource types, such as datasets, models, or other research products like code and scripts.

We define a resource as a unit of digital content that may includes data and/or model files and their corresponding metadata.

Much of the functionality of HydroShare is focused on resources. You can create them, manage access to them, version them, share them with your colleagues or with a collaborative group, and permanently publish them. Resources are structured using a formal data model based on the open archives initiative object reuse and exchange standard, or OAI-ORE (Lagoze et al., 2008) and detailed in Horsburgh et al., (2016).  Metadata terms used in the resource metadata files that you get when you download the full contents of a resource can be found here. The following is the list of resource types currently supported by HydroShare. Click on a resource type for a more detailed description of each.

Note that following the initial development of these resource types chosen to represent many of the data types used in hydrology, with data types not formally represented able to be included in generic resources, we realized that there was value in simplifying the approach by separating the concept of “resource” from the concept of “type”.  Thus, rather than requiring each resource to be of a fixed type, Composite resources were developed that can hold content of multiple types, organized into content aggregations. With this change the composite resource is the default resource type. Composite resources can currently hold the following content aggregation types

  • Single File
  • Geographic Feature
  • Geographic Raster
  • Multidimensional
  • Time Series
  • Referenced Time Series
  • File set

Click on the composite resource type for a detailed description of each. 

The development roadmap is to gradually remove specialized resource types transitioning them into content aggregations in Composite resources.  Once complete Composite resources will become just “Resources” and HydroShare will manage the following three types of objects

  • Resource (all other types represented as content aggregations)
  • Web app connector (from web app)
  • Collection (collection of resources)

The term content aggregation, or just aggregation is adopted from OAI-ORE and refers simply to related groups of computer files.  Horsburgh et al., 2016 gives more details on how aggregations are used in the HydroShare resource data model.


Horsburgh, J. S., M. M. Morsy, A. M. Castronova, J. L. Goodall, T. Gan, H. Yi, M. J. Stealey and D. G. Tarboton, (2016), "HydroShare: Sharing Diverse Environmental Data Types and Models as Social Objects with Application to the Hydrology Domain," JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 52(4): 873-889,

Lagoze, C., H. Van de Sompel, P. Johnston, M. Nelson, R. Sanderson and S. Warner, (2008), Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange: ORE Specification – Abstract Data Model,