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South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)


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Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) Initiative

Fiscal Year 2006 Study Summary Report

Study Title: South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) Metadata, Data Delivery, EDEN Geospatial System, and Website
Study Start Date: 1996 Study End Date: 2007
Web Sites: http://sofia.usgs.gov/ (SOFIA), http://sofia.usgs.gov/metadata/ (SOFIA Metadata), http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/ (SOFIA Data Exchange), http://sofia.usgs.gov/eden (EDEN website, currently under development)
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Total System (All)
Funding Source: U. S. Geological Survey's Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) Initiative
Principal Investigator(s): Heather S. Henkel
Study Personnel: Tracy Enright, Kathy Pegram, Jo Anne Stapleton
Supporting Organizations: None
Associated / Linked Studies: SOFIA Metadata, SOFIA IMS/GIS Data Library, Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) Real-Time Website

Overview & Objective(s): The South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) system was created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1995. Its mission is to provide easy access to information about research projects and products generated as part of USGS South Florida Priority Ecosystems Studies (PES) and other Federal, state, and local science providers. SOFIA provides this service by integrating information systems and tools enabling efficient storage, organization, and search and retrieval of scientific information about the south Florida ecosystem. SOFIA was designed to benefit three major user groups: USGS program managers and scientists working with South Florida Priority Ecosystems Science (PES), managers and scientists working for other organizations involved with Everglades restoration, and members of the public interested in USGS research and/or the science behind the Everglades restoration effort.

SOFIA is an evolving and dynamic system that builds on the ever-increasing sophistication of new information technology. The current architecture consists of three integrated components: website, data, and metadata. The SOFIA website (http://sofia.usgs.gov/) contains links to project descriptions, proposals, publications, data (through links to our data exchange site), metadata, presentations, and contact information, as well as general interest items, such as photographs and posters.

Status: In the past year, the SOFIA website has continued to post all relevant south Florida information, including publications, data, metadata, as well as project and personnel information. A significant amount of time has been spent providing support for the Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) project.

We have also continued providing support Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge by posting work plans, updates, and other related information (see http://sofia.usgs.gov/lox_monitor_model/).

Recent Products:

  • SOFIA News”: SOFIA News is a bimonthly email update of new postings on the SOFIA website. These updates include announcements of new publications and data sets, new and continuing project information, notification of upcoming meetings, as well as other related information. SOFIA News has grown to 330 subscribers.
  • Enhanced search capability for publications database: This database-driven website allows users to search our online publications by author, publication type, and topic. The publications database currently contains records for over 770 publications.
  • Metadata: With the assistance from Jo Anne Stapleton, existing metadata records continue to be updated with ISO topic keywords so that we can serve records through geodata.gov. (Geodata.gov is part of the Geospatial One-Stop E-Gov initiative providing access to geospatial data and information.) Access to our metadata (which is Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)-compliant) is made available through the five outlets: the SOFIA site (http://sofia.usgs.gov/metadata), a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) node, the Federal Geographic Data (FGDC) website, the Federal Geospatial One-Stop website (Geodata.gov), and the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) website.
  • Website additions: We have continued to add to our website by posting new publications, data sets, project information (proposals, summary reports, work plans, personnel information, and project linkages), and metadata records. In addition, we continue to develop web pages on SOFIA for other federal agencies.
  • SOFIA posted the most recent version of the DOI Science Plan, which is available at http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/reports/doi-science-plan/.
  • SOFIA is currently developing a real-time hydrologic website in support of the Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) project. The site will be available at http://sofia.usgs.gov/eden/.
  • SOFIA also supplied networking space for the DOI Greater Everglades Science Team.

Planned Products:

  • Continued additions to existing site (publications, data, metadata, project information)
  • Maintenance of EDEN and Loxahatchee websites
  • Maintenance of existing metadata records
  • Development of SOFIA Internet Map Server (IMS) and GIS data exchange site (which will also support EDEN-related activities)

Specific Relevance to Information Needs Identified in DOI's Science Plan in Support of Ecosystem Restoration, Preservation, and Protection in South Florida (DOI's Everglades Science Plan) [See Plan on SOFIA's Web site: http://sofia.usgs.gov/publications/reports/doi-science-plan/]:

The south Florida restoration effort requires multidisciplinary information related to present and historical conditions for use in responsible decision-making. The SOFIA website provides centralized, seamless access to all information produced by the USGS PES program, as well as other related information produced outside of the program.

Key Findings:

  1. SOFIA continues to increase the amount of information that is provided on the website. The SOFIA website currently contains over 8300 documents.
  2. SOFIA also continues to see an increase in the number of visits to the site from just under 80 per day in 1998 to over 6100 per day in 2006.
  3. SOFIA News continues to be a success in keeping scientists, managers and decision-makers appraised of new information available on the website. We have seen a steady growth in new subscribers.



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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(TJE)