Friday, 19 October 2012



The target customers/users of the application are predominantly researchers who are working to answer questions that relate to the topics of;
  • Climate change prediction of species distribution (Conservation)
  • Identifying Biodiversity Hotspots (Conservation / Agriculture)
  • Understanding Soil and Vegetation Communities (Agriculture)
  • Understanding the Conditions of Ecosystems (Conservation)

Other users of the application will include decision and policy makers from groups and organisations involved in Natural Research Management (NRM), such as State and Local Government Authorities (LGAs).
Soils2Satellites will support the investigation into the future management implications of temperature change, rainfall and drying for critical issues such as species genetic flow, refugia and evolutionary/extinction potential.


The project will meet users needs through providing a publicly accessible web portal that provides users with the ability to select ALA-based species occurrence data and environmental layers, Auscover Satellite imagery and TREND plots data for exploration, display, comparison, link-to and/or download. 
The tool will support the exploration and visualisation of available relationships within the TREND and ALA data, including those relating to: species occurrence and environment; genetic diversity; spatial distribution and genetic variation at genes under selection and environmental variation; changes in environment in the past inferred from the distribution of genetic variation (e.g. refugia or genetic expansions).
The tools in the application will allow for data relationships to be explored in new ways, thus opening up ways to interpret existing information and/or exposing relationships between data that were not previously possible.
The Soils-to-Satellites tool will enable researchers to explore and display relationships between disconnected data sets in ways not previously experienced. For example, they will be able to display ’layers’ of Australian environmental data such as elevation, temperature or soil type, and then ‘ drill down’ to s to compare vegetation and genomics data across those layers (Diagram). Datasets identified through the tool will be provided to the ANDS ARDC at a collection level for further discovery by the research community.

Diagram 1. A stylised diagram showing how information for three plots within a TREND transect (dark blue) can be displayed and analysed in detail by overlaying the spatial information of four layers at exactly the same location in each layer to view the genomic data collected at the ‘plot’ level and stored in the  ÆKOS  data portal (Source of IBRA, elevation and % clay - Atlas of Living Australia, TREND plot layer derived with Google Earth, genomic samples are illustrations only ). Soils-to-Satellites enables researchers to visualise sophisticated ecological and genomics data through an integrated application for the first time.

The application will also deliver RIF-CS service and data collections to ANDS to support further discoverability of the data.


David F. Flanders said...

It is great to see a picture, this project has such great potential to utilise images and diagrams to explain the work they are doing to the wider community. Here's hoping for more images that expand the mind and get us thinking about the exciting work you are doing :)

David F. Flanders said...

Impressive researcher who knows all these topics, are these post grads overseen by prof or some other researcher composition? It would seem that this is more about teams of researchers utilising this, or perhaps it is individual researchers? Does this affect the architecture of the tools?

What metrics/testing are going to be put in place to asure that the researchers needs are met and functionality provided. Is there a key measure, e.g. having a researcher publish a paper on the topic or getting more researchers to work together on a topic/dataset?