Stefanie Roth: Apodemus Minutus Specimen Jar in Orange (~ 2011), Flickr, CC-BY-NC-ND
|//Environmental and earth science data is collected by a large number of organizations, in both public and private sectors, with a heavy focus on observations and spatial data. There is an abundance of data standards, and weak governance around controlled vocabularies, so data reuse often involves educated guesses about its structure, and the meaning of embedded abbreviations and codes. Links to physical samples, and to features in the real world from where these were taken, are often ambiguous. This fragmentation imposes significant costs on projects, with as much as 80% of project effort spent on identifying and cleaning existing data. Challenges are technical, social, and institutional.|
A growing community of earth and environmental scientists, working on the interface with computational science, are developing detailed practices and standards around identifiers, vocabularies, and software interfaces, which are necessary for wider community application. Currently, these efforts are fragmented, as is the communication of technical solutions and organisational best practices.
Linking Environmental Data and Samples will bring together leading researchers in earth and environmental informatics, to establish the current state of the art in environmental science data publication and its use of modern web principles. The focus is on linking data, with a particular interest in the integration of physical samples with datasets based on these, with a goal of triggering the adoption of uniform practices across Australia and internationally.//
More information at csiro-enviro-informatics.github.io/environmental-data-symposium-2017/. - Seen on Twitter at GFBio (German Federation for the Curation of Biological Data).