INTERACT WP7: Data Management


WP7 Description of Work

The INTERACT network of research and monitoring stations are engaged in the provision of high-quality data for purposes such as assessing environmental change across the polar region. Overall assessment across stations (across the Arctic) is, however, problematic due to partially incompatible data archives. This imposes a risk that information gaps and redundancies remain undetected, that synergies across activities remain unexploited, and that new experiments are being performed on grounds that are affected by previous activities. In addition, public outreach is hampered by the lack of centralised information management, and data communication unnecessarily complicated.

The ultimate aim of the INTERACT work-package 7 (WP7) on Data Management is trouble-free information-traffic across the surveillance network of INTERACT research and monitoring stations. Under protocols and standards in-common, our vision represents a true systems perspective where the focus is elevated from local initiatives to the collective observational effort made at the network level. Our objective aims at future schemes for monitoring environmental change where, without much doubt, the INTERACT network of research and monitoring stations will be considered as one virtual instrument across the Arctic.

The INTERACT WP7 work is subdivided into the two tasks T7.1 and T7.2


T7.1: Geo-referenced data service (Leading partner: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

At the Abisko Scientific Research Station, situated in northernmost Sweden, a web-based geographic information system (Abisko GIS) for visualisation and dissemination of metadata reflecting the Abisko research and monitoring effort (since 1913) will be constructed (D7.1.1). The user interface will allow continuous input of new geographic metadata while Abisko activities proceed (D7.1.2), thus constantly keeping the system updated and connected with previous research activities. The system will also visualise and present metadata on the monitoring equipment permanently installed at the Abisko site (D7.1.3).
From the Abisko site, being a node in the INTERACT network, the resulting technologies for metadata acquisition, storage, and dissemination will be migrated throughout other INTERACT stations. Since this requires database protocols and standards in-common, WP7 will explore and suggest suitable transfer-formats that correspond with international standards (D7.1.4). In order to coordinate research and monitoring activities throughout the INTERACT network, a rationale for sampling the network flow of metadata will be developed. In this work, special attention will be given the statistical design of sampling techniques, e.g. by recommending methods for identification of information redundancy and/or latency (D7.1.5).


T7.2: ScanDB (Leading Partner: Danish IT University of Copenhagen)

In task 7.2, WP7 will design, develop and test the usability of ScanDB, a repository of tools and products for environmental data management. The first step in this task will be to obtain a record of requirements from the user community (D 7.2.1). We will then build a baseline system by extending an existing database system with the features that data providers need to manage their datasets; e.g. automatic data and metadata loading, provenance tracking, and management of persistent simulation runs. In a first iteration (D7.2.2), we will rely on technologies described in literature for implementing the required products. We will then revisit the baseline system (D7.2.3) in order to meet the data providers' requirements in terms of functionality and performance. Candidates for the existing database system on which our baseline system will be built include PostgreSQL, Oracle, and SciDB, an extensible open-source database management system that is being developed especially for science applications. The prototype system will be distributed to Danish and Swedish partners for usability studies at the Zackenberg and Abisko stations (D7.2.4).


WP7 Deliverables

D7.1.1 :  Abisko GIS  (Month 24)
D7.1.2 :  Abisko GIS user interface  (Month 32)
D7.1.3 :  Abisko Monitoring GIS  (Month 32)
D7.1.4 :  Document of standard protocols  (Month 48)
D7.1.5 :  Document of sampling rationale  (Month 48)
D7.2.1 :  ScanDB specification Report  (Month 6)
D7.2.2 :  Demonstration of the ScanDB version 0 (software)  (Month 24)
D7.2.3 :  Demonstration of the ScanDB version 1 (software)  (Month 36)
D7.2.4 :  Usability Study of ScanDB (report)  (Month 42)

Contact Details

Tomas Thierfelder
phone:+46 18 671793