Tuesday, 15 January 2013


The Soils to Satellites Project delivers a web-based application that allows users to combine and explore data from the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and the Terrestrial Ecological Research Network (TERN) ÆKOS application. These data are associated with a range of survey work conducted by TREND and TERN AusPlots and also the ALA’s environmental and species distribution spatial layers. These data are aggregated in the application by reusing and re-implementing the functionality already present in the ALA. - please refer to other posts for details on these data.

This site will allow users to search for data in a number of ways either through “pre-canned” views of data or by building structured queries. Data can be viewed at a summary, aggregated level or at an individual field record level.   Result sets can be visualised through a set of  tools provided by the ALA whilst the results can also be exported in csv format.

Result sets will also be provided as RIF-CS collections to ANDS for further easy discoverability. The code used to create these websites will be available for reuse under a GNU General Public License. All components created by the project team will be available from this Bitbucket site along with documentation (Use Cases, Architecture diagrams etc. A user reference manual will address operational day to day usage procedures and will explain how to go about using application.) on Google Drive. The application will be hosted through a NeCTAR node at e-Research South Australia (eRSA) at the University of Adelaide

The product itself will be presented or publicised in a number of ways:
  • Press release(s) targeted at the Ecological and Conservation communities and DSIIRTE, that publicise the outcomes and collaborative achievements relating to the project and the associated software tool developed with ANDS funding. As well as highlighting the new research now possible by Prof Andy Lowe’s research group by bringing the Soils to Satellite data sets together in a single application.
  • Demonstration of the resulting solution at the TERN Annual Symposium, February 2013 by Prof Andy Lowe. Attendees include TERN staff, university researchers, Government decision-makers and policy experts, representatives from peak bodies, and industry sector staff. The value message will focus on potential research that can be conducted with the assistance of the tool that couldn't be done before.
  • Releases posted through social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest and Facebook.

Additionally, the following Demonstrations of Value may be pursued:

  • Demonstration of the value of the combinatorial solution for use in policy and natural resource management contexts, e.g. utilising the spatial power of the systematically collected genomics data over environmental gradients to show:
    • i) future management implications of temperature change, rainfall, drying for critical issues such as species genetic flow, refugia and evolutionary/extinction potential; &
    • ii) the value of integrating existing expertise from ALA and TERN for cross-cutting solutions.

In his roles as TERN Associate Science Director and Head Science advisor for the SA Department of Water, Environment and Natural Resources (DEWNR), Prof Andy Lowe can assemble key agency decision makers in both funding and policy contexts. Given the timing of governmental budgetary allocations, late 2012/early 2013 would appear to be the most suitable timing.
  • Endorsements from key direct and indirect stakeholders such as Commonwealth agencies
  • One or more academic papers submitted by the Science Stakeholders (Lowe, Cross, Guerin) by the 2nd quarter (calendar year), 2013 - in recognised journals which reference the integration and analysis enabled by project

1 comment:

David F. Flanders said...

Perhaps think about how your product is going to change your user:

"...delivers a web-based application that allows users to combine and explore data from..."

Will the above stated product change users in some way, will it change the way they see their work, how they work with others or the discipline in general?

This post might want to be followed up with some simpler explanation of the product and how it will change the user in simple ways. I appreciate the list of project objective, but it would be great to see this project thinking 'out-loud' on the blog to help the wider community understand what you are achieving :)

Alongside your Agile methodology do you plan on developing your code in the open utilising an open source ethos of 'publish early and often'? I don't see anything in the code repository yet?

I like the use of a Google Drive to share design specs, would be good to get more links in future blog posts to that explicit thinking.

Good luck in your project, looking forward to future posts as you progress :)