Thursday, 30 September 2010

Vocabulary Editor Client launched by BODC

The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) announces the launch of the Vocabulary Editor Client (version 1.0) which allows external authorities 'editing access' to controlled vocabularies held within the NERC Vocabulary Server, which is hosted by BODC.

Within the VocabEditor Client authorised editors may maintain terms — insert, modify or deprecate — within the lists under their governance without the need for manual interaction by BODC.

 An example of a controlled vocabulary XML document ©

The Vocabulary server provides access to 137 lists containing more than 137,000 standardised terms that cover a broad spectrum of disciplines of relevance to the oceanographic and wider community.

Using standardised sets of terms, otherwise known as 'controlled vocabularies', in metadata and to label data solves the problem of ambiguities associated with data markup. It also enables records to be interpreted by computers, opening up the data sets to a whole world of possibilities for computer aided manipulation, distribution and long term use.

In the real world, it is not always possible or agreeable for data providers to use the same term. In such cases, controlled vocabularies can be used as a medium to which data centres can map their equivalent terms. V1.1 includes methods that access over 101,000 mappings held between terms in the vocabulary server.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

BODC has contributed to the 'Charting Progress 2 : The state of UK seas' (CP2) report

The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) has contributed to the Charting Progress 2 (CP2) report which was launched publicly on 21 July 2010 by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries. The report provides the most comprehensive assessment of the current state of the UK's seas and is based on robust, peer-reviewed evidence collected by a number of UK marine agencies.
Charting Progress 2: The state of UK seas ©

To help achieve the Government's goal of 'clean, safe, healthy, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas' the first Charting Progress (CP) report was published in 2005. This provided an initial assessment of the UK marine environment and identified key areas for improvement, including new strategies for effective monitoring, reducing contaminant levels and improved data management.

CP2 looks at the effectiveness of the CP strategies and identifies where further work is needed. Its findings will be used in policy-making decisions.

How has BODC contributed?

The evidence in CP2 comes from data collected by the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy (UKMMAS) Evidence Groups which are presented in detail in the four Feeder Reports, namely
  1. *The Ocean Processes Feeder Report
  2. The Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seas Feeder Report
  3. *The Clean and Safe Seas Feeder Report — includes sections authored by BODC staff
  4. The Productive Seas Feeder Report
BODC managed data holdings were used in two (*) of these four Feeder Reports. For example, the Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database (MERMAN) provides the evidence base for the Clean and Safe Seas Feeder Report. MERMAN was established following a CP recommendation and is managed by BODC on behalf of the Clean Safe Seas Evidence Group. It stores contaminant data collected in accordance with the UK's monitoring requirements.

Additionally, a key action from CP was to improve the effectiveness of marine monitoring programmes. To meet this need BODC developed the United Kingdom Directory of the Marine Observing Systems (UKDMOS). This web-based application provides information to help coordinate the UK monitoring programmes.