Wednesday, 13 February 2008

NERC Data Discovery Service - easy access to environmental data

The NERC Data Discovery Service, a new data portal, provides easy access to environmental data.

Earth has no boundaries between environmental data ©

Data are fundamental to the understanding of the processes that control our natural environment. They help provide answers to both local questions (such as the likelihood of coastal flooding) and planetary wide issues (such as the prediction of the impact of global warming). The better we can predict these events, the better we can protect ourselves into the future.

The data collected by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) provide a unique and irreplaceable record. Measurements have been gathered over decades and historical records provide a valuable resource to support research, survey and monitoring activities. These are used by academia, government, the public sector, and industry. NERC’s network of data centres are responsible for long-term curation of data and providing access to their holdings.

Accessing NERC data

The NERC Data Discovery Service allows users to find data resources held within the NERC DataGrid (NDG) catalogue. The catalogue makes it easier to find data as it connects records held in managed archives. It is populated with 'discovery' metadata (information about data sets), harvested on a regular basis from the NERC Data Centres and other providers, both UK and worldwide.

It includes entries for

  • Marine sciences
  • Atmospheric sciences
  • Earth sciences
  • Earth observation sciences
  • Polar sciences
  • Terrestrial and freshwater sciences
  • Hydrology

You may search for entries by entering terms as free text and/or restricting temporal and spatial coverage. The Service employs the NDG vocabulary server to provide a semantic search. This allows you to opt to maximise your returns by selecting an alternative, related search term.

This is the first step toward an integrated data delivery system. Future enhancements may eventually enable users to compare and manipulate data from all sources.


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