Componenti SDI per i dati ecologici

Long-term ecological research (LTER) studies aim at detecting environmental changes and analysing related drivers. In Europe this research is performed in about 450 sites and platforms joined in the network LTER-Europe. Within the network, sharing data on various types of ecosystems and at a broad geographical scale is still an issue; managing data resulting from long-term observations is an important task not only for LTER sites but also at network level. Due to the fragmented nature of LTER Europe - and also on the global scale - information management practices have to face several challenges, e.g. distributed data sources; heterogeneous data models; particular data management routines as well as the complex domain of ecosystem monitoring with regard to the resulting data.

The Life+ EnvEurope project (2010-2013) faced this challenge and improved the situation described above using the data from the distributed network of LTER-Europe sites. A project product, i.e. the EnvEurope Drupal Ecological Information Management System (DEIMS) for metadata management and data sharing within the Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) domain, allows discovery, evaluation and access to data of LTER sites. The development was based on the works carried on by US LTER.

As an output from the EnvEurope Action 1 working group, DEIMS provides the following main components:
1) Metadata editor: web accessible forms to enter and manage metadata of three information resource types - datasets, persons and research sites (see figure 1)
2) Discovery client: provides several ways to search for datasets, persons and research sites based on patterns ranging from simple full text search, glossary browsing to guided faceted search (see figure 2)
3) Geo-Viewer: a map client, which can be used to display boundaries and centroids of the LTER sites; each site layer is linked to both Metadata editor and Discovery client (see figure 3); moreover a graphical representation of the data collected in the site and published through an SOS service is visible in Geo-Viewer (see figure 4)

Metadata collected by LTER-Europe researchers using the DEIMS can be shared in the following ways:

  • Metadata records encoded in the Ecological Metadata Language (EML) are periodically collected and produce a data catalogue, which can be used by international or European initiatives (e.g. DataOne network, GBIF) and projects (e.g. LifeWatch)
  • Metadata are harvested into a GeoNetwork catalogue, providing a catalogue service for web (OGC-CSW) to be used by remote SDI catalogues, e.g. INSPIRE Geoportal

The final version of DEIMS is a pilot implementation for the information system of LTER-Europe, which should establish a common information management framework within the European ecosystem research domain and provide valuable environmental information to other European initiatives such as SEIS, Copernicus and the INSPIRE Directive.

Tools and approaches developed and tested in this application are going to be reused in new projects such as Data-LTER-Mountain (NextData), RITMARE SP7 and LifeWatch


Figure 1: DEIMS metadata editor for dataset web interface

deims editor

Figure 2: Full-text searching interface for datasets

full text search

Figure 3: LTER site location in Geo-Viewer and connections to metadata

lter site in geoviewer

Figure 4: graphical representation of the data collected in the site in Geo-Viewer

graphical representation geoviewer



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