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Geospatial Network (GeoNet) is a distributed information system accessible through the Internet that will permit users from the geoscience community to share and contribute knowledge from the transition zone between the Colorado Plateau and the Basin and Range province. Specifically, the goals of GeoNet are to facilitate the access, analysis, and visualization of geospatial data for use by scientists, policymakers, educators, and the general public. The types of geospatial data provided through GeoNet include satellite imagery, gravity, heat flow, digital elevation models, remote sensing, seismicity, active faults, and basic geographic data. This paper, written as a primer, describes how state-of-the-art technology is being used to realize GeoNet's goals. It also discusses GeoNet's layered architecture and shows how this architecture supports software applications deployed as service-oriented components. Ontologies based on the emerging OWL Web ontology language standard are used to enhance knowledge discovery. Use-case scenarios describe the features of GeoNet and the expected sequences of interaction between GeoNet and different classes of users. GeoNet's design will permit its functionality and data sets to be integrated with the GEON (Geosciences Network) grid and, thus, will contribute to the larger geoscience community.

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