OOI Data System User Survey: Opportunity to Provide Feedback

The OOIFB Data Systems Committee needs your help in evaluating new Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) data systems. In 2019 the OOI Facility Board’s Data Systems Committee (DSC) conducted a survey to learn how the OOI could better serve data to users. In response to the feedback received, the OOI program developed the Data Explorer, a refined and more capable interface for finding and accessing data. Now, the DSC is interested to hear your thoughts on this new data system, as well as the other available systems, and to uncover potential ways of improving data access for users.

The DSC would greatly appreciate your participation in this survey, which will be used to improve the current data systems and help the committee form recommendations going forward. The survey should only take about 15 minutes to complete. Your participation is voluntary and your responses are anonymous. The survey will be open to all until January 28th. Click here for the OOI Data survey.

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New Round of Improvements for Data Explorer

The OOI Data Team continues to listen to data users’ feedback to refine and improve Data Explorer. Many of those improvements are reflected in the latest release of Data Explorer, version 1.2, which is now operational. Data Explorer was originally released in September 2020, and this latest version is the second round of improvements made by Axiom Data Science, working with the OOI Data Team.

This version makes more OOI data accessible online and brings new features for gliders and profilers. It is also now possible to search for cruise data in the tabular search interface. Once there, you can select specific cruises, see their data profiles, and have a three-dimensional view of where the samples were taken. Glider data are also now available online and searchable by time and location. Once you’ve identified a glider of interest, it is possible to map or plot the glider’s route and compare data collected with data from other sensors. With another click, you can compare sensor data with profiler information, then change the parameters on the screen to learn more.

All data can be downloaded in csv, GeoJSON, KML, and ShapeFile formats for future use.

Additionally, discrete sample data (chemical analyses of seawater collected during shipboard verification sampling) have been added. Water samples are collected during OOI cruises at multiple depths, and analyzed for oxygen (Winkler), chlorophyll-a fluorescence and pigment distribution, nitrate/nitrite, and potentially a full nutrient suite, total DIC (dissolved inorganic carbon) and total alkalinity, pH, and salinity. These data can be used to compare to in situ instrument data or CTD casts in order to ensure OOI data quality. It is now possible to use Data Explorer 1.2 to convert discrete dissolved oxygen sample data from milliliters to micromoles and create standard_name mapping for discrete sample data.

In response to users’ feedback, many defects found in version 1.1 have been fixed. A summary of all the new features and bug fixes is available in the release notes.

“Data Explorer is a tool that allows users to access, manipulate, and understand OOI data for use in their research and classroom,” said Jeff Glatstein, OOI Data Delivery Lead and Senior Manager of Cyberinfrastructure.  “Users’ feedback has been—and will continue to be— extremely useful in refining Data Explorer to ensure it meets users’ need and expectations. We are holding regular open meetings as one way to ensure that we receive timely feedback and work with our users to meet their needs.”

An open OOI Town Hall previewing some of the new and special glider-related features was held on 24 August 2021, where user input was welcomed. A recording of the session is available here.

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Video of OOI Data Users Town Hall

On 24 August, OOI Data Lead Jeff Glatstein, Axiom Data Science Designer Brian Stone, and Axiom Data Science Coder Luke Campbell gave a preview of upcoming additions to Data Explorer that will help users access glider data. The presenters sought input from OOI’s user community to improve the platform to ensure it meets data users’ needs when it goes live in September 2021. You can see the demonstration of the upcoming Data Explorer changes in the video below and hear suggestions from OOI’s data users community.




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OOI Data Users Town Hall: Special Gliders Session Aug 24

OOI is seeking input from its data users.  All are welcome to attend and contribute to an OOI Data Users Town Hall: Special Glider Session.  The Town Hall will take place on August 24 AT 3 PM Eastern.  Simply click here to register.  We look forward to hearing your ideas.

Since Data Explorer’s inaugural launch in October 2020, OOI has been working with users of Data Explorer to learn what features worked for them, which could be improved, and what could be added to optimize users’ experiences. A version update (1.2) to the Data Explorer is now under development for release in early September. Among the new features include enhancements to the display and user interaction with underwater gliders.

During an upcoming Data Users Town Hall, August 24 at 3 pm Eastern, the new beta features will be demonstrated with the goal of soliciting feedback and suggestions from glider experts to ensure the tool meets users’ needs.

Here is a brief summary of the features that will be reviewed:
1) visualizations of glider previews alongside static instrument previews
2) searchable map interface for visualizing and downloading glider and discrete cruise data
3) mapping interface for finding and visualizing glider and discrete sample profiles that are within range of the selected instrument

Please register, mark your calendar, and see you soon.


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Data Explorer v1.1. Launches

Since its inaugural launch in October 2020, OOI has been working with users of Data Explorer to learn what features worked for them, which could be improved, and what could be added to optimize users’ experiences.  This input has been put into practice and is now available for further testing on Data Explorer v1.1.

Improvements made to this version include the addition of five new instrument data types: Wire-following, Surface-piercing, Cabled Deep and Shallow Profilers, and Cabled Single Point Velocity Meters. Changes were made to improve the display and use of ERDDAP data.  Now it is possible to print custom configuration of time-series and data comparison charts.

A global search capability was added to allow users to use search terms to discover data sets in the Data Explorer. The search and navigation functions were tweaked to also find the data sets across all instruments and times.  Other behind-the-scenes fixes were implemented to improve the site’s overall operability and functionality for users. The release notes can be viewed here.

“This version of Data Explorer incorporates suggestions from its growing community of users.  We’re pleased to have received feedback that is serving to make Data Explorer a tool that meets users’ needs, which is our ultimate goal.” said Jeffrey Glatstein, OOI Data Delivery Lead and Senior Manager of Cyberinfrastructure.

A preview of the new features of Data Explorer v1.1 was held on 9 April 2021 and can be viewed below



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Demo of Data Explorer 1.1 Video

Data Explorer continues to be refined in response to data users’ suggestions.  Upcoming updates and refinements are previewed in this 55-minute video.  The new, improved site will launch 5 May 2021.  Look for it!


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