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New DataONE portal streamlines access to environmental data
Date:7/23/2012

OAK RIDGE, Tenn, July 23, 2012 -- Environmental researchers who investigate climate change, invasive species, infectious diseases, and other data-intensive topics can now benefit from easy access to diverse datasets through technology released today by the Data Observation Network for Earth, or DataONE.

Understanding broad and complex environmental issues increasingly relies on the discovery and analysis of massive datasets. But the amount of collected data from historical field notes to real-time satellite data means that researchers are now faced with an onslaught of options to locate and integrate information relevant to the issue at hand.

DataONE, a ten-institution team including researchers from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is addressing this data dilemma with a one-stop search engine called ONEMercury that queries data centers located around the world for relevant earth science information. ORNL's Robert Cook, John Cobb, Line Pouchard, and Giri Palanisamy are part of the National Science Foundation-supported DataONE team that collaborated on the newly released software, along with researchers from the University of Tennessee's School of Information Sciences in the College of Communication & Information, the University of New Mexico and other partners. At the heart of the new software is an advanced search engine developed by Palanisamy and colleagues at ORNL.

"This search system enables researchers to discover, access and explore data that exist at many different repositories around the Internet," Cook said. "Previously there's been no 'federation' of all these different data centers that would allow someone to come in from one place and search of all these resources."

DataONE's search tool enables researchers to easily integrate previously incompatible datasets, as demonstrated by an ongoing project that is already yielding results in the field of ecology. A DataONE working group ha
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Contact: Morgan McCorkle
mccorkleml@ornl.gov
865-574-7308
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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