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South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)


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Project Work Plan

Department of Interior USGS GE PES

Fiscal Year 2008 Study Work Plan

Study Title: South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) Metadata, Data Delivery, EDEN Geospatial System, and Website
Study Start Date: 1996   Study End Date: 2008
Web Sites: http://sofia.usgs.gov/, http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/ (Data Exchange website), http://sofia.usgs.gov/metadata/ (Metadata website), http://sofia.usgs.gov/eden
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Total System/All
Funding Source: GE PES
Other Complementary Funding Source(s): This project is fully funded by GE PES.
Funding History: FY98; FY99; FY00; FY01; FY02; FY03; FY04; FY05; FY06; FY07; FY08
Principal Investigator(s): Heather Henkel
Study Personnel: Tracy Enright, Kathy Pegram, Jo Anne Stapleton, Bryan McCloskey
Supporting Organizations: None
Associated / Linked Studies: Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN), Integrating EDEN with Real-Time Hydrology and Biological Responses, Evapotranspiration and Rainfall Data for EDEN Gages

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 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 four integrated components: website, data, metadata, and the soon to be released internet map server (IMS). 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, including photographs and posters. In addition, the SOFIA team has worked with outside agencies (such as the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge) to post related material on the site.

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified:

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 USGS PES, as well as other related information produced outside of the Survey.

Status: In the past year, the SOFIA website has continued to post all relevant south Florida information, including project proposals, work plans, summary sheets, status reports, publications, data, metadata, as well as project and personnel information. SOFIA continues to increase the amount of information that is provided on the website. The SOFIA website currently contains over 11,000 documents. SOFIA also continues to see an increase in the number of visitors from just under 80 per day in 1998 to over 6300 in 2007.

Recent Products: In 2006, SOFIA began working with the EDEN project to provide technical support. SOFIA has continued in this role, and in FY07 established a real-time gage network website for the EDEN project. The website also provides a place for users to download data produced by the EDEN project, including water surface and ground elevation model data. In FY07, various tools produced by EDEN, along with supporting documentation will be provided through this site. (Please see the EDEN project for more details.)

In January of 2004, SOFIA started producing "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. Currently, SOFIA News has grown to over 370 subscribers.

SOFIA continues to provide support for the A.R.M Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling Program website. This website, available at http://sofia.usgs.gov/lox_monitor_model/, contains information about the program, reports, quarterly updates, and links to other related information. We will continue to work with the Program to post relevant and related information for their site.

The amount of content continued to increase during the past year, including additions to our data exchange site, publications, project pages, and other related content. SOFIA now provides access to over 100 GB of data and 11,000 documents.

SOFIA presented several talks and poster sessions including: FISC-St. Petersburg Open House, 2nd National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration (NCER), Joint Ecological Modeling JEM/EDEN Workshop (held at the South Florida Water Management District) and UNESCO-IHE (Institute for Water Education).

In June of 2006, Heather Henkel joined the U.S. Geological Survey's Web Metrics Working Group (WMWG). The WMWG is a small group that collects and analyzes web metric data for the entire USGS and provides information to managers to help improve the effectiveness of USGS web content in accomplishing USGS mission goals and satisfying customers. As part of this effort, SOFIA's web logs were provided to that they are now included along with the consolidated statistics for all USGS websites. SOFIA continues to rank within the top 25 off all USGS websites both in number of requested pages as well as the amount of data downloaded.

A new enhanced, interactive, publications database was developed this year. This new interface allows users to search our extensive publications collection by first and last name, publication type and/or topic. Not only does this allow users to better browse the more than 850 publications in the database, but, for example, if an investigator or manager is looking for a specific open file report by a specific author, this new interface will help them quickly locate it.

A majority of the metadata records were updated this FY, and approximately 10 are currently in progress. All of the metadata records served on the SOFIA Metadata site are compatible with the FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata.

The software for the IMS was upgraded and work has begun migrating the SOFIA IMS from the development server on to the newly established server. Data from both SOFIA and EDEN has been added to the IMS and will be served on the IMS.

Proceedings from the Scientific Information Management Workshop were published at the end of FY07; Heather Henkel is the editor of the publication.

Planned Products:

  • Components of the EDEN project will be partially integrated with the SOFIA website in FY07. This will include the EDEN website as well as providing access to data layers through our data exchange and eventually the IMS. This will also include daily surface water maps. Please see task five for more information.
  • Various tools for EDEN, along with supplemental documentation, will be served on the EDEN site.
  • All available and relevant information will continue to be posted to the SOFIA site.
  • Work will continue with the Web Metrics Working Group.

