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Good Tools And Programs

Software Carpentry

Issue: 
Spring 2009

- Wade Sheldon (GCE)

'Vista Data Vision' Data Analysis Software Review

Issue: 
Spring 2009

- Jason Downing (BNZ)

Like many research programs, our LTER site is continually struggling to manage numerous remote sensor stations and their data . We are constantly looking to improve the quality and availability of the data they are collecting while using technician time and resources effectively. One option on the market to manage sensor network data is Vista Data Vision (VDV) and after some initial testing, we decided to take the plunge and have not yet been disappointed.

"Form"ulating a Simple Solution to Editing Chores

Issue: 
Spring 2009

- John Porter (VCR)

As recent workshops and Databits articles have demonstrated, Xforms is a powerful system for creating new web forms. However, sometimes there is the need for simple one-off forms for database tables or the need to enhance existing forms. I recently came across two exceptionally easy-to-use tools that can help.

Creating Archival Documents

Issue: 
Fall 2008

John Porter (VCR)

When is a WORD .doc file not a WORD .doc file? This was a question that confronted me when I attempted to open up an old copy of a letter I’d written in 1994. The letter was written using Microsoft Word, complete with the .doc extension, but my new Microsoft Word 2007 refused to open it. After drilling down through the Microsoft help I found the following statement:

MySQL Workbench: A Visual database design tool

Issue: 
Fall 2008

James Conners (CCE / PAL)

Relational databases make ideal data storage backends for many applications. MySQL in particular, being free and being supported by many programming languages, is especially popular. And being so popular

Mapping your mind with FreeMind

Issue: 
Fall 2008

John Porter (VCR)

Tired of the same old outlines? “Mind Mapping” is a recent approach to developing outline-like documents and figures that exploit the organizing capacity of hierarchies, but eliminates the linearity of traditional outlines, where jumping from one outline heading to another may require paging down. Mind mapping programs typically present a hierarchy as an “octopus” whose legs become successively divided as you proceed down the hierarchy. For example the outline:

LTER Data Catalog Upgrades to Metacat 1.8.0

Issue: 
Spring 2008

Duane Costa and Mark Servilla, LTER Network Office

Introduction

Metacat is a flexible database storage system for XML formatted documents that has served as the basis for the LTER Data Catalog since 2004. Last December, the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) project announced its latest release, Metacat 1.8.0, and the LTER Data Catalog was upgraded to this new version in April, 2008. This article summarizes new features of the Metacat 1.8.0 release, highlighting those that are especially pertinent to LTER users.

A closer look at the NBII metadata clearinghouse

Issue: 
Spring 2008

Inigo San Gil1 and Giri Palanisamy2

1 LTER Network Office, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM
2 Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

EML 2.1.0 to be Released Soon

Issue: 
Spring 2008

Margaret O’Brien1 and Matt Jones2

1 Santa Barbara Coastal LTER, 2 National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Using Keyhole Markup Language for Geographical Data Browsers

Issue: 
Spring 2008

John Porter, Virginia Coast Reserve Long-Term Ecological Research

The last several years have seen a minor revolution in the online display of geographical information. The advent of Google Earth in 2005 provided an easy-to-use, flexible and attractive way of viewing land cover and topography for the entire planet. With it came Keyhole Markup Language (KML), which allows users to add data to the background provided by Google Earth and the browser-accessible Google Maps.

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