Virginia Coast Reserve Metadata System

The Virginia Coast Reserve Metadata Management System Summary

The Virginia Coast Reserve LTER site (VCR) their data in a structured filesystem and the metadata in a database. Rich metadata is viewed in a friendly format and also as raw EML, which is generated from our metadata database and dynamically. In addition to being available for search via Metacat, EML metadata is used to generate SAS, SPSS and R programs for the underlying data and to provide a map of associated research sites for each data set. Some datasets recieve additional attention. Meteorological, tide and ground-water data are automatically updated several times each day and web-accessible text and graphical reports are generated. Web-cameras provide real-time views of selected research sites, with hourly archives that can be queried and viewed as animations or photo index pages. Mapserver and Google Maps applications provide specialized Internet maps showing time series of landscape change, research sites and data collection locations.

LTER sites with similar management systems

  • some similarities : FCE, ARC, AND
  • potential synergies : HBR, SEV

The Virginia Coastal Detailed

The VCR Information Management System focuses on end-to-end information management, from the planning of a project, through its inception, to the collection of data, the creation of metadata and the dissemination of data. A large number of the pages incorporate interactive features that allow users to edit or add to databases. The metadata database is populated through a set of password-protected web forms that capture information at the level of the project, the specific dataset and the variable. The metadata database is also linked to the site personnel database, so that site personnel pages list projects and datasets, and the data pages list current addresses etc.

The technologies and products that support the system include the Apache Web Server, MySQL and MiniSQL databases, the PostNuke content management system, the Mapserver online GIS tool, the Gallery image management tool, the SPSS, SAS and R statistical packages, and language support including PERL, PHP, C and JAVA.

Quality control and assurance are primarily the responsibility of the data and metadata providers. However, several widely-used datasets such as meteorological, tide and water level data are subject to graphical and statistical summaries that help spot and correct errors.

A PERL/DBI program that queries data from our metadata database and dynamically creates EML documents for all VCR datasets. Stylesheets are then used to convert the EML into SAS, SPSS and R statistical programs and to provide a map of research locations for each dataset. VCR is actively working on streamlining the data ingestion and improving data storage to aid integration.

EML Status:

  • Completion: All metadata is available in EML.
  • Richness : All EML documents are very rich, to the attribute level (levels 5)
  • QA/QC : There are mechanisms to ensure the quality of the metadata and data.