WORK PLAN

Title of Task 1: SOFIA Web Portal
Task Funding:
USGS Priority Ecosystems Science
Task Leaders: Heather Henkel
Phone: (727) 803-8747 ext. 3028
FAX: (727) 803-2032
Task Status (proposed or active): active
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 1:
Task Personnel: Heather Henkel, Tracy Enright (contractor), Kathy Pegram (contractor)

Task Summary and Objectives: The task summary is the same as the project summary. Our objectives are to continue to provide a robust, accurate, and accessible website for Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Studies (GE PES).

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

Work will continue on the creation of new materials for the SOFIA site. This will involve creating new project pages, adding workplans, proposals, summary sheets, and publications. We will also continue to add relevant south Florida information, including materials from sources outside of PES as was done with the A.R.M Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge Enhanced Water Quality Monitoring and Modeling Program. In FY08, we will post relevant materials for the upcoming Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration (GEER) Conference. At this conference, the SOFIA System, along with EDEN, will be demonstrated to conference attendees.

Specific Task Product(s): Updates to the entire site (publications, data, metadata, staff and project information) will continue throughout the year. Enhancements to the SOFIA publications database will continue.

Title of Task 2: SOFIA Data Dissemination
Task Funding:
USGS Priority Ecosystems Science
Task Leaders: Heather Henkel
Phone: (727) 803-8747 ext. 3028
FAX: (727) 803-2032
Task Status (proposed or active): active
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 2:
Task Personnel: Heather Henkel, Tracy Enright (contractor), Kathy Pegram (contractor), Bryan McCloskey (contractor)

Task Summary and Objectives: In addition to the project and publication information provided on the SOFIA site, we also provide easy access to data and supporting metadata (see Task 3). The data exchange site (http://sofia.usgs.gov/exchange/) provides direct access to a variety of data sets within the SOFIA program. These data sets are organized by topic and include site maps and methodology information.

Access to Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)-compliant metadata is made available through five portals: the SOFIA site (http://sofia.usgs.gov/metadata), the 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. Our objectives are to continue to add all available data and metadata to the SOFIA site.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Work will continue with the addition of new data records including those from USGS publications. In FY07, we will be adding layers produced from the EDEN project (see task five for more information). In addition, the data exchange site will be enhanced so that access between the data sets and metadata files is more accessible.

Specific Task Product(s): We will continue to add all new and existing available datasets.

Title of Task 3: SOFIA Metadata Maintenance
Task Funding:
USGS Priority Ecosystems Science
Task Leaders: Heather Henkel
Phone: (727) 803-8747 ext. 3028
FAX: (727) 803-2032
Task Status (proposed or active): active
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 3:
Task Personnel: Heather Henkel, Jo Anne Stapleton (contractor)

Task Summary and Objectives: The south Florida restoration effort requires multidisciplinary information relating to present and historical conditions for use in responsible decision-making. Numerous data sets have been created as a result of USGS research conducted in support of the south Florida restoration effort. Metadata provide information for discovering, assessing, and accessing the data sets. The objective is to have accurate, current, FGDC-compliant, searchable metadata for all projects and data sets posted on the South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) website.

Access to Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)-compliant metadata 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.

This task will oversee the maintenance of existing SOFIA metadata records as well as the creation of new records. As of September 2007, 143 metadata records were updated, approximately 10 currently in work. Metadata needs to be done for 27 projects and 8 datasets. Currently, we are rechecking the project pages individually for additional projects and datasets that do not have metadata. We have also been determining replacement contacts for PIs that have retired.

All of the metadata records are compatible with the FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata. Finally, staff has participated in two telecons regarding the North American Profile of the ISO metadata standard that is being developed for use by Federal agencies.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Work planned involves updating as much of the metadata for existing SOFIA projects as possible. The metadata will be generated using COTS software (SMMS from Intergraph Corp.) and processed through the metadata parser to ensure compliance with the FGDC metadata standard.

Specific Task Product(s): New and updated metadata records. This includes recreating all metadata records that were initially created for the IMS which were either incorrect or outdated.

