Analytical and Modeling Tools
The analysis and modeling of data is one of the core activities of
ecological science. While a variety of off-the-shelf software packages
exist for analysis and modeling (e.g., SAS, Matlab, Arc Info), there are
also several extremely useful open-source tools available.
an analytical system that allows users to construct scientific
workflows that model the way data flows among discrete analytical
components. The Kepler system provides support for a wide variety of
analytical components, and makes it easy to incorporate R and Matlab
scripts in workflows.
an analytical system that allows users to conduct a wide variety
of statistical analyses. R is a modular scripting system with
an incredibly wide variety of user-contributed libraries for
popular forms of statistical analysis.
Metadata, or "data that describes data", is essential for use in
analysis and modeling of ecological data. Commonly-used specifications include:
a metadata specification developed by the ecology discipline and for the
ecology discipline, based on prior work done by the Ecological Society of
America and associated efforts. EML is implemented as an XML schema that
can be used to document ecological data.
The NBII biological metadata standard has been developed as a "biological
data profile" of the Federal Geographic Data Committee's (FGDC) Content
Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM)
the Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) provides a common
set of terminology and definitions for the documentation of digital geospatial
Metadata collection can be facilitated by use of an editor or metadata-entry
application, such as the following:
an easy-to-use, cross-platform data management application allowing ecologists
to create, access and manipulate EML metadata and data, and query, view and
retrieve public ecological data.
NBII MetaMaker is a metadata/data entry program for MS Windows, and is based
on and in full compliance with the FGDC CSDGM and the Draft Content Standard
for NBII Metadata.
Tight integration of metadata and data is key to quick and efficient reporting
and analysis tasks -- a solid data storage system, which is flexible and broadly
available, is valuable to all organizations:
a flexible metadata database that utilizes XML as a common syntax for representing
the large number of metadata content standards relevant to ecology.
Thus, Metacat is a generic XML database that allows storage, query, and retrieval
of arbitrary XML documents without prior knowledge of the XML schema.
The SDSC Storage Resource Broker (SRB) is a client-server middleware that
provides a uniform interface for connecting to heterogeneous data resources
over a network and accessing replicated data sets. SRB, in conjunction with
the Metadata Catalog (MCAT), provides a way to access data sets and resources
based on their attributes rather than their names or physical locations.
Providing the Grid infrastructure for seamless access and manipulation of
ecology data and tools. EcoGrid is an infrastructure that combines features
of a Data Grid for ecological data and a Compute Grid for analysis and modeling
Without data, our models and hypotheses are useless. Thanks to broad networks,
data are available with the click of a mouse:
the vegetation plot database of the Ecological Society of America's Panel
on Vegetation Classification.
a centralized server to provide open access to long-term meteorological records
from a collection of research sites.
a collaborative effort by institutions in the United States, Canada and Mexico
to establish a network between databases of herpetological collections.