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Field Calibration/Validation Data » AusCover Field Data Management System

AusCover Field Data Management System

Last modified by Bec Trevithick on 2013/04/06 13:56

This is a brief overview of the AusCover field data management system.

The details and evolution of this system are well documented in the chapter ‘Good Practice Field Data Management and Delivery’ within the AusCover ‘Greenbook’, so only a brief summary of the system is provided here. The AusCover field data management system consists of documentation, software/hardware and processes designed to facilitate the consistent collection, recording, storage and delivery of field data (Figure 1). 



In the planning stage of data management, data collection protocols are developed, which outline the exact collection details for each data set. Updates to the system's tools (including data collection forms and processing scripts), software/hardware and processes is undertaken. Documentation is a key component of the planning stage. 


Field data was collected following standardised protocols developed prior to field data collection in the planning stage.  Supporting ancillary data is collected using standardised field data collection forms.  All data is backed up and physical data, such as hard copy field forms, are stored in central location.


Collation and Storage

On return from the field, data is collated and any ancillary data recorded on hardcopy field sheets is entered into specialised electronic data forms for upload into the ODK aggregator.  All aggregated data and insturment files are organised into a form enabling the data sets to be processed via specialised Python scripts.  These scripts are designed to upload ancillary data onto the AusCover PostGIS spatial database, as well as rename instrument filenames to fit the AusCover filenaming convention.



The AusCover PostGIS database directly links to the AusCover GeoServer, which in turn links to the AusCover Visualisation Portal.  Delivery is therefore dynamic, with the information on the portal being the most up-to-date version of any given data set.  Renamed instrument files are zipped and delivered by being placed within a directory linking to the AusCover THREDDS server.  All data and relevant information are brought together both within the AusCover Visualisation Portal (through the use of pop up windows specific to each dataset) or within the data set metadata records.  Both mechanisms contain links to all relevant data and metadata.

The field data sets typically consist of instrument files or measurements and a supporting shapefile of ancillary data (such as coordinates, date, other observations).  Associated metadata records for each data set contain details assisting users determine the suitability of the data for their purposes, including abstract, licensing, contact details, spatial and temporal scales etc.  Additional information such as data collection protocols and associated reports are also publicly available.

Most of the information is available by direct download from the portal or via links to online sources.  For instrument data sets (imagery, scans, data files etc), users are directed to the AusCover THREDDS server or download via http.  For most of these data sets, this is the most accessible way to download the data, however, sometimes, for some of the larger and more complex data sets, this is too time-consuming and cumbersome. For this reason an anonymous FTP server has been setup to enable large scale transfer of the data sets ( 

Created by Bec Trevithick on 2013/03/15 20:42

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