Title of Task 4: SOFIA Internet Map Server (IMS) Development
Task Funding:
USGS Priority Ecosystems Science
Task Leaders: Heather Henkel
Phone: (727) 803-8747 ext. 3028
FAX: (727) 803-2032
Task Status (proposed or active): active
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 4:
Task Personnel: Heather Henkel

Task Summary and Objectives: The South Florida restoration effort requires multidisciplinary information relating to present and historical conditions for use in responsible decision-making. Currently, the SOFIA web site has a minimal geospatial interface which relies on the Geo-Data Explorer (GeoDE) system developed by the USGS Energy Resources Program in Reston. A geospatial interface using currently available commercial software (ArcIMS) is needed to develop a more easily maintained and user-friendly interface. Developing an interface that is directly connected to the SOFIA website and existing data sets will provide a more stable long term solution to providing a geospatial interface. Initial development has already begun on the IMS, but further improvement is needed before the IMS website can be provided to the public.

A new production IMS was established at the end of FY07 and the IMS software was upgraded from 9.0 to 9.2.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: Work had begun on the SOFIA IMS but was delayed due to time constraints. A first version is available on a development server, but access to the IMS is available only internally. Work will continue on the development of the IMS. Once an initially version is launched, additional data layers, including those from the EDEN project will be added.

Work will also be coordinated with the EDEN project in FY08 for posting materials related to that project. This will include IMS development and GIS layer creation.

Specific Task Product(s): SOFIA Internet Map Server (IMS), creation of appropriate GIS layers.

Title of Task 5: EDEN Website, Data, and Database Management
Task Funding:
USGS Priority Ecosystems Science
Task Leaders: Heather Henkel
Phone: (727) 803-8747 ext. 3028
FAX: (727) 803-2032
Task Status (proposed or active): active
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 5:
Task Personnel: Heather Henkel, Bryan McCloskey (contractor)

Task Summary and Objectives: The Everglades Depth Estimation Network (EDEN) is an integrated network of real-time water-level monitoring, ground-elevation modeling, and water-surface modeling that provides scientists and managers with current (1999-present), on-line water-depth information for the entire freshwater portion of the Greater Everglades. Presented on a 400-square-meter grid spacing, EDEN offers a consistent and documented dataset that can be used by scientists and managers to: (1) guide large-scale field operations, (2) integrate hydrologic and ecological responses, and (3) support biological and ecological assessments that measure ecosystem responses to the implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The target users are biologists and ecologists examining trophic level responses to hydrodynamic changes in the Everglades.

The information from EDEN will be made readily available to scientists, engineers, and water-resource managers through a website that integrates the real-time monitoring data and GIS model results. The purpose of the website is to integrate EDEN monitoring and modeling data and to provide "one-stop shopping" for data with a consistent data format and documentation. The EDEN website is accessed through an interactive map showing the location of gaging stations in the network, and provides "clickable" access to gage data on a near real-time basis (generally within 24 hours). Data from water-level gages are transmitted by way of radio or satellite telemetry to the operating agency's data servers. Data from BCNP, ENP, and SFWMD are then transferred to the USGS and entered into the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) database. Once in NWIS, the data is made available through the database-driven EDEN-NWIS web interface (http://sofia .usgs.gov/eden) where the data can be accessed as graphs, tables, or downloadable files. The EDEN website also provides station information, such as station descriptions (including NAVD 88 correction values), measured ground elevation, and vegetation in the vicinity of the gaging station.

Ground-elevation and water-surface data as well as monitoring data for the Greater Everglades is also available on the EDEN website.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures:

In the upcoming fiscal year, work will continue on developing the EDEN website. This will include monitoring the website and resolving any problems, if they arise, in addition to maintaining the website. In addition, we will be responsible for ensuring that proper backup and security procedures are followed to maintain data and website availability and integrity.

Ground elevation data will be added for those gages which currently do not have it. In addition, water-surface data layers will be made available through the SOFIA website. Along with the data, tools developed by the EDEN team will be made available on the EDEN website along with supporting documentation. Finally, we will being working with various PIs who use EDEN data to create mini websites for them so that they can highlight the work they have completed. These websites will be made available off of the EDEN website.

Water surface maps will soon be available on the South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) website data server. These maps will be collected from the SOFIA data storage server by various EDEN tools. The user then has options for examining the data with these various tools, performing further analysis of the data, or exporting the data for external analysis and reports.

Specific Task Product(s):

  • Access provided to data produced by EDEN
  • Eventual inclusion of NEXRAD data (provided by the South Florida Water Management District) as well as evapotranspiration data


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