AATAMS data committee meeting .
On the 12th and 13th of February 09 AATAMS data committee convened in Hobart to discuss data policy and data management for the AATAMS community.
In attendance during this meeting was Kathy Tattersall the project officer for AATAMS/eMII, Roger Proctor from eMII, Steve Cameron data programmer for AATAMS/eMII, Colin Simpfendorfer from JCU and AATAMS data committee chair, Peter Walsh from TAFI, Russ Babcock from CSRIO, Russ Bradford from CSIRO, Victor Peddemors from NSW DPI, Thomas Stieglitz from JCU, Charlie Huvineers from AATAMS/SIMS and Andrew Boomer from AATAMS/SIMS.
This meeting outlined the progress to date of the AATAMS data base and aimed to create a plan of action to cover a variety of technical and user concerns of the AATAMS community.
Data capture and usability was a primary concern and the data committee has approved the use of a worksheet template to facilitate the uploading of metadata and receiver data. These worksheets play two important roles:
1. The quality control of data entering the AATAMS data base will be consistent with current Meta data standards.
2. The captured data will be consistent from a variety of input sources ensuring a consistent high level of data within the data base over a long period of time.
The immediate benefit for users is that the data base will process the data and output a recovery sheet which allows the user to define a recovery date and several time saving products including when receiver batteries need changing and a map illustrating where the receiver units are.
The data base will also allow a visualisation of data entered into the system via an illustration similar to that of Google Earth showing total detections as circles with the size of each circle corresponding to the total number of detections of each receiver.
This is a large step toward automation of data capture and should eliminate long hours of data entry into spreadsheets and help reduce the time of planning recovery of acoustic equipment for researchers and technical personnel within the AATAMS community.
Once data is entered into the AATAMS data base it will be available via an OPeNDAP source allowing the data format to be exported to suite a variety of statistical and visualisation programs.
The security and ownership of data was also discussed by the data committee. Data that is critical for unpublished studies and data collected on sensitive species has previously been a factor that concerned many parties. The AATAMS data committee felt that it was necessary to provide some level of protection to address these issues. As a result, if the AATAMS data committee feels it necessary it can restrict the level of access to data by a reduction of tag or receiver information available on the data base. This also created a need for the possibility of a user id and log in order for researchers who want to be able to see their own data in full.
The AATAMS data base is set for launch in July, we are all working hard to have everything ready, working and tested by then.