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GeoNIS Project Update

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Issue: 
Fall 2013

Theresa Valentine (AND)

The GeoNIS working group received funding from the LTER Network Office (LNO) to automate a workflow to bring PASTA data with a spatial component (GIS and imagery data) into a centralized GIS formatted database and provide map and image web services for all LTER sites.  The spatial data are quality checked against EML (Ecological Metadata Language), and error reports are generated for submitters.

The contractor created a user interface where sites can view their spatial data, link to map and image web services, and view a report on their data (check for errors).  The programs are developed as tools within the esri toolbox structure (programed in Python), and are located on a server in the LNO office.  The application is programmed with the ArcGIS Javascript API, and is available at the following  link:  http://maps3.lternet.edu/geonis/.

Specifications for the projects were developed at a meeting with the contractor, GeoNIS working group, and LNO staff in January of 2013.  Additional on-line meetings were held throughout the contract period, and a demonstration of the capabilities of the system was presented to the Information Managers Committee and during a working group breakout session at their 2013 annual meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Following discussions with LNO staff at the LTER Information Managers Committee meeting in Fairbanks, a value-added product was discussed to provide a geoprocessing service that PASTA could initiate for a data check, prior to data being placed in the production PASTA portal.  The current GeoNIS tools work in production and testing mode.  It would be possible to have sites submit data to the testing mode before submitting their data to PASTA.  The contractors did not have time to complete this task on this contract.  They did outline a process for the task, and estimated that it would take about 80 hours to complete the task at a cost of $3,200.  

The GeoNIS working group has committed to monitoring the project, and will be moving it to production mode (where the workflow runs on a schedule, searching PASTA for new spatial data, and running the workflow and updating the web services).

The GeoNIS working group would like to acknowledge the support it received from LNO to fund this development.  The project has helped sites document their spatial data with EML and to incorporate these data into PASTA, and provides mapping services to the sites for their spatial data.  In addition, several LTER sites provided sample datasets for testing, and worked to improve the workflow and best practices for documenting spatial data.

Members of the GeoNIS working group are:  Adam Skibbie (KNZ), Theresa Valentine (AND), Jamie Hollingsworth (BNZ), and Aaron Stephenson (NTL).  Contractors were Ron Beloin and Jack Peterson.