Data Workshop PDF Print E-mail

Data systems: semantics, data sharing, and documentation of analysis at the national and international scale–an NCEAS-ACEAS collaboration.


Between the 4 and 7 May 2010, a group of data integrators, data managers and eco-informatics specialists met at the Queensland University of Technology to discuss how can we best record, store and share data

so we can work collaboratively for the better management of Australia’s natural resources.


From initial scoping of the institutional data landscape in Australia (including presentations by workshop participants from the Atlas of Living Australia, the Australian National Data Service, the Australian Research Collaboration Service, AuScope, CSIRO,  the Environmental Resources Information Network, Geoscience Australia, the Integrated Marine Observation System, Macquarie University, the National Vegetation Information System, and two state providers, South and Western Australia) we moved into intense discussion of the data standards each held, and the existing and potential opportunities for data sharing and exchange, e.g. through the adoption of common standards, coordinated software engineering, or compatible development of advanced semantics extensions to our framework.

Discussions were enhanced by the presence of two key eco-informatics experts from the United States of America, Dr Mark Schildhauer and Dr Matt Jones of the National Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), who brought their insights into technologies and data languages such as KNB/MetaCat Ecological Metadata Language (EML) and OBOE/OWL, and understanding from their experience with several international data integrators, such as DataONE (Observation Network for Earth, and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) using standards such as Darwin Core .

We left with an undertaking to continue our collaborations, with good progress towards the role of TERN in the Australian eco-informatics landscape, especially that of the Eco-informatics and ACEAS facilities.


ACEAS is well-designed to be a conduit between the eco-researchers on the ground and the large data warehouses and providers, and provide a location for data, outside the major data repositories, to be collated, synthesised and analysed and thence included in our national data sets.


The Eco-informatics facility of TERN would seem to be well-situated to provide:

1. a metadata registry or catalogue of collections level information,
2. copy/cache data for certain data sets that will be integrated, and
3. access and store/host any other types of environmental data (dependent on funding).


ACEAS REPORT NO. 1 Download here (PDF approx. 6MB)

Specht, A. (Ed) (2010) Data systems: semantics, data sharing, and documentation of analysis at the national scale–an NCEAS-ACEAS collaboration. ACEAS-TERN Report No. 1, 32 pp.


Group Shot


This workshop focussed on ACEAS principles (ii) and (iii) as follows:

(ii) improve the organization and synthesis of ecosystem information in a manner useful to researchers, resource managers, and policy makers addressing important natural resource management issues;

(iii) influence the way ecosystem research is conducted in the future, in both the short and long term, by promoting a culture of synthesis, collaboration, and data sharing.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 October 2010 10:27