Introduction to Oceanographic Data Management
Marine Data Format Types (from Ocean Teacher Digital Library). A description of some of the major data formats used to manage ocean data. Browse through the subsections describing the different data formats. Of particular interest for this training course are:
- Archive Formats. These formats include the World Ocean Database format which will be used in this course.
- Metadata Standards. Metadata must be described in a consistent manner and a metadata standard uses a common set of terms and definitions to describe data. This course will use the ISO19115 Metadata standard to describe oceanographic datasets.
- Spreadsheet Formats. Spreadsheets are one of the more popular formats to describe marine data. The Ocean Data View spreadsheet format will be used in the ODV exercises.
- Vector Formats. This format is used in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to described line point and line data.
Integration Schematic for Data, Formats and Software
Physical Oceanographic Measurements (from Ocean Teacher Digital Library). A brief description of physical oceanographic parameters and instruments to provide a conceptual framework and terminology for marine data managers.
Marine Parameter Value Ranges (from Ocean Teacher Digital Library). A simplified global range table for some common parameters.
Quality Control (from OceanTeacher Digital Library). Quality control of data is an essential component of oceanographic data management. Data quality control information tells users of the data how it was gathered, how it was checked, processed, what algorithms have been used, what errors were found, and how the errors have been corrected or flagged. Without it data from different sources cannot be combined or re-used to gain the advantages of integration, synthesis, and the development of long time series. Read through the sections on:
- General Marine Data Quality Control. References to various QC manuals and procedures
- Marine Data Quality Flags. A summary of quality control flags used iused by different programmes and data management offices.
Major Global Data Collection Projects. There are a few important programmes that collect and manager global oceanographic data and make these data availabel in standard formats. They include:
- World Ocean Database (WOD). WOD is a project established by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO which represents the world’s largest collection of ocean profile-plankton data available internationally without restriction
- Global Temperature and Salinity Profile Program (GTSPP). GTSPP is a cooperative international program to develop and maintain a global ocean Temperature-Salinity resource with data that are both up-to-date and of the highest quality. It is a joint World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) program.
- Argo. Argo is a global array of 3,000 free-drifting profiling floats that measures the temperature and salinity of the upper 2000 m of the ocean.
Folder Structure for Data
An important component of good data management is the ability to store all data files in an efficient manner. A database management system (DBMS) can be used to to store and manipulate data however most datasets will be recieved in a variety of formats that may not be easily imported to a DBMS. To manage the many files used by a data manager, as well as the products that are created, some sort of "standard" folder structure is required. This is an example of a "basic" folder structure, consisting of the top levels only (2 or 3 levels within the main folder). You can of course add more subfolders as appropiate. Long, descriptive files names are also important to uniquely identify datasets.
Establish a National Oceanographic Data Centre. IOC Manuals and Guides No. 5 (2nd revision) is intended as a tool for policy makers at the national level to assist them with the decision-making related to the establishment of national facilities for the management of oceanographic data (and information). It is also intended to be a reference document for national organizations involved in, or planning to be involved in, oceanographic data and information management.
Online Marine Books (from Ocean Teacher Digital Library). A list of freely-available online textbooks covering topics of interest to marine data and information managers.