From Scientist and Sensor to Synthesis: The GCE Data Toolbox for Matlab and Metabase Management System. Nov. 28-30, 2012

LTER sites use a wide range of software to acquire, process, quality control and archive data. A separate set of tools is then typically used to produce and manage metadata content and generate EML-described data packages for the LTER NIS. This separation of data and metadata processing is inefficient, risks loss of information, and often delays data release. Software developed at the GCE LTER site - the GCE Data Toolbox for MATLAB - streamlines this process by coupling metadata creation to data processing and quality control. This software also interfaces with the Metabase, a sophisticated Metadata Management System (MMS) that supports data warehousing and automatic distribution of EML-described, version-controlled data through the NIS. Used together, these systems constitute an integrated and highly automated pipeline for producing EML-described data packages for archival and synthesis efforts.

This 2.5 day training exercise will introduce the GCE data toolbox and provide a series of tiered exercises designed to familiarize users with GCE Data Toolbox for Matlab, increase their proficiency working with the tools, and get them started on projects that use the Toolbox to import, standardize, document, and publish data from their own sites. The workshop will alternate between short presentations and extended hands-on exercises using both trainer-provided and site-provided data. Workshop outcomes will include not only a transfer of know-how for implementing the Toolbox at individual sites, but also extended training documentation that will be provided before the workshop and improved, along with Toolbox usability, based on participant feedback. The final half-day will also preview the growing capabilities of the Metabase Management System and assess its potential as a tool for multi-site data cataloging.


Airline Travel

  • November 27 will be a travel day. Plan to fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), in Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta Airport is about 1.5 - 2 hours from the workshop venue, depending on traffic. Ground Transportation Information is below.
  • Call or e-mail Rio Grande Travel with your requested arrival/departure schedule (request to speak with a UNM representative and alert them that you are attending an LTER hosted meeting). Contact info:, by phone 1-800-778-6861 or local: (505) 768-7979.
  • Rio Grande will contact the Network office for authorization and payment. You will need to approve your itinerary once it has been set up by Rio Grande.
  • You may also purchase the airline ticket yourself and e-mail your itinerary to Airfare will be reimbursed at an equivalent dollar value of an economy/coach ticket purchased through Rio Grande Travel.
  • If you are driving you will be reimbursed at $.50/mile. You will only be able to be reimbursed up to the price of a round trip ticket.

Ground Transportation

  • The best way to get from the Atlanta Airport to Athens, GA is via airport shuttle.
  • The University of Georgia will have a contract arranged with Groome Transportation arranged specifically for this event.
  • We have already booked shuttle reservations for all participants and you should have confirmation numbers. Please contact John Chamblee at UGA if you do not have a confirmation number.
  • Groome Transportation is the Regional Ground Transportation Shuttles provider for the workshop. You will find them in the Green Bus aisle of the ground transportation area.
  • The Ground Transportation area is on the west side of the Domestic Terminal building, which is the side nearest baggage claim and on the opposite side from Ticketing. You can see a map of the Domestic Terminal here.
  • The shuttle will take you straight to your hotel and you will depart directly from your hotel when you return home.


  • Attendees will be staying at the Hilton Garden Inn, Downtown Athens.
  • We will provide a rooming list to the hotel by November 1 and you will not need to book a room. Accommodations will be covered, so you will only need to provide a credit card at check-in, to cover incidentals.

Training Venue

  • Training will occur in the Sustainable Human Ecosystems Laboratory (SHEL), which houses the CWT LTER Information Management Office and is located on the University of Georgia campus, in Baldwin Hall.
  • You will be met at the Hilton Garden Inn on the morning of November 28, at approximately 8:00 a.m. for transfer to the SHEL. It is a short walk through the University of Georgia's historic North Campus to Baldwin Hall from the hotel, but we can arrange shuttle transportation based on the weather or specific requests.
  • We will provide use of desktop computers, Matlab Licenses, shared file server space, and guest accounts to the UGA wireless networks for the duration of the training.
  • The last day of training will take place in a meeting room at the Hilton Garden Hotel, in order to facilitate mid-day and mid-morning departures.


  • People will be free to choose where to eat for most meals. Athens, Georgia has a wide variety of restaurants, all within easy walking distance of both the hotel and the training site. The organizers have provided the following guide to restaurants in the Athens city center.
  • Although there are many places to eat, dowtown Athens is not home to many "morning people," so breakfast options are limited. However, the hotel offers a complete breakfast on-site.
  • We will have one private group dinner in the Oak Room of the University of Georgia Hotel and Conference Center, where participants will be able to order from the menu of the Georgia Center's Savannah Room Restaurant.
  • Reimbursement for individual meals will be handled through LNO, using the standard LTER Travel Reimbursement Forms. If there are group meals, they will be direct billed and paid by the organizers.
  • Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks will be catered on-site during the training.

Attendees who have to cancel their attendance, must inform John Chamblee and George Garcia by no later than November 26, in order to avoid our being charged by the hotel. Note that other charges related to airfare and ground transportation may still be incurred by the Network, so cancellations after November 1 or airfare is booked should avoided, if possible.

Training Materials

  • The agenda and all training materials from the workshop are available on the GCE Data Toolbox Trac site's Documentation Page.
    • The Trac site also provides a Function List.
    • The Toolbox itself is available from the Trac site's Download Page, or you can email Wade Sheldon for an SVN account.
    • NOTE: We recommend getting an SVN account if you will be a regular user, as it will allow for better communication with regard to usage, bug fixes, and feature requests.


    • Questions concerning air travel and reimbursement should be directed to George Garcia at LNO.
    • Questions about the Atlanta and Athens logistics should be directed to John Chamblee at UGA.